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Friday, August 13, 2004

New Jersey Governors and Martyr Complexes

I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my jaded view towards this whole New Jersey mess.

I do have a little compassion for what was most definitely a tough choice to make, but again, this guy ain't no hero, folks.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Proud Only When Busted

Fuck McGreevey.

This man is not brave. This man is not to be held up as a pillar of the gay community (whatever that means these days). This man is a coward, a liar and only came clean after being caught with various body parts in another man's cookie jar.

Within months, he'll be on the cover of the Advocate and Out Magazine with blaring headlines about his "brave struggle" and "difficult choices".

Again, fuck him. There are thousands of men and women working in the military, offices and yes, even government who are proud and unashamed of who they are. Those are the heroes.

Not this cheating, lying closet fuck.

From the above link:
Earlier this year, McGreevey signed a domestic partners law granting gay and lesbian couples many of the same rights as married couples. But he explicitly opposed same-sex marriages throughout the 2002 campaign and his administration.

McGreevey called on judges in 2002 to reject petitions seeking to legalize same-sex marriages, saying they would have a “detrimental impact ... in the state of New Jersey.” He stepped into the national controversy over same-sex marriages last March when he directed the state attorney general to order local officials not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Fuck you and fuck your sham marriage, McGreevey. Seeya on the lecture circuit.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004


An impending trip back to Cleveland later this month (August 19-24) to visit family and friends has me replaying events of my youth living in the shadow of the nuclear bomb way back in the mid-eighties. For some reason, I’m being taken back to my time as an alternative rock kid, or as we were called (incorrectly) back then, a “punker”, and how my kind survived in small town Ohio.

Growing up in suburban Elyria, Ohio in 1984-86, the biggest thrill was hopping in my ’73 Maverick of many colors (a green hood here, orange side panel there, blue passenger’s side door there) with a group of high school friends and driving into the Big City – Cleveland – to go record and clothes shopping to all the indie and underground record and clothing shops in Lakewood and Coventry. Elyria had one mall – Midway Mall, a now-mammoth, sprawling home to Sears, JCPenney, and much more. But back in the day, all Midway Mall really had to offer was a Woolworth’s, a few smallish department stores and a Camelot Music location, stuffed with the most mainstream vinyl at the outrageous list price of $8.98. While you could special order, say, Split Enz “WAITA”, you had to wait a few weeks for it to arrive. And when it did, chances are it sat behind the counter for weeks at a time with your contact information taped to it, waiting patiently for a worker to deign to bend over, pick it up and call you to come get it. Not ideal.

So, as our little compact group of punkers’ tastes changed and got more sophisticated, we soon outgrew Elyria’s sole Camelot Music location and hungered for a new source of hip, esoteric vinyl. I mean, there was a copy of Echo & the Bunnymen’s “Crocodiles” out there somewhere and I didn’t want to wait for it any longer. Luckily, I began a part-time job at the local Wendy’s when I turned 16, and that introduced me to some new people outside of my high school experience who in turn would introduce me to life in the Big City. Two of these most influential co-workers were Tony and Brad.

Tony was a bit older than I, say about 22 years old, and he towered over everyone at 6’4”. He was long, lanky and had shaggy, long, fried-out metal head black hair that he had to tie up when in Wendy’s drag. Strangely enough, he was a metal head, with extreme taste for the blackest of black metal, including Venomm (TWO m’s!), Exodus and Slayer.

He also loved Tears for Fears.

Now, keep in mind, this is in 1985, just before Tears for Fears broke through into the mainstream with their “Songs From the Big Chair” album that included the hits “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Shout”. At this point in their career, they were known only for that strange duo from the U.K. who did those funky “Change” and “Mad World” videos on MTV, if anyone knew of them at all. And believe me, it was a big deal if anyone in Elyria knew about Tears for Fears, much less was a fan. Despite his otherwise shitty taste in music, Tony and I bonded instantly over the beauty that was “The Hurting”. Having the same twisted sense of humor didn’t hurt either.

One of the first things you learn working at Wendy’s is the order in which condiments go on a burger. And believe me, there is an order that stands even to this day. When you are assembling a Wendy’s hamburger, the condiments are applied to the bun thusly:
• Mayonnaise
• Ketchup
• Pickles
• Onion
• Tomato
• Lettuce
• And then mustard on the meat itself.
Tony would usually work the grill, while I was stationed next to him assembling the sandwiches. We made up a fun little song to the tune of “Mad World” to help pass the time:
All around me are some Wendy’s patties
Buns and fry vats
Buns and fry vats
Mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, onion, tomato
Onion, tomato
And them some lettuce

And I find it kind of tasty
I find it kind of swell
The burgers are delicious
But making them all is hell
I find it kind of funny
Cuz I find them hard to “ate” (that mangled English was my favorite part)
If you knew how we touched them
You’d be very, very
Mad, girl
Mad, girl

And so on. Trust, it was hilarious. Anyhoo one day, Tony asks me what I think of “Mother’s Talk”. I had no idea what the fuck he was babbling about.

“’Mother’s Talk’ is the new Tears for Fears single,” he explained. “Shattered Records got it on Monday.”

New Tears for Fears single? What? But, it’s import-only! And what the hell is a Shattered Records?

“Boy, you ARE from Elyria,” he said, shaking his head. “We’re both off tomorrow, so we’re taking a road trip.”

The next school day was one of the longest I could ever remember. I lived for music, so it was sheer torture knowing that one of my favorite groups had a new song out and the precious 7 inches of vinyl was sitting in a rack a mere 30 miles away. The minute the 10th period bell sounded, I was up, at my locker, out the door and down the street before it stopped. I was heading towards Mecca, and Tony the Wendy’s Working Metal Head was my guru.

Tony drove us up Route Two towards Lakewood. I was extremely excited, but I had learned to control my enthusiasm a bit more as I got older in a teenaged attempt to become cooler. We talked music the entire drive. Tony was glad to have someone else in Elyria that knew as much about rock as he did, even if his music buddy was six years younger and a high school sophomore. We turned off the highway at the West 117th St. exit and headed towards a smallish building with a red-painted wood exterior. It looked like one of those tiny neighborhood bars you see with no windows, except for a small one with a Miller neon sign in it. Only this window had a red neon sign that said simply, “Shattered.”

We had arrived.


Monday, August 09, 2004

Don't you wonder sometimes / About sound & vision?

Well, the first DJ gig in over a year went quite well. Pistons was pretty packed at one point, and the owners and event promoter seemed pretty happy with the turnout and response.

Your DJ
DJ or longshoreman? You decide.

As for me, it was a reminder of why I loved DJing in the first place, and also why I ended up quitting.

The loves:
• Seeing the crowd respond wildly to the most bizarre songs I would have never thought would get any response, i.e. Sweet "Fox on the Run", Placebo "Special Needs", Bowie "Cracked Actor" (you know I HAD to), and, oddly enough, The Go-Go's "Vacation".
• The many people who came up to say "Hello", compliment the DJ, gaze longingly at his PowerBook, and request good songs.

The Gear
The gear...a 12" PowerBook G4, lots of ampy things and a mixing board.

The hates:
• The one guy who arrived promptly at 8pm, raced right up the the DJ area and proceeded to tell me that he too was a DJ (wouldn't say what bar or what night), "suggest" many out of place and inappropriate songs, blab about my equipment and how he'd never use it, and generally annoy me ALL NIGHT until about midnight when he then asked me if he knew of anyone hiring DJs for other gigs. Sure dude, let me hook you up.
• The group of about four guys who came to DANCE, GURL! Sorry guys, this is a rock night. Actually, I can't blame them too much...that's the trouble with trying to institute a new night in an established venue -- when you place dance music every night of the week, it sort of stops people cold when you pick a night to NOT do it. So, they can be forgiven for requesting "SOME KYLIE! NO WAIT, BRITNEY!! YEAH, BRITNEY!"

Me & Matty
Me at about four beers and Matty/Boylinda.

A sample from the night's playlist:
Sneaker Pimps "Sick"
Smiths "Handsome Devil"
Redd Kross "Mess Around"
The Killers "Somebody Told Me"
Sugar "Helpless"
Goldenboy/Miss Kittin "Rippin Kittin"
Imperial Teen "Baby"
Boomtown Rats "Banana Republic"
Suede "Metal Mickey"
The Strokes "Reptilia"
Jobriath "IMAMAN"

...and that was just the first hour, kiddies.

Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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