10 things I learned by arguing politics on the internet

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Man, I’ve never been a person who gave politics much thought. Sure, things would come up here and there but, in general, I always viewed it as some “it’s out of my hands” type thing where all I can do is sit back and watch what happens. While I still feel that way, recent events have been hard to ignore and the repercussions, in my opinion, could be dire for the country I live in. Not since 9/11 have I been this glued to the news. Every day , it feels like a new unchartered level of craziness is being achieved so, admittedly, it’s been hard to just sit back and not say anything, even if I am just adding to the cacophony. Now, I could take the easy route and just post things on my personal facebook wall. A place where not a SINGLE person I know disagrees. Literally. I don’t know one Trump supporter. No extended family, no old high school friends….no one. I’m admittedly DEEP in the bubble. So, me posting some shit on there is basically like giving cupcakes to a guy already eating brownies. Nope, instead, I chose to do the even dumber thing and post about it on my public social media. My twitter, instagram and Facebook page. I know…I’m a fucking idiot. Granted, it’s not like I’m constantly writing anti-Trump rhetoric but, you know, it comes up here and there.

Now, arguing with people on the internet is nothing new to me. I started my existence on the internet in the mid 90’s, arguing about rap with people in chat rooms and newsgroups. And, truth be told, that could get heated at times. However, politics is a totally different game. People are passionate about their beliefs. Perhaps cause real things are at stake, as opposed to me trying to claim Ras Kass verse on “Comwiddit” is the work of genius in 1995.

Over the past year or so, my engagement in political discourse online has been eye opening. I’ve learned a lot. I figured, it might be fun to share that with you.

1)No ones mind has ever been changed via an online argument
“political discourse” online is like a friend who asks you for relationship advice with no intention of listening to you. They just wanna talk about their feelings and need to you be brick wall in which they blather to. What you say, no matter how on point and valuable, won’t even penetrate the first layer of their mind cause they already know how they feel. They just need someone to listen to them.
With political arguments online, no one who was staunchly on one side has ever heard someone say something that made them rethink their entire viewpoint. It just doesn’t happen. So,in it’s essence, arguing politics online is useless. But we’re all human beings so we can’t control these urges. i know I can’t.

2)Everyone pulls from dubious news sources
On both sides of the coin, people will reach. For every time someone has come at me with a fox news or a brietbart link to “prove” a point, i’ve seen countless liberal people on my facebook wall post salacious headlines from random left wing blogs that are just as questionable. While “Don’t believe everything you read” has always been a sentiment , nowadays, it seems to be a lifestyle for many. Trump’s anti-media crusade has truly convinced people that you can’t trust ANYONE. Not BBC, Not Rueters, Not the Washington post. Nothing. And, while that is a crazy and dangerous thing to push into the mind of the public, the fact of the matter is that people are gonna go with the news that suits them. Whatever fits their agenda. Left and right wing people.

3)Right wing dudes got bad memes ON DECK
When you start a political discourse, there are a few types of people you come across. A person who wants to try and have a civil discussion (“Try” being the operative word here), people who just wanna come in and barf their opinions all over the place with no regard, and people who are there to troll. Now, to be fair, both sides troll the other. I think it’s what happens when you’ve run out of constructive things to say and also realize that arguing is futile at this point. So, instead…they opt to rabble rouse. One thing I’ve noticed is that right wing trolls got memes on deck. Particularly on twitter. Some guy started with me the other day and, within moments, my interactions were flooded with stupid memes aiming to rattle my weak liberal frame.
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A few things can be learned from this…
Morons know how to use photoshop
Conservative memes lack that humorous punch

The same guy who sent those to me, had sent them to a bunch of people which leads me to another point…

4)There are people who sit around all day on the internet SEEKING out political arguments with strangers

This is the craziest shit to me. I’ve never really understood hash tagging. I mean, I get it’s purpose and see why people do it but it’s always been kinda corny to me. I’ve only ever done it ironically. HOWEVER, there are literally people who sit around , looking on their phone, following hash tags and then arguing with people they don’t know. I’ve noticed this most on twitter and instagram. Someone with 45 followers will post something with a hashtag like “#dumptrump” and their timeline will be flooded with people with american flags or pictures of an eagle fucking an arab child to death with a dick made of the constitution as their profile pic, blathering redneck nonsense about whatever the issue of the day is. Now, to me, seeking out strangers to argue with is such a weird, sad and lonely concept. It’s just an extension of trolling, which is really at the heart of most political discourse online but still…it just seems EXTRA pathetic.

5)Right wing people love a good nickname for liberals
Libtard, Cuck, Hillbot, snowflake…
These dudes LOVE to take those nicknames and run with them.
To me, the funniest one is Cuck cause the real meaning is so funny to me. A cuckold is when a submissive dude is forced to watch his wife have sex with another man. (generally they specifically mean a more “manly” man with a bigger dick who can fuck his wife in a way he can’t. Often a large black man).
Now, the idea of some doughy white guy with a micro-penis watching his wife get her back blown out by some young stud is hilarious to me. But I do find it ironic that , somehow, liberals got attached to that word cause, let’s be honest, who’s doughier and whiter with more micro-penises than your average right wing conservative? It just so clearly seems like something they’d be into way before liberals would. I dunno. When i think of dudes with weird sexual festishes involving humiliation, I tend to think of powerful , old white men. You know… the type who might like to get pissed on in Russia or something.

6)Being uninformed is okay
I literally had a dude try and tell me Obama’s birth certificate was fake…in 2017. I’m in no way claiming to be a beacon of information here. hell, I just made a joke about Trump being pissed on right above here and that’s completely unproven. But the way in which people hear something that may or may not be true, buy into it 100% and mangle the message to fit their agenda is spectacular. That is politics on the internet in 2017.

7)Trump people all kinda look alike and live alike
With the exception of a few people (one latino dude on my facebook page. whattup ron! and a random female), every time I’ve clicked to see what a trump supporters facebook page looks like it’s the same person. First off, white dude (duh), mid 20’s-early 30’s, always has a kid or two, and his page is obsessively filled with anti-liberal memes. A slight variation of that is the non-Trump supporter who thinks Hillary is “just as bad” or worse. This is also strictly a white male, slightly younger than the trump supporter, they also have a kid and their page is filled with links to youtube conspiracy videos and weird memes about mind expansion. Also, weed. Unfortunately, these two types of dudes make up about 35% of this country so there’s no shortage of them. Also, when they get older, they get even dumber and more volatile.

8)Liberals are whiney and hypersensitive. it’s true.
I realize I’ve been shitting on conservatives here this whole time but, you know, they’re the opposition to me so what do you expect? That said, i try and be a fair man and I can admit when my side isn’t doing things right either. Liberals have thin skin. I think the reason that is, is cause to be a liberal, there’s a part of you that feels you’re 100% on the right side of right and wrong. There’s an air of cocky justice some liberals wear on their sleeve. This makes them easy to rattle. Liberals ALWAYS take the bait and Conservatives love to feed it to them. Watching that dude Milo yiannopoulos on Bill Maher the other day, it was so crazy to see how mad he made everyone. I mean, i get it…the dude is a total fucking asshole with insane opinions but he’s CLEARLY just existing to get under peoples skin. He figured out that it’s easy to make a liberal blow a gasket if you say some outlandish shit then act dismissively towards them. That’s all it is. He’s basically the poster child for trolling. And the fucked up thing is that , when liberals fall for the bait, they try to use reasoning and rational thought to combat it which feeds into it even more. The only way to combat those kinds of people is to roll your eyes and talk to them like their 5 year old. Dismiss them. To engage is to let them win.

9) Anyone who’s ever written #MAGA! or a variation of that statement is a fucking idiot.
The lowest of the low. Blindly following the catch phrase of a total crazy person created to feed the fears of morons.
The people that post that are always the worst, most uninformed and outspoken people you will come across. I refuse to believe that anyone would type that without a tiny bit of irony. Even the most right wing wingnut.
I often think it’s more used for specifically for trolling but, still, if you truly ride with that catch phrase, you’re a stupid motherfucker. Straight up.

10)What “we” care about and “they” care about is different
Liberals are the party of social issues. Human rights, equality, the environment. Conservatives care more about business, foreign policy,following the constitution, religion, “freedom” and some vague idea of “America” as this fallen country that needs reviving. Because of this, both sides will never meet eye to eye. While one side is arguing gender roles the other is thinking about oil. They just aren’t even in the same universe. Because of this, it becomes incredibly hard to find common ground. I’m sure there are plenty of conservatives who don’t give a shit who marries who or agree that woman should receive equal wages to men…but they’re far more concerned with their right to bear arms and some mythical idea that a mexican in Texas is gonna take their job in Michigan. It’s all perspective. No one lives another persons life so , while some dude in Montana who’s never left his town and has only dealt with one kinda person his entire life might be freaking out cause he saw a muslim guy in the airport, I might be equally dismayed at the sight of that same guy from Montana walking up to me if I was camping in the woods…cause my city ass assumes anyone walking around the woods alone is an axe murderer. We all have our things.

I think the bottom line of all these things can be summed up like this:
Arguing politics on the internet is 100% pointless and it gets neither side closer to what they want. That said, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. So enjoy yourself you filthy cucks.

Defending my Tweets Vol. 13

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Hi there. I like to tweet stuff. Dumb stuff. brain farts, really. sometimes I feel those brain farts need to be aired out beyond the 141 characters. When that happens, I like to whip up this very column. Admittedly, these are controversial tweets. But they could all use some expanding on. So, join me as I defend my tweets. Or, at the very least, explain them with a little more clarity.

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This was pertaining to the recent story about the Frat guys who did a racist chant that was caught on film.
A while back, I was in a short lived comedy rap group called “Party Fun Action Committee”. We made a song called “Beer“, that was a frat rap song of the highest order. Looking back at that song (that we initially made in the late 90’s) I always feel like it’s a little dated. The world has changed so much since then. Frat guys don’t look like the frat guys of my youth. When I was in college, they wore stuffy button up shirts, some dockers and a backwards white hat with a frayed brim. They loved Bob Marley and did keg stands. They were mostly suburban morons who reminded me of dogs with their wide eyed passion for all things stupid. Flash forward and I’ve lost touch of what frat guys are like. Like most aspects of today’s society, style had become blurred. There was a time when you could look at a person’s cloths and immediately tell what kind of music they liked. Something as small as the way you wore the brim of your hat would let me know if they loved Dave Matthews or Tupac. Well, it seems that era is behind us. This could be a testament to me being old but I honestly can’t differentiate between frat guys, hipsters, club kids and hip hop heads. We’re so homogenized that all these stereotypes are simply different shades of the same color. On one hand, I guess it’s nice to not be able to categorize people so easily. It’s harder to stereotype people. But you know what? I think, in some cases, stereotypes are a good thing. Not racial ones but ones related to style and scenes? Why the fuck not? When I went to college, I was a purist rap nerd. I didn’t know anyone. The first day of class, I looked around and saw a kid who looked like he liked the same shit I did. We got to talking and it turned out he was in a similar boat. If he had been dressed like Zac Efron, I wouldn’t have ever have been able to seek him out. He and I became buddies and he eventually was the guy who introduced me to Aesop. See how that works? Not all stereotypes are negative. Sometimes, they just help people weed though the bullshit.
With all that said, watching the U of O racist frat video , I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was disgusted by the video. But on the other I felt weirdly nostalgic. Like “Oh shit! Frat guys are still the same terrible dickheads they were in my day!” It was a rare moment of “maybe things haven’t changed that much after all!”. It’s unfortunate that the thing that hasn’t changed is entitled rich white asshole racism but on the bright side, it’s interesting to see what stereotypes can hold up. With all the advancements in social issues over the last 20 years, the fact this video is even shocking speaks volumes. If this had come out in 1994, it would have been a short lived story on the local news cause, let’s face it, intolerant frat assholes were par for the course.

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You know, it would probably be pretty easy to figure out who this guy is. Funkmaster Flex? Dj Clue? I’m guessing someone from the earlier years like Doo wop. Surely one of you mix tape historians has an answers. But , in the end, it really doesn’t matter who that person was. This whole phenomenon is bigger than one asshole screaming his name or catch phrase between/during every song. This is a matter of people always feeling the need to be seen and heard. For years, the dj’s job was to sit in the back and play music. Maybe drop a scratch here and there. Public enemy’s Terminator X was famous for “Speaking with his hands”. But this wasn’t good enough. The DJ’s wanted some shine too. Same can be said for producers. Before puffy started talking on records, Dj’s and producers played their role. Sure, some made albums. Marley Marl was one who pushed himself to the forefront. But, even though he put out two albums under his name, you didn’t see him shamelessly self promoting himself on every song. He was more a producer in the Quincy jones sense. A man behind the scenes, pulling the strings, making sure everything is how it needs to be. But the moment Puffy was seen shimmy dancing next to Biggie, the game seemingly changed. The lightbulb went off in the heads of people who were typically in the background that “Wait a minute…I can get shine too?”. That was around the time the hip hop super producer was born. I won’t even front. It was great marketing. Seeing guys like Pharrell, Timbaland and Jazzy Pha in all the videos was kinda revolutionary. Add on them having a vocal track on most of the songs they produced and even a catch phrase (“This is a jazzy-phizzle production!”) and you now had celebrity producer. Where as, a mere 5 years earlier, the only people who knew who produced what were nerds like me who obsessed over liner notes. In an abstract way, you can almost connect this whole thing to the emergence of super celebrity DJ’s and electronic musicians. Sure, these types existed well before Puffy ever said “Take that!” but it definitely opened doors for notoriety on a different level for the people who would typically be viewed studio trolls.

I always liked the anonymity of being a producer. I mean, we all gotta make our careers work and extend this life as long as we can but, I dunno…there’s something nice about being under the radar. Maybe I’m weird like that. I probably am cause, for every producer like me, there are 15 producers who won’t let a rapper use their tracks without them dropping their pre rerecorded stamp on it. So much so, that I feel it’s the norm now for newer producers. If you’re NOT letting the people know who you are by force, you’re doing it wrong. They may be right. But, whatever the case, as a listener, I don’t give a fuck what your name is and I sure as hell don’t need to hear you yelling it over my favorite part of a verse on an otherwise enjoyable mixtape.

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It’s a sad state of affairs when the opinions others have effect your own. Even sadder if you share the same opinion but , upon hearing a certain brand of person explain why, it makes you question your own taste. This happens in film and music all the time. It’s what’s called a backlash. Take an album like “The score” by the Fugees. When this album came out, people in the know were all over it. It was great. Original and critically acclaimed. Then they dropped “Killing me softly” and a whole new fan base was introduced. It became a staple of all college dorm dwelling cornballs who typically didn’t like rap outside of the beastie boys. This new fan base made people who may have initially liked the album have contrarian feelings towards it cause, you know, “I’m not like THOSE guys…”. This was a long time ago and the cycle of a backlash was a lot slower. It was pre-internet so word had to spread organically. Nowadays, the backlash cycle is lightening fast. No matter how much an album or movie is beloved, there is always gonna be a large group of people who decide they are not on board. Perhaps it’s authentic, perhaps it’s reactionary. You never know. The thing is, everyone is gonna be extreme in their opinions. As you get older, you care about these things less and less. The spectrum of enjoyment shrinks. Where you might have only had two emotions towards art in your 20’s (I LOVE IT! or I HATE IT!) , things shift a lot towards the middle. This isn’t to say you don’t enjoy or dislike art on profound levels when you reach a certain age, it’s just the urgency to love and loath lessens. I find myself thinking most movies, music and TV is just “okay”. I don’t freak out over it and I don’t sit around seething at it’s existence. I pretty much take it in as I see fit. I’m able to differentiate between something I think is shitty and something that is simply not for me.
With all that said, I still have those moments of youthful adverse thought where my natural instinct if to reject what I heard coming out of a certain persons mouth, regardless of it I agree with it. Case in point, I was in a diner in Minneapolis when I wrote this tweet. I was eating alone at the bar, about to catch a flight. The only other people in there were the waiter and some other dude at the bar. They started talking about movies. The conversation was all over the place but, from what I heard in all my judgmental glory, both these guys had shitty taste. well, not shitty…but basic. They were basic bitches with cocks. So, the convo swings around to a Wes anderson film and the waiter starts raving about his catalogue of movies. “Man, I love them all! he can do no wrong!”. Now, I’m a fan of Anderson. He’s made some great movies. I do think they’re all kinda the same but they are definitely entertaining, well made and totally original. But there was something about hearing this particular guy break down the nuances of Anderson films, as he sees them, that made me think “Jesus, maybe Wes Anderson sucks…”. Now, I’m not a person who will flip on something like that for no reason but the fact that even popped into my head said a lot. A lot about me. Can’t say I was to thrilled with myself but that’s what happened. I guess old habits die hard.

Wu-Tang Shirts ain’t nothing to fuck with

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^CORNBALL
I’d like to start this off by saying I love the Wu-tang Clan. We all do. I can’t think of another rap group that has etched it’s way into so many sub cultures. It’s because of this that a problem has arisen. Wu-tang shirts and the people who wear them. Now, let me clarify. Not every person who rocks a Wu tang shirt is a full of shit poser. Not at all. Wu-tang, much like the Beatles or the Rolling stones, is a cornerstone of american culture. They have a very real and dedicated fan base. So, if you’re reading this and getting mad cause you think I’m talking about you, I’m probably not. No, I’m talking about the people out there who probably know the words to “Shimmy shimmy yall” but have no idea that Cappadonna has every released a solo album. I’m talking about people who own multiple Wu tang shirts and beanies but , in reality, couldn’t name half of the memebers (ESPECIALLY cappadonna) and , quite honestly, would rather listen to Motorhead or Erasure. I don’t wanna make it sound like there is a required amount of knowledge one must have in order to deserve to wear a Wu-tang shirt but, I dunno, if I’m rocking the shirt of a musician, I’m a huge fan. So, to me, if you’re rocking a Wu-tang shirt but have never heard a single song off of “Wu-tang forever” and think the members of Wu tangs solo efforts begin and end with Ghostface killa, that’s a little weak to me. It’s just blatant pandering.
It’s very similar to the trend of rappers wearing heavy metal shirts. You think Juicy J actually listens to Iron Maiden? No fucking way. He wore those shirts to throw a curveball. It’s just an example of person trying too hard. When I see a 21 year old hipster white girl walking around Brooklyn with a Wu-tang shirt on and combat boots, it’s speaking to me. It’s not saying “Hey, I celebrate the catalogue of the Wu tang clan!”. It’s saying “Wu-tang is a thing that’s cool so I’mma just wear this”. And she’s right. Wu-tang is cool. So much so that they’re basically infallible. I think that’s why this bothers me (Truth be told, it doesn’t bother me that much but it’s fun to rant about). By wearing that Wu-tang shirt, you’re making a statement. And it’s not “I listen to the Wu-tang clan”. I feel it’s actually a person trying to feign diversity in their musical taste. It’s kinda like that thing where hipster rock dudes always attach themselves to liking one rap act. It was Dipset for a while. Then it was the clipse. Then it was Lil Wayne. I have no clue what it is now but I’m guessing it’s some shit like Chief keef or Young thug. It’s the the “Hey man, it’s cool. I’m down with everything even though I’m not really!” of stances. Fake Wu-tang fandom is the all time version of that. It’s just so safe to like wu-tang as a person who’s generally not into hip hop. Who’s gonna question you? Wu tang is respected from the deepest hood to the most stark corn field.
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The Clan has become on of those groups that is beyond music. Which is part of the problem here. To say “Wu tang is a lifestyle” is a bit much but it’s not far off. I was in Russia once and this kid was at my show. He didn’t speak much english but he definitely knew how to drop the N-bomb like whoa. He was saying “Aww man, hip hop is great! My nigga! Wu Tang! Wu-tang niggas!” Bear in mind, I’m not a member of Wu-tang. he was basically just explaining to me that wu tang is hip hop. Which is technically correct but also a weird thing to need to tell me, a non-wu-tang affiliated beat maker. That would be like me going up to Paul simon and saying “Hey man! Rock and roll! You’re my Led Zepplin nigga!”.
That’s a far reaching example but , in my eyes, it’s the same mind set as someone who mildly familiar with Wu Tang who wears a Wu-tang t-shirt. It’s a fashion choice, not fandom.
So, what’s my answer to all this? Well…I say, if you’re really a Wu-tang fan, you should rock Wu wear. And not just the T-shirts. I’m talking the the jeans. I’m talking the leather jackets. That shows commitment. Especially girls cause, man, that really will challenge your dedication to fashion. Buying a t-shirt at Urban outfitters is some bullshit and something anyone can do. But if you can track down some Wu-wear and actually wear it in public? I wouldn’t question your love of Wu-tang for a millisecond. In fact, I’d bow down and probably avoid eye contact with you cause, let’s face it, you’re not to be fucked with.Especially if you’re rocking Wu-wear jeans. That shit is mad real.

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Oh, I’d just like to preemptively tell all the people who plan on commenting on this like “Whatever! people can wear what they want! Who are you to tell blah blah blah”
First off, you’re boring and bored.
Secondly, it’s not that serious. I agree. People can wear whatever they like and my opinion should have no bearing on anything of that sort. This was just a dumb rant. Calm the fuck down.

Stop Snitching: instagram edition.

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Remember the “Stop Snitching” Craze of the early/mid 2000’s? Who can forget that time Cam’ron went on TV and said that, if he knew his neighbor was a serial killer, he’d opt to move , rather than inform the authorities. While I always felt taking it that far was detrimental , I did somewhat agree with the over all theory of people minding their own business.
With that era behind us and snitching being common place on many different levels, it would seem it’s trickled down to a very low level. A pathetic level. Social networks.
Now, there are certainly things that need to be regulated on social networks. I don’t think anyone wants mass amounts of bullying, child porn or ultra violence in their time lines. As with most things, the rules of common decency should be respected. The problem is that when you let regular dipshits police the internet by giving them a “report this for offensive material” button, you’re letting anyone who feels some sorta way about anything control what the rest of the world sees.
So, the other day, I posted this picture on my instagram
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With a caption that read: The stripper at my brother’s bachelor party is really mailing it in
Within 20 minutes, someone had reported it and it was taken down , accompanied by this email
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Now, right after I posted it, someone had commented “Report this”. I assumed they were kidding cause, well, it’s a picture of a cute baby, being cute, with a joke caption. I recognize that the caption could be perceived as risque but, gimmie a fucking break. But just to be sure, I responded “Hey, this is my nephew. He’s not a stripper. It’s a joke #noNAMBLA”
10 minutes later, the picture was taken down and all I wanted to know was which dumb motherfucker saw that and was like “Oh my heavens! That is offensive to my pussy soft sensibilities!” and reported it. I wanted to know so i could ridicule that fucking loser but also so I can block them.
There’s a few point to be drawn from this:
1)Instead of reporting stuff like this (when instagram is literally full of half naked 14 year olds who probably should be reported), just unfollow. It’s so simple. I love that people feel entitled to make judgment calls on behalf of everyone , even though those calls are based entirely on their myopic life view. In this case, a person was offended by a baby’s bottom and an obvious joke. What an asshole.
2)We’ve reached a point where there is a level of puritanical thinking that a 9 month old child’s butt is offensive to someone. If it’s not that, than that means it got taken down cause of the caption, which is even crazier. There’s no accounting for bad taste and, perhaps, my joke was treading those waters but, at the end of the day, it was clearly a joke. And if someone couldn’t see that, that means that a person read that and actually thought I had hired a 9 month old baby to strip at my brother bachelor party. Forget the moral decay that would have to exist for that to even be a thing that people do. Do you know how hard it would be to even teach a baby that can’t walk to use a pole? Come on, son. That’s like teaching a dog how juggle. Regardless, either reason behind reporting a picture like that shows so many layers of “not getting it” that I feel as if trying to explain it to the person who did it would be pointless.

Also,
it should be noted that baby butts are not porn. Not even close. If they were, they probably wouldn’t show them in diaper commercials during day time tv. While there are some truly awful people out there who might turn it into something terrible in their heads, there are also people out there who fuck trees. So, let’s try and not report all those salacious pictures of forrests cause it made some dude in oregon’s dick hard.

I’ve only had one other picture ever taken down from instagram. It was early on in my posting. I was in my dads art studio and he had this crazy old bulletin board covered with awesome past cards. On it were funny sayings, pictures of art and random old doodles. One of those pictures was a photo of a post card of a DRAWING that had a nude woman on it. Specifically, her hairy bush. It wasn’t even the focal point. It was, however, a postcard of a famous painting that no doubt hangs in one of those most respected museums on earth and it’s probably worth more than the apartment I live in. but, nope, it had a naked women in it so it got reported and taken down. Keep in mind, this wasn’t even a real naked women but a drawing of one. It blew my mind at the time but then I thought about it and it made sense. Everything is porn to some people. It reminded me of this awesome David cross bit about when John Ashcroft felt necessary to cover up the nude chest of Lady justice:

It’s ridiculous. All of it. But this is the world we live in. Ironically, I’m sure there is someone telling their friend how he saw a picture on instagram of a 9 month old stripper and he’s very likely finishing his statement the same way: “This is the world we live in”. The difference is, the world that guy lives in needs to be safe guarded to a point that he might as well live inside a fucking marshmellow. So to that person and people like him/her, stop. If you don’t like something , turn it off, change the channel or unfollow it. Whatever the case, leave me and every other marginally sane adult the fuck out of it. There are real creeps out there doing creepy things all over the place. You’re busy turning people in for jaywalking. Pick your battles but, most of all, mind your business. It’s really not that hard.

Feel free to judge me

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It’s strange that it’s gotten to this point but the phrase “you’re being judgmental” , when typed on the internet, has become one of my least favorite things said by assholes. Wait, is calling people who say that on the internet “assholes” being judgmental? Yup. Very. Here’s the thing though…we are all Judgmental. You. Me. Your mom. Your shrink.That cute old lady. Everyone. Some people are better about it than others and some people take it way overboard but , the fact of the matter is, it’s human nature. To look or hear something and not react to it in some sort of way would be strange. One can simply not care but even that person is judging in some fashion.

So, as a person who writes stuff on the internet as well as makes music for public consumption, I’m pretty used to being judged. For better of for worse. Now, with music, it’s an unavoidable pitfall. I don’t think anyone ever tells budding musicians “Hey, enjoy the creative freedom of making music but just know that you’re entire existence will hinge upon the judgment of others. ESPECIALLY strangers.” That’s something you learn as you go along. In the same sense, you learn to either be affected by it or not. I will say, it’s hard to not feel it at least a little. After all, this is your art. This is what you spend hours working on alone in a room (or where ever you make it). But the domino effect of that process is that, down the line, someone is going to tell you what they think whether you like it or not. That’s just a part of making music. Especially in this day and age when any asshole with an internet connection can bootleg an album, skim through the first 15 seconds of each track then go on a message board or youtube and tell the world how much it sucks. Are they being judgmental? For sure. But that’s just humans being humans. While I think these types are generally pieces of shit, you can’t scold the fish for pissing in the ocean. It’s just how things are and we have to begrudgingly accept it.

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On paper, this should infuriate us all. But the thing about being judgmental is that, if you take a stand against it, you are in fact being judgmental. You are judging the person who you accused of judging something else. The internet is a never ending spiral of this. People calling out other people for doing exactly what they are doing.

As someone who writes dumb tweets daily, I come across these types of people fairly often. They love nothing more than to get up on their virtual soapbox and tell me exactly what a judgmental asshole I am. Admittedly, I invite it with some of the things I may write from time to time. But the irony of them pointing the finger is lost on them. The thing about this whole mindset is that I struggle to see what universe it’s based in. Surely not this one…Not the planet I live on where every single thing a person does, that involves the looking eyes of another person, is somehow scrutinized. It’s not just in a negative sense either. You walk an old lady across the street, people who see you doing that are gonna judge you. The ruling might be “He’s a good person”, but it’s a judgement nonetheless. Judgment is important. It separates people from other people. If we didn’t judge things, people, foods, situations, we’d just walk around like huge bricks of motionless soy products with faces on them, smiling and talking about the weather. As bad as someone judging someone can be, it serves it purpose. It is short sighted to look at a stranger and, based on their outfit, draw an opinion on them. But, at the same time, some people are asking for it. As dangerous as “reading a book by it’s cover” is, I’d guess it’s probably got an 80% success rate. And the fact that we, as humans, have brains that react that way is really not in our control. The best we can do , in attempts to seem like better people, is keep these judgements to ourselves. But to say you don’t have them? Bullshit. No typical person is that zen on the internet or in life. It’s impossible to be. I think that’s what gets me most about the anti-judmental judges. It’s as if they think they live in a world where no one looks at other people and evaluates. unless you’re a buddhist monk, I don’t wanna hear that shit.

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Even the most peaceful, human loving, good natured hippie on earth judges. He may be a lot less of a dick about than say, me, but if you think he’s living life , walking around and not constantly judging everything that goes on around him, you’re insane. I’m sure he saw those new sandals you bought and told you they’re awesome (that’s a judgement). But, on the low, he thought they were simple okay. What a dick.

I embrace being judgmental. It’s how I guide my way through life. Without it, I’d have shitty taste in music, movies, food and friends. Call that being elitist but I question anyone (As well as judge them) who doesn’t do the same. It’s called having taste. It’s called knowing what you like and dislike. To be a person who doesn’t do that…I don’t even know what the point of living would be. Perhaps just living to die without any thoughts in your head or, even worse, ignoring the natural thoughts that run through your brain constantly in an attempt to seem “fair and balanced”.
The idea of being “accepting” of everything is cute but not realistic simply cause most of “everything” is pretty shitty. It’s our job , as humans, to make our own minds up and pick and choose. I’m sure it’s been going on since the caveman days. You think Grog didn’t judge Throlg’s cave art? Of course he did (Grog was a known prick).
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So, as much as it pains me, get your judge on. You’re judging this right now and that’s fine. It’s how this works. Love it or hate, I Accept it. Just do me a solid and NEVER scold me for being judgmental. Not cause it’s not true but because you’re no better than me , no matter what you think…cause you think. Just like me.

Top 10 types of people I meet at shows.

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I’m heading out for three quick dates in the northwest tomorrow (vancouver, seattle and portland, what’s up!?!) and that got me thinking about all the types of people I come across when I tour. A veritable shmorgasbord of folks. I’d say 90-95% of them are cool. I have genuinely nice chats with people. They’re pleasant , gracious and sometimes very cool. So, this is in no way taking shots at my fans. I’m lucky to have any of you motherfuckers. That said, I can’t front…there are patterns in behaviour I can’t ignore. No matter where I play, what part of the world, what time in the year, every show brings out certain specific types of people. If you read this blog, you know I’m a fan of sweeping generalizations. Hell, it’s in the header. So, I figured it would be fun to list the top ten types of people I meet at shows. Perhaps you’ve seen these people at other shows (This list surely isn’t just applicable to my fanbase at all) or maybe you’ve been one of these people at some point in your life? Either way…trust me when I tell you that on any given night AT LEAST 6 of these people are at every show I’ve done in the last 5 years. Let’s get into it, in no specific order.
(also it should be noted that none of the pics I used below are people i’ve met or known Just random shit I found via google image searches)

1)Local mover and shaker/promoter
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By far the most common person I come across is this guy. He’s got his feet barely planted in whatever city I’m in’s local music scene. He didn’t promote the show I’m currently playing but he has big ideas for the future. Typically, they involve bringing me back to this city in the near future and playing in some sort of tiny lounge he works at for a small amount of money. Now, there is nothing wrong with these dudes (cause, without promoters , I don’t play anywhere) but it is telling when I tell them to holler at my booking agent, they recoil. That’s a bad sign. Any promoter who tries to book shows “on the side” is never a good look. That’s like a girl trying to bone you and then when you tell them “sounds good but I gotta go get some condoms” and they’re like “oh, really? hmm…lemme get back to you about that then…”.
The funny thing about these dudes is they’re everywhere, no matter how small the scene. It could be some backwoods town in eastern europe or in L.A., it doesn’t matter. They’re always the same guy. That said, I’m sure this guy eventually becomes a “real” promoter at some point and this is just his larva stage. Turns out, larva can be pretty annoying.

2)Random old person
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To be clear, I’d consider myself a random old person at one of my own shows…but I digress.
At every show there is someone I meet who I’m shocked to see out. Not cause they shouldn’t be out but simply cause I can’t fathom going to the kinda show I do when I’m in my 40’s/50’s. It’s actually kinda awesome to see someone like that at one of my shows cause I know they’ll get a ton of the references I play during my set that flies over the heads of the typical 20-something. These people are always super nice and have a relaxed air about them. Sometimes, there is a definite cougar aspect to the ladies as I’ve found that the most brash sexual advances I’ve ever had thrown at me have been from women in their late 40’s/early 50’s. On some “Honey, you need an woman with experience…” type shit accompanied by some flirty eyes that were probably the shit in the 80’s. I won’t lie, it kinda grosses me out but it’s never not flattering. Imagine how a dude like Tom Jones must feel…

3)girl on molly who wants a million hugs
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Molly wasn’t a thing at my shows until the last five years. Now it’s pretty much a staple. It’s not hard to spot the people that are rolling. Aside from a clenched jaw, the clothes are a dead giveaway. You’re wearing a furry animal hat indoors but also wearing what looks like a cave woman bikini? You’re on molly. I know this. Throw in a hula hoop over your shoulder and you might as well walk around with a sign. Now, as someone who did Molly recently, i get it. It makes you feel great. Touching is awesome. So, it’s no surprise when I’m chilling at the merch booth and I am asked to give hugs to girls on Molly. Typically they’re super festive (duh, they’re rolling their brains out), kinda sweaty (they’ve been dancing) and a little manic. The thing about working my own merch booth is that I’m pretty much a sitting duck. If someone decides they wanna hang out by me all night, they can do that if they so desire. So, Molly girls do what molly girls do. The happily float around the room spreading love. This means, they do a lap, get a hug, go dance, do another lap, get another hug and so on and so on. There’s nothing wrong with it but watching the pattern is always entertaining to me.

4)The fearless collaborator
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This one is ballsy and at EVERY show. This is the person who also makes music , meets you (me) and figures , fuck it, we should work together. Why? Cause I make music and he makes music. why the fuck not? It’s not like I have specific interests musically and tend to only work with people I know/respect. Fuck all that, right? Nope…this guy is so confidant in his craft that he pretty much assumes he can walk up to the guy who’s show he’s come to see and a musical duo will be formed even though I’ve never heard what he does and we just met. The balls that takes is impressive. Often, I don’t even think it’s balls as much as that person just having no clue how things work. I suppose you could file it under “networking” but that’s kinda like filing rape under “dating”. I simply can’t get into the headspace of someone who does this. I mean, I get WHY they do it, i just can’t fathom ever being that type of person. Just a heads up to these types: in general, no one who’s even a little bit established is trying to collaborate with a stranger. That just doesn’t happen. Sorry. Nothing personal. But the fact that both you and I make music doesn’t automatically mean we’re compatible. it just means we stand under the same , humungous umbrella, along with ,like, millions or other people.

5)drunk guy
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Oh, the drunk guy. Good old drunk guy. There are many variations of this guy at every show but one common theme remains…he’s a fucking mess. He slurs compliments, repeats himself over and over, gives 1000 pounds. He spills beer on your merch table. He interrupts other people you’re talking to under the guise that he’s helping you. He’s a disaster. We’ve all been there. The thing about drunk guy is that there is nothing you can do with him. He’s fragile and unpredictable. Say the wrong thing and he’s mad. politely ask him to chill, he could lose his shit. With these guys, you must be delicate. You kinda just have to let them run their course like a flu. My way is to just nod and say yes until they run out of shit to say and hopefully wander away from the merch table. This can be a long process cause, like I mentioned above, the amount of shit they repeat is truly amazing. I’ve literally had a dude sloppily tell me I “changed his life” about 50 times, each time giving me a pound afterwards. It was like groundhogs day but over the course of 15 minutes. The irony was I’m pretty sure he had heard maybe 3 of my songs ever.
Sufficed to say, these dudes are kinda the worst.

6)Drunk girl
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Not to be out done, the drunk girl is it’s own beast. While they don’t tend to corner you and repeat compliments forever, they do have a sense of entitlement rarely seen in people who aren’t billionaires. This transcends shows but the amount of girls who have come up to me and assumed I would just give them free shit cause they own vaginas is astounding.
In general, I find drunk girls at shows go two ways. Drunk and in love or drunk and angry. The love girls are basically just sloppy flirters who, in reality, don’t even really wanna make shit pop off. They’re just there with drunk googly eyes talking shit. They’re kinda fun and pretty easy to manage. The angry drunk girls though…it’s like getting brief glimpse into what it’s like to be this girls boyfriend. So many feelings. So much confusion. These girls are not as common but then they rear their head, I try and get away as quick as possible. Luckily for me, when they’re drunk and angry, it’s usually cause of something else so they’re easily distracted.

7)The guy who hangs around the merch table, saying he’s gonna buy shit but never does, still he hangs out all night
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This is pretty much either the worst kind of indecisive person or a male groupie. This dude hangs HARD. He asks tons of questions about the merch, picks it up, looks at the back, says he’s gonna find an ATM and then comes back in five minutes to repeat the same cycle. Now, this doesn’t really bother me that much. I get the feeling that most of these dudes are just guys that wanna kick it a little and are nervous just blatantly doing so. Or, they’re dudes in serious financial binds that have them in deep contemplation as to whether spending $20 on a record is gonna put them out on the street. Either way, these guys are generally harmless. And wishy washy. They’re wishy washy as fuck.

8)Disappointed hippie
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The emergence of hippies at my shows has been a weird one. I realize it’s all an off shoot of the burner crowd. It’s generally fine with me. Hippies are typically nice and accepting. And high. However, every now and then I’ll meet one and we’ll get to talking. A minute or so into it, it will become clear to this guy/girl that I’m not exactly on that same page. I don’t care about crystals , i don’t love going to festivals and I’m not even really a fan of nature. Keep in mind, I’m always nice about it and this convo never gets super awkward but there is something a little heartbreaking about seeing the twinkle in a hippies eye dim as they realize “Oh, this guy is just some city loving asshole…”. It’s a look I’m so very familiar with. So much so that i try and just not let it happen any more. In fact, I’ll treat most rambling hippies like I do drunk guys. Let them run their course. Accept the crystals. Nod approvingly and wait for them to finish. It can be time consuming but that look is crushing and I’d like to avoid it as much as possible.

9)mystery drug guy/girl
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Seeing people at shows I have become hyper aware of what drugs people are on. I can tell a cokey guy from a molly guy from a stoner guy with pin point precision. Every now and then though, I’ll come across someone on some whole other shit. Is it a drunk girl on shrooms? Is it some guy in the midst of a DMT trip trying to speak? I have no idea. The thing about these types is that lack of knowing makes them wild cards. I know how to deal with specific druggy people but these guys? No clue. In general, I find myself on the defense with them just out of safety.
The other day I was at this show and this girl started talking to me. she was slurring her words and doing the “repeat the same sentiment over and over again” thing. At first, I assumed she was just wasted. But she had an edge to her fucked-upness that felt different. Eventually she said “hey, do you want a cut of me?” huh? I thought it was the strangest sexual offer ever but then she repeated herself “Do you want some ketamine?”
Ohhhhhhhhh! Mystery solved.

10)guy who’s never heard me or my music but wants to do business with me
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This fucking guy. Much like the local promoter guy and the fearless collaborator, this dude is just shooting first and asking questions later. This is how it starts:
He comes up to the merch booth with a friend. His friend introduces us and he says “I’ve never heard your stuff before but my friend thinks I’ll like it”. Pleasantries get exchanged and they keep it moving. Then a little later, that guy comes back to the booth to shoot the shit. It’s all good. just casual conversation. At some point in that discussion, the guy decides, even though he literally has no idea what kinda music I even make (it could be bluegrass for all he knows) that he’s ready to bring me into any business plan he’s got going. He runs a website! needs music. He throws warehouse raves! needs a dj. He owns a taco truck! Needs a theme song. It doesn’t matter at all…he just knows that , whatever i do, he wants a piece of it. The beauty of this guy is that, after the show, he’s never around. That might actually mean he hated my shit but, you know what, I’m okay with that. Better that than whatever else he had planned for me.

Cool art, bro

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Even though I grew up surrounded by fine art, I admittedly don’t really know anything about it or understand it very well. My dad was an artist and I attended all sorts of art related events from a young age. I worked in galleries. I’ve met countless artists who are both respected and successful only to forget their names the moment they walk away. Perhaps it was my own form of youthful rebellion to simply not give a fuck about it. Or maybe I took the parts I like from it (the creativity, the lifestyle of freedom, the “anything goes” mindset in terms of careers) and ignored the other parts that didn’t make sense to me. Truth be told, I honestly never got too into fine art cause I was simply not good at it. I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t paint. My sculptures looked like petrified shit slabs. In fact, you should see my handwriting. It’s as if I do it while riding a horse. So, read this with that in mind. While I am technically an “artist” in the sense that people who make music are artists, I’m not an artist like the people I’m talking about here. I’d also like to clarify that, while it may seem like I’m shitting all over artists and art in general, I’m not. They do something I cannot do. From Bob Ross to the worlds most renowned painter, I can’t do that shit so it’s all equally impressive to me (and also kinda boring as well but, hey, that’s just how I see it). The bottom line is, this is all coming from a humble place and a guy who admittedly less talented than most people.

Over the years there have been many types of art that I scoff at. Like some dude who built a waterfall and called it art (nah b, you’re not an artist, you’re a landscaper) or that thing that people did in central park in 2005 with “The gates”. Maybe it’s just me but turning central park into a croquet course for lazy giants just didn’t work as “art”. I understand that art is everything. But I take issue when people just kinda do some random bullshit and act like they’re changing the game. It’s the equivalent of when David Blaine stops doing card tricks and starts calling “watch me not drink water for a month!” a magic trick. It’s just not the same thing.

You take that and add in the concept of “Performance art” and the lines get even more blurred. With performance art, you can literally do anything and it’s accepted. Sometimes I wonder why more people don’t just do that…literally anything…and give it a faux deep/politically charged name. The beauty of art is that you can spin it anyway you want. The ugliness of that same facet is that it leaves the door open for endless bullshit and fakery. I could do an art show where I line up five homeless dudes, light them on fire and pissed out the flames. I could call it “Giuliani” and I would be a genius. I’m just saying, the line between brilliant and absolute crap in that world is microscopically thin.
Last week, Jay-z did a performance art piece in a NYC Gallery (I’m literally too indifferent to google which gallery).

What he did was rap his song “Picasso baby” for 6 hours straight. While this is a feat of endurance (I’d imagine David Blaine is a little salty he didn’t think of it first), watching the video I couldn’t help but feel like I’ve seen it before. Oh wait…his performance art piece was basically like every overbooked, crappy underground rap show I’ve ever seen except:
1)In a well lit room
2)Only one rapper who won’t shut the fuck up, as opposed to 30.
3)lots of old white people
4)people looked genuinely happy
5)It probably had good sound

It got me thinking, man what if that was the point of Jay’s Performance piece? A biting commentary on shitty underground basement ass rap shows. Clearly, it isn’t. But it could be and that would have had way more depth than whatever bullshit explanation he actually has for this.

The thing is, I’m not even mad at Jay. I think his new album is pretty good for a 42 year old who doesn’t really have anything to say or prove. I’m a long time fan. He certainly takes risks, albeit very calculated ones. This was just another thing that jumped out and reminded me how comically corny and pleased with themselves the entire art world is. And that goes out to all forms of art. From a painter who uses tampon blood to the movie star explaining why this action movie is better than the other action movies to the Dj who acts like he’s a genius cause he has the hang of Serrato and happens to play whatever music is popular with teenaged girls. It’s all under the same umbrella and it’s all bullshit.
This isn’t to say there aren’t real artists under that umbrella. Obviously, if there weren’t , none of us would be talking about this. There are those who inspire and make all this worth it. Jay-Z has been that artist for me in the past. Not so much lately but I can’t really knock a man who’s so rich and bored he doesn’t know what to do with himself. After all, that’s goal right? Getting to the point where you can do whatever you want cause no one can say shit to you at the end of the day. Well, that and personal and spiritual fulfillment, whatever that may be.

I think for his next trick, Jay-z should take 10 of the most revered paintings ever and copy them but with crayons. I’m joking but, seriously,I’d probably buy one if I could afford it. Jay-Z’s “The scream” Would be fucking hilarious.