The Commercial


Here’s the commercial for Scientology that ran during the Super Bowl.  I find it really odd that a church feels it needs a commercial, and feels that it needs one so badly that it runs one during the Commercial Olympics.  Yes, it might need an image scrub or a facelift, but there’s nothing new and improved about Scientology.  Notice the commercial never states “now with less litigation” or “75% less science fiction” anywhere.  Same old stuff.

I should be, by all accounts, the last person in the universe to tell someone how to take a spiritual journey.  The churches are the things I find untrustworthy; I’m fine with whatever religion you choose to get you closer to peace.  Still Scientology, for whatever reason, is the last religion I tend to give breaks to.  Scientology needs a spokesperson, not a commercial.  Scientology needs someone I can easily give a break to.  Scientology needs a hero.

Beck Hansen, please step forward. Continue reading “The Commercial”

The First Cut: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.

1. It was impossible to to imagine Debbie Carney as a fan of The Monkees.  She was too cool.

So cool that she ran home from school as fast as she could just to catch the last half-hour of Dark Shadows.  So odd that she drank iced pickle juice at the movie theater when she went to watch horror/sci-fi double features.  So against the grain that in the not-so-secretly racist 1950’s Tulsa, she did her best to befriend the neighborhood black kid, something most white girls simply would not do.  Her musical tastes included poor role models like Janis Joplin.  She was totally cool.  And, as “fake” as I thought they were, she loved The Monkees.  A lot. Continue reading “The First Cut: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.”

Two Albums By Crazies

1) True Love Cast Out All Evil, by Roky Erickson

Sometimes you are crazy and nobody knows it.  Roky Erickson did enough LSD as a member of The 13th Floor Elevators that the transition to full-blown schizophrenia was missed by most or passed over as “freak” behavoir.  It took Erickson’s documented onstage breakdown, slobber and jibberish and all, to convince his peers that he was more than high.  This theme of high-not-crazy continued when, after being sentanced to ten years of prison for the posession of a single joint, Roky pleaded insanity and landed himself in state-run mental institution.  It took the intervention of his brother in 2001 to successfully get Roky proper help and social, financial, and professional stability.  From the sixties to the present day, regardless of his status and stability, Roky made music with bands, made solo works, and was the subject of various musical tributes.

But, history and context non withstanding, what do you think “crazy” music sounds like?  The most prominent barometers are Syd Barrett and Wesley Willis, the former making disjointed music on The Madcap Laughs that had to be “sanely” produced by Roger Waters and weirded up by The Soft Machine, the latter making boringly simple music that is recorded with an exploitative feel that brings on an unease every time I hear one of his songs(it is not lost on me that white-trash Okies that I knew loved Wesley Willis almost as much as they loved Kid Rock, who is “The R Word” in the colloquial sense).  These albums fall in line with the stigma of people who suffer mental or emotional problems: an aural record of instability or medicated dulling. Continue reading “Two Albums By Crazies”

The First Cut: Mondo Cane

Not pictured: Ms. Pac Man

In 1999, at some point, I was surely making some sort of comment on or about how people should stop ragging on Dillinger Escape Plan (because they were still good then) and stop feeling threatened by the more approachable sounds of California.  The songs on California may have been more pop oriented but were still great, and if you needed a dose of weird there was always a Moonraker concert or bootleg around somewhere. Continue reading “The First Cut: Mondo Cane”

The First Cut: The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1

Most of my memories of the K-Mart in town stink with the smell of new shoes.  This phenomenon was caused by the toy and electronic sections sharing a wall with the shoe racks.  Maybe my mom bought me shoes there, but I certainly bought a bunch of toys there; Transformers, Centurions, GI Joe, and He-Man if you need to set your calendars.  Also, set your calendars to 1984, when on a trip with my grandma* I bought the Honedrippers album. Continue reading “The First Cut: The Honeydrippers, Vol. 1”

The First Cut: Rust In Peace & . . . And Justice For All

Growing up I had four albums that I kept in the kitchen, prime listening for when I was doing the dishes: Mozart’s Requiem mass, Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings, Ride The Lightning, and Peace Sells. . . But Who’s Buying?  The Robert Johnson songs were my top choice, but I held the other three in about equal regard.  That’s right: Metallica and Megadeth were equals, perhaps nowhere else but in my kitchen.  The main reason they remained equal is that Kirk Hammett still sounded like Dave Mustaine until Master Of Puppets.  There, I’ve said it. Continue reading “The First Cut: Rust In Peace & . . . And Justice For All”