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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

Music Geek - Rock & Roll Jeopardy Champ Certified!

Poop Culture

Visit my other blog, Lost in the '80s - do it now, dammit!

Friday, February 10, 2006


Our family went to the same Baptist Church for years and years, hearing sermons from Pastor Tom that ended the same way – with the congregation asked to sing the hymn “Just As I Am” while waiting for anyone who was “lost”, “unsaved” or “backslidden” (which meant you accepted Jesus and your savior sometime in the past, but you were a little out of practice and needed to “rededicate” your life to the Lord) to come up to the altar and pray for God’s forgiveness. Pastor Tom was never satisfied until at least three or four people haltingly came forward, kneeled down and prayed. Even if attendance at the service was limited to the hard cores (say, our family and three others), we’d be forced to sing “Just As I Am” over and over again until someone finally broke and came forward to pray. Often this spiritual showdown meant dragging out a service that was supposed to end at noon until 1pm, sometimes longer, all while singing the same song:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Sure, there were other verses, but no chorus. Structurally, the song was a nightmare, but I suppose its near chant-like quality was one of its charms to Pastor Tom. After a few years of this song, I got so tired of hearing it, I began to get physically ill each time it started. Once, I even went forward and kneeled to pray just to make it stop. Actually, I prayed for God to send a meteor from Heaven down to destroy that fucking organ which croaked out the tune endlessly each week. When no meteor appeared, I took it as a sign that there truly Was No God.

I remembered this “rededication” song and dance this week while contemplating what to do with this here blog. I’m going to be brutally honest and I apologize in advance if anyone gets hurt by any ancillary shrapnel – if you think I’m talking about you or your blog specifically, don’t take any offense. I’ve been holding back far too much lately on this thing, and I’m going to come right out and say it now: It’s made for some pretty fucking boring reading.

Yup, I’m calling myself out. For the past few months, this blog has been pretty hacky and a major snoozefest. There’s a few reasons for that…firstly, it’s entirely frustrating for me to vent my spleen, pour my heart out about things in my past, labor over every word, and yet be stuck at a traffic plateau I can’t seem to break. Meanwhile, I see many other blogs that do nothing more than list links of news each day grow and grow. Then there are what I call “A Day In the Life”(not Greg's) blogs, named after the annoying Paul part of the classic Beatles song because of their content – “Woke up / got out of bed / dragged a comb across my head.” These blogs get thousands of hits per day and I’m just at a loss. So I stopped giving it my all. I started just listing news stories, funny links, pics and general banality. And you know what?

My traffic went up.

So, let’s recap – insanely jealous, increasingly bitter blogger decides to quit being real with his writing and hack it out. Traffic increases. Bitter Blogger becomes less and less interested (Lost in the 80s doesn’t count – that comes very easily to me). But then Bitter Blogger remembers why he writes this thing…for himself, not for others. Readership just kinda came along with the territory. And you know what? You guys are pretty fucking consistent and loyal, despite the low-rent goings on here the past few months, which is both noted and highly appreciated. With realization, Bitter Blogger is faced with a choice…continue things the way they are, stop the blog completely or…

…rededicate my life to the Lord. Just As I Am.

That’s what I’ve chosen to do. So what does this mean for Johnny Is A Man? This site’s been a music blog, a news outpost, and a diary, all of which adds up to a bit of an identity crisis. But you know, all those things are a part of me.

Just As I Am.

And all those things will continue to be part of Johnny Is A Man. But expect to see more thoughtful, lengthy pieces in the tradition of “The Night Before”, “House Shopping”, and “25 Year Loop”. Expect to see them with more frequency. And expect continuations of “Tales from the Dragon Club” and “Shattered”, which have been in limbo for over a year now. Expect to see me getting a little more involved with other blogs, some fairly high-profile, since I’ve been asked and accepted to write some features for them.

It’s gonna be a fun ride. I’m sincerely touched and happy you’re here for it. Tell your friends.

It starts next week.

P.S. I hate the design of this place. Anyone wanna help a brotha out?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

picture this - a sky full of thunder

Ladies and Ladygents, let's hear it for Matthew A.'s self portraits.

Now, if I could take decent pics like these, you might see some more Johnny boobage up in heyah. That always helps traffic and beats writin' stuff.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Thoughts Whilst Channel Surfing

"Today on Tyra - Tyra confronts her biggest fear...DOLPHINS!"

I'd watch it, but I have an irrational fear of people with an inflated sense of self-importance earned via WEARING OTHER PEOPLE'S CLOTHES.

BTW, Friday's "Tyra" sounds positively TiVo-riffic:

Friday, February 10th
"Transsexual Top Model"

You won’t believe these beauties are all really men! Tyra searches for America’s next “Transsexual Top Model!” The outrageous Janice Dickinson, former club kid James St. James and drag icon and recording artist Kevin Aviance judge guests in a “Top Model” style competition to decide who will walk away with a Tyra-directed high-fashion photo shoot, a spread in Instinct magazine, and a modeling contract!

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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