I tried that spread that tasted like cookies… So you don’t have to!

I think by now, if you’re reading this, you know I have a bit of a sweet-tooth.

And by ‘a bit’ I mean ‘a lot’.

So when my local store brings out some new spread that tastes like goddamn honest-to-god biscuits (or cookies, for you Americans and web developers), well, what’s a boy to do but slap down $5 of my hard-earned cash to perform some sweet, sweet, biscuitty science?

FOR SCIENCE!
(also, totally not sponsored)

STRAIGHT OUT OF THE JAR

Well fuck my asshole and call me Riley Reid, this shit tastes like a pack of Milk Arrowroots just came in my mouth. The consistency can be described as the lovechild between Nutella and peanut butter. Gooey, but you couldn’t sculpt a circus tent out of it or anything.

ON BREAD

I got whatever bread was lying around. I’m not spending $2 on some punk-ass white bread just to justify an article. 5 Grains it is.

Then I got stuck.

“It’s a sweet spread.” I thought to myself. “So I don’t need butter on it.”

“But I use butter with jam. Hell, sometimes I’ll eat buttered toast like a savage.”

I decided to throw caution to the wind and try both.

Without butter, it was… a bit much. I may as well have just eaten it out of the jar for all the difference the bread made. It turned into paste into my mouth, but it wasn’t like peanut butter where it stays there for 10 years and everything you eat after that somehow tastes like peanuts.

With butter? Now there’s some fine eating. The savouriness of the butter cut through the biscuit and sugar and made the sweetness of the whole ordeal bearable. My grandparents used to feed me and my brother milk arrowroots with butter. This was that in bread form.

INITIAL FINDINGS

I have come to the conclusion that Biscoff is pretty fucking rad and I recommend you try it.

DISCLAIMER: It goes downhill from here. If my girlfriend and close friends are reading this, please judge me as the man you know me as, not the one writing this blog entry.

ON A PB+J SANDWICH

Biscoff already tastes like goddamn diabetes. So adding it to a Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich tastes like how a diabetic coma must feel.

This shit conspired with the jam (Blackberry, if you care enough) and overpowered anything savoury about this whole experience.

Bread? Gone

Peanut butter? Nonexistant.

Butter? I Can’t Believe it Went Bye-Bye!

Granted, I slathered the Biscoff on like it was peanut butter, so perhaps a different mix is required to complement everything. I however, do not get my hopes up that the experience will be any different.

ON A PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICH

I am not a seasoned chef, nor am I a foodie. I can cook for sustenance, but if you’re looking for a gourmet meal, we’re going out.

Okay, fine. We’re ordering in the cheapest pizza I can find and adding as many coupons as I can.

This, along with an apparent subconscious yearning to drastically shorten my life expectancy, has led to me trying some weird shit.

I think I’ve hit my limit with this disasterpiece.

I made a chicken sandwich as I normally would: Chicken, some sort of greenery, cheese, aioli, and -learning from my experience from the PB+J, added “just enough” Biscoff to complement the dish.

Hoo boy.

If I could associate the taste with a moment in my life, it was like seeing Tony Hawk skate for the first time on TV after hearing how great of a skater he was, and watching him eat shit on the first run.

It was like coming to the realisation that the Jennifer Lopez movie ‘The Cell’ was less a thought-provoking police procedural and more a big pile of set-piece whoring wank.

It was like realising that I’m literally trying to poison myself for a few clicks on a blog nobody reads.

My life flashed before my eyes, is basically what I’m getting at.

My first mistake was adding Aioli. I love the shit, but it pretty much killed the whole thing.

My second mistake was adding a sweet spread to a savoury sandwich.

It was just gross. Lesson learned.

ON DORITOS

Not to be deterred to find a diamond in the rough. I had a bag of plain Doritos from a games night I ran a few months back. Originally I was gonna buy some corn relish, but that day my stomach sung a different tune.

Okay, it pretty much made a noise approximating a frustrated sigh and let me get on with trying to send myself into the hospital.

Recovering from the dubious mix of Aioli and Biscoff, I just dipped a corn chip straight into the jar. Realising it wasn’t corn relish, the chip promptly broke and I had to dig the rest out with a spoon.

Science isn’t always easy.

Unlike the other concoctions I tried, this one turned out a bit of alright! Much like that sweet and salty popcorn you can buy, both flavours complimented eachother rather well.

I wouldn’t replace it for salsa on Nachos, or for my heroin-like addiction to corn relish, but hey, a win’s a win.

FURTHER EXPERIMENTS

I think after the chicken sandwich, I’ve seen all there is to see. I was contemplating sausages, or steak or something akin to a home-cooked meal, but that would just be not only re-creating the sweet + savoury combo found in the dorito experiment, but it’d be a waste of a perfectly good cheap meal.

I hypothesize, however, it would make a decent accompaniment to say, ice cream, or apple pie or something. Not so much a topping, but a side-piece akin to custard, or waffles or something.

But this is science for another day. Until then, I have to go get my stomach pumped and check my insulin levels.

Till next time…

I Have Concerns About the Final Fantasy VII Remake

For the uninitiated, I’m sure it felt surreal to see what the sciences would consider “A Metric Fuckton” of people freak out over a 22 year old game. But for us old farts in our late 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, the Final Fantasy VII: Remake trailer drop was a fun time had for all.

Except for this old fart. You know, the one writing this blog that you’re now reading.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m an absolute, nostalgia-ridden purist who thinks a remake when Square-Enix could make like, a dozen new games in the time this has taken is stupid, but FFVII isn’t by any means untouchable. Even if you think it is, it’s available on pretty much every platform at the moment. So you can enjoy it in it’s purest, 1997-est glory any time you like.

But here’s the thing: With the smoothing of some of the rougher edges that will inevitably happen with this remake, what else are Square Enix willing to smooth? (and I’m not even going to get into potential DLC here)

WARNING: SPOILERS WITHIN. If you somehow missed out on it in it’s 22 years of being around, might wanna get that sorted and avoid the following section.

Final Fantasy VII isn’t exactly the most family-friendly game. Filled with implied bestiality, implied homo-eroticism, VERY much implied eco-terrorism, cross-dressing, gambling, exploitation of women, and if you wanna push it, unsafe motorcycle riding, and that’s just on the first disc.

In fairness, he wouldn’t be able to fit a helmet over his spiky fucking head

And that’s all fine. I’m no prude. Without them, Final Fantasy VII as we know it wouldn’t be the weird, esoteric, nearly-steampunk-cum-fantasy trip we all know and love. But think to yourselves now: How necessary are these scenes in a modern gaming environment?

In one particular scene, Cloud has to cross-dress to enter the Honey Bee Inn. Which is… Look, it’s a brothel, okay? No two ways about it. There’s women, people pay to spend some naughty-time with women, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it’s not a cat, is it?

Anyway, Cloud cross-dresses to enter the Honey Bee Inn to save Tifa, which opens up a whole sidequest of collecting clothes (including panties), getting the right perfume, lifting weights, and um… This.

So many moustaches…
…So little time

In another section of the game, there is almost a real-time strategy element where you have to defend Fort Condor from Shinra forces.

Meanwhile Mass Effect barely had a working car in it.

All of this is entirely optional, and that’s not even getting into the Golden Saucer minigames, the romance minigame, finding Yuffie, and so on. All optional, some important, any necessary? Probably not. And that’s what’s concerning me.

If, (or rather, when, at this point), we eventually get the Final Fantasy VII remake, this is the Final Fantasy VII I want. The almost perverse, gritty world of Midgar, warts, gambling, cross-dressing, implied gay sex and all. Since FF8, the other Final Fantasy games I’ve played have paled in comparison to the weighty girth of the amount of shit you can do in FF7, some even just railroading you into the right direction.

Fuck that. Give me my high-res 4K cross-dressing Cloud who gets banged by several gay dudes in a hot-tub. Give me Fort Condor, give me the stupid shooting-gallery laser game in the Golden Saucer which I was terrible at. It might not be necessary, but it’s Final Fantasy VII, damnit. (also having a gay orgy in a seemingly accessible game loved by all is progressive as hell for 1997, and that tickles me).

Whilst FF7 isn’t my favourite game in the series, let alone on the original Playstation (more of a Metal Gear Solid dude, if I’m to be honest), I’m gonna be really gutted if these things disappear in favour of slightly better graphics, slightly better mechanics, a slightly better Materia system, and a Cloud that doesn’t look like someone just melted a Lego man’s head and gave him a huge fuck-off sword.

Admit it. You were thinking it too.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Till next time.

The Curious Case of Cardinal Pell (and those who protect him)

Content Note: This will inevitably lead to a discussion about sexual abuse, child abuse, rape apologists, paedophilia, the works. Brace yourselves before reading if you’re sensitive to such topics, and of course, help is readily available:

LIFELINE: 13 11 14
KIDS HELPLINE: 1800 55 1800

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732

Some years ago, I was watching my then-girlfriend sing Handel’s Messiah with the choir she worked with. This, in turn, led to a chance meeting with one Cardinal George Pell. We said “S’up homie?”, shook hands, he declined my offer of a fist-bump and I thought nothing else of it…

…Until I saw his name in the paper a few weeks later saying he was accused of abusing a choirboy or two.

Fast forward to last month and Pell was finally convicted on multiple counts of child sexual abuse after this all was made hush-hush over the years, because of course, the church can do no wrong. There never was a epidemic of paedophilia in the Catholic church and there never was a priest or even a cardinal convicted of such a heinous crime. That’s only reserved for the folk that got their shit pushed in by Operation Yewtree, right?

Right…

Even up until recently there was a gag order on all media discussing the case -as pointless as it is in the age of the Internet, where I can catch up all the day’s goss in about five minutes-, because heaven forbid anyone talks about such a high-profile case, regarding a high-profile person, accused of a high-profile crime.

But the word’s out, Pell’s convicted, and people are talking. Several of whom, probably shouldn’t.

In an amazing example of “Not the Betoota Advocate”; Tony Abbott, John Howard, Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt, the Archbishop of Sydney, and I’m sure a slew of others have come out swinging in defence of the poor, oppressed Cardinal, inferring that it’s all a smear campaign. He’s a “good bloke”, he “was wrongfully accused”. The usual tripe that plagues cases like this (big and small) when your mate down at the pub grabs someone inappropriately.

What amazes me more in the cases of Bolt and Devine, is that News Corp thought that having their two most prominent columnists defend a convicted paedophile was perfectly fine and dandy.

The kicker for me was this fucking doozy from Pell’s Lawyer and 2019 winner of the prestigious “Stop. Just Fucking Stop.” award, Robert Richter, QC:

“This is no more than a plain, vanilla sexual penetration case where a child is not volunteering or actively participating,”

You know, because forcing oral sex on a choirboy is the vanilla-est thing. I myself can’t have a cheeky wank without being punched in the head and having my nipples hooked up to a car battery. #kinklyf.

but I digress.

In regards to the group above. Let me just say, under no uncertain terms, and on behalf of all that is left of kindness, goodness, and decency in this sordid fucking country; go fuck yourselves.

This wasn’t some Judge Judy-esque shitshow where everyone involved was kinda shit and you can’t look away because it’s an absolute trainwreck. This was a powerful person, taking advantage of his ranking, to abuse innocent children. Children. You know, the ones you were so committed to protecting when same-sex marriage was gearing up to be The Worst Thing Ever™.

I didn’t hear a goddamn peep from anyone when Rolf Harris was convicted, or Gary Glitter, or Robert Hughes. Nor did I hear a peep from the conservative rags when we all universally decided Jimmy Saville was an utter shit cunt (and nor should we, on both counts). But now it’s your best mate you feel so, so compelled to defend him, to call him after the conviction, to cite “undeniable evidence” he was wrongfully convicted, to offer character references.

Even Ray Hadley. Ray Goddamn-fucking Hadley called you guys out on this crap.

Let’s just unpack some of this bullshit, shall we?

“In my opinion, this is our own OJ Simpson case, but in reverse. A man was found guilty not on the facts but on prejudice,”

“Cardinal George Pell has been falsely convicted of sexually abusing two boys in their early teens. That’s my opinion, based on the overwhelming evidence.”


“Declaration: I have met Pell perhaps five times in my life and like him,”

“I am not a Catholic or even a Christian. He is a scapegoat, not a child abuser. In my opinion.”

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun.

Bolt sure likes his opinion, doesn’t he? Which evidently means he knows more than the victims who prosecuted against Pell, and thankfully isn’t admissible court evidence. I would wager if it was anyone else, he’d just be on his merry and state that we should let the courts do court stuff. Don’t even get me started on refugees.

“It’s devastating because I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral after Sunday mass when he was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996,”

Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph

Devine, a staunch Catholic, infamously accused the Victorian Police of using the accusations against Pell as a distraction from a crime epidemic in 2017.

Devine being Devine, I’m sure any pearls of wisdom I was able to glean in spite of News Corp’s paywall are as fair and balanced as you can get.

And you know what, Miranda? It does suck. It sucks that one of the most powerful people in the Catholic church couldn’t keep his saintly prick in his pants. And now he’s convicted. Boo fucking hoo.

But it’s fine. It’s all fine. We can get through this together. I tend to look to the Bible in tough times (mostly when a table leg needs more height), and I believe this may be of use to you:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:7. Paraphrased occasionally by Marilyn Manson

You asked in 2017 “how would you like to be labelled as a paedophile?”. Tell me, how does it feel to be defending one?

“Strength and sincerity have always been features of his personality. I have always found him to be lacking hypocrisy and cant. In his chosen vocation he has frequently displayed much courage and held to his values and beliefs, irrespective of the prevailing wisdom of the time.”

“[Pell is a] lively conversationalist who maintains a deep and objective interest in contemporary social and political issues.”

“I am aware he has been convicted of those charges; that an appeal against the conviction has been lodged and that he maintains his innocence in respect of these charges. None of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal.”

John Howard, Character reference of George Pell

Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Here’s the thing. You speak of prevailing wisdom, yet deem it fit to somehow defend a disgraced Cardinal. These matters should alter your opinion of the Cardinal. I suggest you take a “deep and objective” look at yourself and who you surround yourself with. But then you were the “Boat people are throwing their kids overboard” guy. So I doubt you’ll equip very much foresight in this matter.

Come to think of it, why the hell are you still relevant? We ousted you and your gang of shitheads in 2007. Go for a jog or something.

“I absolutely accept that this is a shocking result, a devastating result, but it is subject to appeal,”

“It certainly doesn’t sound consistent with the man I have known.”

“Yes, he has been convicted, he has been found guilty, and as the Prime Minister said, no one is above the law … but let’s wait and see what the law ultimately produces.”

“I accept that there has been a judgment of a court. I accept that there has been a verdict of the jury. I accept that this is a horrific crime. I accept all of that. But there is a process that is yet to be finalised.”


“I don’t claim to have the last word in wisdom and insight on any of these issues,”

Tony Abbott, 2GB

Tone, mate, you shouldn’t claim to have the last word in wisdom or insight on anything aside from eating onions and being a terrible Prime Minister.

You have stated that you will ‘accept’ the results of the case, yet you want to ‘wait and see’ what ultimately comes out of it? Guess what? There was ultimately, definitely and undoubtedly a result and they found your BFF guilty. You might have to re-arrange your nails-and-hair-plaits dates, my dude.

You all are no longer mouthpieces for Conservative Australia and the apparent voice of common sense. You are all paedophile apologists and hypocrites and should be goddamn ashamed of yourselves.

Even when evidence and the courts have out and out convicted Pell of the charges, you lot still praise the guy and wait around for some sort of smoking gun, some miracle evidence that will unequivocably reveal that your buddy’s actually an alright guy. All the while doing your Oscar-winning attempt at hand-wringing over the victims. You couldn’t give a shit about the victims. You just want this to all go away so you can keep trialling Muslims or Refugees in your paid position at the Court of Public Opinion.

I don’t expect much from any of you, because you’re all basically trash. But honestly? I expected better. Far better.

Till next time…

The State of Australian Radio (by way of Restaurants)

I bought a close equivalent of my ‘dream car’ about a year ago.

As with every junker I’ve owned, it’s come with some caveats. This time around, it’s the lack of Bluetooth connectivity, so goodbye my carefully curated Spotify playlists and listening to whatever the fuck I want. In it’s place, I have CD’s which are y’know, fine, but I’ve listened to all of the ones in my car at this point.

So that leaves the radio.

The more I think about it the more radio stations in Sydney fulfill a certain niche. Much like restaurants. So in the interest of bad similes, here’s a bunch of radio stations compared to restaurants.

TRIPLE M (104.9)

What it is: Sydney’s R-r-r-RAWKIN’ station du-jour. Expect lots of AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Queens of the Stone Age, and -of course- THE FOOIES!

What its Like: Triple M is the local pub/cafe/fast food joint you and your mates (and your parents, probably) have always gone to. The menu hasn’t changed in about 10 years, but it hasn’t become worse with time, either. It’s a bit bland and the staff are a bunch of dickheads, but it’s safe. You know exactly what you’re going to get. Of a weekend a bunch of tradies hang around and talk shit about the footy.

TRIPLE J (105.7)

What it is: The government-funded, allegedly bipartisan, youth-oriented station. Famous for the Hottest 100.

What its Like: You’ve known and have taken delight in this kinda-sorta well known for ages, and you rave to all your friends about how good it is. Then all of a sudden, something changes. The coffee might be a different blend, or the eggs aren’t done as well as you like it. I mean it’s still serviceable, but it’s no longer as great as it once was and now you’re questioning whether it was actually good, or you just convinced yourself to like it.

WAVE FM (96.5)/KIIS FM (106.5)

What it is: I’m… not actually sure. Found them whilst browsing radio stations after the 103rd replay of Acca Dacca (see: Triple M). Wikipedia tells me WAVE FM is a station for the Illawarra region, and KIIS is another commercial Sydney station.

What it’s Like: What I affectionately like to call a “They China Food” restaurant. You know the ones. They’re the “ethnic” restaurants found in regional towns that seem to collect cuisines that may be vaguely Asian-centric and like to do a bit of everything. Usually a front for a bootleg salmonella factory. Inexplicably fashionable with people far younger than you.

2GB (Google it. I’m not promoting these shitheads)

What it is: The “conservative” radio station.

What it’s Like: If you’ve ever seen the “Amy’s Baking Company” episode of “Kitchen Nightmares”, then you get the idea. If you haven’t, imagine a poorly-run family restaurant where all the staff is constantly yelling and you’re too afraid to get a refund.

LOCAL RADIO STATIONS

What it is: All local news, all the time. If you’re lucky they won’t play any Lee Kernaghan.

FUN FACT: I once had a pair of FM/AM radio headphones as a kid. The only station it could tune into was Southern Highlands FM. I learned a lot more about my hometown than I ever wanted to know.

What it’s Like: You’ve just arrived at the first hotel of your first holiday in 10 years. To celebrate, you decide to try some of the local specialties. You immediately regret this decision and wished you had opted for Domino’s instead.

THE CLASSICAL STATION

What it is: It plays classical music.

What it’s like: A fancy, overpriced restaurant you have no business being in. You only went to impress a date. You both opt to just share an entree and a bottle of wine and go to the pub for the rest of the night.

A Music Snob’s Look at Kiss

I have a confession to make.

I used to really love Kiss, you guys.

I have them in vinyl, toy, CD, MP3, and -at one point- in comic book form. I was super-bummed out by the fact they announced they were calling it a day (and bewildered by the fact they just kept playing about a month later). During my formative years, Kiss was my fucking life ever since I picked up (okay, okay, begged my parents to buy) “Psycho Circus” many, many years ago.

Then I grew older and… kinda forgot about them. I mean, they were still cool (and kinda still are), but I just lost interest. Perhaps not aided by the fact the internet fucking happened and a whole musical world opened up to me by way of Limewire (you kids these days have it easy. We had to give our computers AIDS to get free music), nor aided by the fact Gene Simmons is a massive toolbag.

So I thought it’d be fun, interesting, (and perhaps a nice change for those who’s music tastes I shit on regularly) to look back at my past, at something that -at one point- was a big fucking deal to me, and see if it still holds up to the test of time.

THE ARTIST

You probably know them, I wanted to be them. Women still -somewhat inexplicably- want to fuck them. I mean, they’re fucking Kiss! What more can I say?

Formed in the 70’s by Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, Kiss trudged along until the release of “Alive!” which brought the excitement and energy of their stage shows to the CD format. Bolstered by 1976’s “Destroyer”, Kiss were formally part of the rock n’ roll lexicon. Equal parts the bite of bluesy hard rock and the fanfare of glam rock, Kiss -for a time- were one of the biggest bands in the world…

…And then they squandered that by bringing out a bunch of dud albums, kicking out Criss and Frehley, and took the makeup off for a while. there was the occasional release such as “Revenge” which kept them in people’s minds, but they were not the untouchable rock gods they once were.

Prompted by a surprise appearance of Criss and Frehley at an MTV unplugged show, the original founding members reunited, toured all over the world and released… another dud album, “Psycho Circus”. I mean, I liked it, but I was young and didn’t know any better.

Nowadays they’re still trudging along and playing shows, and recently released “Monster”.

THE MUSIC

Coming from a band formed in the 70’s, expect bluesy rock jams, power ballads, songs about fucking, all the fun stuff. Since their inception, whilst their sound has evolved somewhat, not a lot has particularly changed. “Destroyer” is still the fucking tits, though.

SONG-BY-SONG

It’s hard to really pick a small handful of songs, here. With such a huge body of work and different iterations of the band, there’s an even mix of good and not-so-good songs. But I’ll do my best to keep this as concentrated as possible.

I Was Made For Loving You

Even if you’re not a fan of hard rock, you know this song. Kiss goes Disco, and it shows why Disco fucking died in the first place.

Deuce

Off of their debut, “Deuce” goes alright. Still definitely holds up. Way better live

Detroit Rock City

Kicking off their magnum opus “Destroyer” and promptly butchered by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “Detroit” fucking goes off live and is an impressive effort when listening normally. Totally sets the tone of the album and the band’s then-developed and matured sound

Strutter

If there was a litmus test for whether you’re going to like these guys or not, it’s “Strutter”. This is Kiss in a nutshell. For the love of god, though, avoid the remix “Strutter ’78” off of their compilation “Double Platinum”. Keep your ears pure. Stick with the original.

Rock n’ Roll All Nite

The other song everyone knows. Much like “I Was Made…”, catchy dreck without the disco. Once an anthem for the people, it’s just hokey now. Again, better live.

Unholy

Off of arguably their best “unmasked” album, ‘Revenge’, this is one of the best Kiss songs, and one of the best songs Gene Simmons ever put vocals to.

Lick it Up

There was only a few good songs off of the “Lick it Up” album, and this isn’t one of them. Avoid. Watch the music video for the cringe.

God of Thunder

Look, all of “Destroyer” is pretty fucking good, alright? Just go listen to it. I don’t, never did, and probably never will understand the random kids in the song, but whatever. Still good.

Love Gun

Hokey, but good hokey. It’s about Paul Stanley’s dick. What more can I say?

OH WAIT. Frehley’s solo work here is amazing. That too.

Sure Know Something

Another one off of Dynasty. It’s also not great.

War Machine

One of the hidden gems from “Creatures of the Night” Some tasty, tasty riffage can be found here. Why this never got its due I don’t know.

Psycho Circus

….Yeah okay. This still goes off. I still fucking love this song. Shame about the music video.

Calling Dr. Love

The greatest Kiss song ever. No question. Don’t like it? fuck you. It’s my blog.

Beth

Hoo boy. Okay. This is equal parts an alright song, and a warning why you never let your drummer contribute to the songwriting process.

All of “Music from The Elder”

…What? What the fuck? What even is this shit? Who are you fuckasses and what did you do with Kiss?

IN SUMMARY

So do they hold like they did in my childhood? Are the still the “hottest band in the world”? If you want the best, are you gonna get the best?

….Yes and no.

Here’s the thing: Kiss are equal parts rock band and stage show, and it’s hard to have one without the other. Especially because they know how to put on a fucking awesome rock show. But as musicians? They leave a lot to be desired. Given the amount of Kiss merch out there, they’re better businessmen then they are rock stars.

Yeah their songs go alright and I daresay younger me had a pretty good ear for music, but they’re basically Nickelback with make-up and debauchery. They’re average. Middle of the road. If you want your cock-rock minus Jon Bon Jovi and his obsession with being a fucking cowboy in lieu of making decent music, then listen to Kiss. Just don’t expect your ears blown off unless you see them live.

 

Till next time…

 

….No, seriously, what the fucking fuck was “The Elder”?! Jesus fuck.

 

 

Go Fuck Yourself, Faleena Hopkins

So this has been making the rounds.

For the link-adverse, romantic novelist Faleena Hopkins has trademarked the term “cocky” for her books. All usually with a title like “cocky cowboy”, “cocky biker”, “cocky garbageman”, so on and so forth. This, of course, because humans are trash, has led to several cease and desists sent out to other romantic authors for their use of the term. Apparently chick-lit has a lot of cocks. Who knew?

In a way, I get it. You don’t want anyone shitting in your cabbage patch. Shit like this is what led Metallica to sue Napster, George RR Martin to hate fanfiction, and KISS to slap their faces on pretty much everything imaginable.

I, er… what?

But a fairly unremarkable, and unassumingly common phrase

a) can’t usually be trademarked, because it’s doesn’t ‘belong’ to anyone

and

b) sets a pretty dangerous prescedent, should one be trademarked.

We’ve heard about people trying to trademark phrases before. Paris Hilton, Taylor Swift, being the two more memorable examples, both seemingly have fallen flat since their inception.

But good ol’ Hopkins has gone and done the thing. So here we are, and I have an announcement to make.

I will be writing a novel.

Purely entitled “Cocky”, because fuck shit like this, that’s why, it will be an Australiana-led piece about mateship, camraderie, maybe a bit of romance, and most importantly, this squawky fucker with a sick mowhawk:

If I’m going to be sent a cease and desist for anything, I may as well be a cheeky cunt about it.

Better yet, I’ll be releasing it for free right here on Don’t Eat the Felafel (though if you dig what I do, send a couple of bucks my way, willya? I hate my job)

Come at me, Faleena Hopkins. Barnes and Noble. 20 of your best mates vs 20 of mine. No guns, no nothin’.

A Music Snob’s Look at System of a Down

With the complete fuckaround which is Australian Politics at the moment, let’s get political! Let’s find some machines to rage against and some systems in which to… um. down.

Look, I’m talking about System of a Down, alright? Do I have to spell out everything? Fuck…

THE ARTIST

If by chance, you were an angry teen in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, you probably listened to System of a Down… Or Papa Roach, but Papa Roach are shit. So let’s ignore them.

SOAD brought out Toxicity in 2001, which simply, was the shit. Yes, yes, their other albums are enjoyable, but Toxicity will be their best effort for me. Even if it’s at times ridiculous. They were basically “that other political band your leftie metalhead mate listened to when he wasn’t listening to Rage Against the Machine”, and it shows.

Oh, and they were at one point fronted by Weird Al Yankovic.

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The likeness will never not be uncanny to me

THE MUSIC

Political, angry, but not afraid to be completely and utterly ridiculous while still somehow being political or at least commentating on society. Chic n’ Stu is a perfect example of this, as is Prison Song.

They get a little too “angry teen music” for me at times. I find Bounce! unlistenable, Chop Suey! is pretty much the anthem of every cranky little shit who ever thought a chain attached to a wallet was hardcore as fuck.

The shining star of SOAD, however, is the vocal work of Serj Tankian. He can be singing these wonderful melodies one minute, and then being a cranky little shit the next. Aided by Daron Malakian on guitar and backup vox. Technically, they’re good. Don’t always do it for me, but good.

SONG-BY-SONG

Toxicity

I can’t mention Toxicity without vomiting mountains of praise for it. It’s fucking great. Next song

B.Y.O.B.

The first song we heard when Weird Al led the band for a while there. It’s great up until the last few moment. the ending is way too jarring for me. Also I’m wondering if Daron Malakian can sing without screeching. that’d be great.

Chop Suey!

i-dont-always-wake-up-but-when-i-do

Again, the anthem of angsty teens everywhere. You can’t help but hate your parents and slam doors once you hear about angels dying. I… really don’t like it all that much. Overplayed, maybe?

Aerials

If I had to pick a favourite SOAD track it… Well, it’d be Toxicity, but this comes fucking close. This was actually the first song of theirs I heard, it has staying power but I’ve overplayed it to fuck.

Sugar

Okay, not gonna lie. It’s hard not to like this song. If you want an introductory to SOAD, this is it. Go. Do the thing.

Spiders

This kinda feels like “Aerials” before “Aerials” was “Aerials”. I like me some chilled-out SOAD. Like, you could have it on in the background as “doing shit” music, but it still packs enough punch to get into if the moment calls.

THE MUSIC VIDEOS

Holy shit. Where do I begin?

They are the epitome of tryhard 90’s/00’s ‘alternative’ music. Fred Durst ain’t got nothing on this. That’s not neccesarily a bad thing, but it’s totally a snapshot of a moment in time where things were simpler, producers didn’t have to be shouted out on every damn track they work on, and it was a requirement for record label contracts for bands to use an entirely white room for at least one music video. Seriously, what’s with that? Even The Matrix used it as their fucking weapons locker.

“Sorry about the noise. System of a Down and Blink-182 are using the rooms next door”

The exceptions seem to be “Question!” and “Spiders”, which really wouldn’t look out of place in a Tool/A Perfect Circle setting.

IN SUMMARY

Honestly? I could have written an entire entry on how good “Toxicity” is and leave it at that. They hold up, not my favourite band by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re enjoyable. Plus you can use ’em to pick out all the old farts like yourself at parties. They’ll be the ones involuntarily moshing or singing along to “Chop Suey!”, because damnit, that was their childhood.

And maybe that’s the thing, maybe I have a soft spot for SOAD because I grew up through friends, lovers, family listening to this shit. Not that I don’t like them in their own right, but, good reminder of happier times, y’know?

I’ve come to appreciate them a hell of a lot more these days, because I was the weird kid to listened to 80’s hair metal in highschool, who had a copy of KoRn’s “Follow the Leader” strategically stashed for the street cred. So a lot of SOAD’s work I’m hearing with fresh ears, and it’s been a hell of a ride.

 

Till next time…

 

New Beginnings

So in quick succession, I was broken up with by someone I thought the world of and -as stupid as it sounds in the context of polyamory- thought was “the one”, and injured my back at work. I have been hurt, confused, rejected, feeling like I have nothing left, in pain half the time, downing painkillers like they’re fucking Tic-Tacs (partially for the back injury, mostly because goddamn shit’s easier to deal with when you’re high), suicidal, less suicidal, and am now on some sort of even keel where -even though I’m depressed as balls and everything sucks- at least I can face the cuntarsed fucking day and at least tell it to fuck off. Suffice to say, it’s been a hell of a few weeks.

But this isn’t what I’m going to talk about. I already talked about how much breakups suck, how dating after a breakup is a miserable fucking affair, and how when you think it’s all better again, someone fucking swoops in and fucks with that. I hate repeating myself, so I won’t.

I turned 32 a couple of months ago. Which is scary enough.

I turned 32 a couple of months ago and I am starting a punk band as the beginnings of what will inevitably turn into a midlife crisis. Now that shit is scary.

I have never been in the music scene. I have been rostered on the door at The Newsagency, I have filmed live gigs, and I’ve seen more than I have filmed. But I have never been a “muso”. I never was a “muso”, I was just some dumb kid who happened to have a guitar. The first band I guess I was in, “Rare Breed”, didn’t even last a jam, which was barely a jam because the bass player was grounded and couldn’t make it, so it was just me and the drummer. This was year 8 in high school.

This was year 8 in high school.

Many, many years later, I am older, wiser and fatter, my hair is thinning to the point where my options are “shave it off” or “be blissfully ignorant”, and I’m that 14 year old kid again, wanting to start a band with his mates.

This shit terrifies me. I mean, at least now I have a few years of serious practice and sorta-self-tuition under my belt so I now know more than the intro to Nirvana’s “Come as You Are”, but seriously. I’m 32. I have no business playing in what essentially is my first band. Doubly so because my last creative pursuit ended up crashing and burning about two years ago and I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing. I should be behind a desk, working for “the man”, not fucking around pretending I’m Fat Mike (much like, as of a few years ago, I was pretending I was Kevin Smith)

Thankfully(or unfortunately, depending on your opinion of shitty punk bands), I lost all dignity ages ago and I was never one to kowtow to the idea of the wife, the kids, the white picket fence, the day job, the mortgage. I never had my shit together, why start now? Besides, I’ll probably be dead by my hand or by cancer at 45. So Carpe Diem? Carpe Punk Rock?

I guess my advantage here vs when I was doing film is I don’t need to make it my job. I have a job. it pays well. the band is a glorified hobby that I hope to fuck works out and I could live off of being a creative. I don’t have that stress of “where am I going to afford shit this week?”. I can afford shit this week, and the next, and the week after that. I don’t need to network, and schmooze and make nice with people I hate just in the ever-so-slight chance I might be hired back again. I don’t have to be a responsible, adult, business owner, I just have to write a song based around three chords and play it, and if I play it badly, it’s fucking Punk rock, it’s more endearing if it sucks.

But it still scares me. The thought of embarking on some new bullshit journey in my life scares me, the fear of fucking it all up scares me. The fact that -short of some pretty fucking amazing people and a supportive girlfriend- it’s pretty much all I have left scares me.

But if Internet Explorer can fortify enough to ask to be my default browser, I can probably fortify enough to write good music, to be played by bad, drunk musicians.

Carpe Diem, Carpe Punk Rock.

 

Ruku Fails at Quitting Smoking: Day Three

10.00am

24 hours without a single cigarette. Yeah, great, whatever, well done me.

I’d be more excited except I have a severe case of “that facemelty thing that happens when you open the Ark of the Covenant”, everything hurts, and I stayed up till the wee hours playing DayZ. Mostly because Dead by Daylight hates my dinosaur of a computer.

Let’s talk about DayZ for a minute, shall we?

That shit isn’t conducive to quitting smoking.

First off, your character is completely fucking hopeless. You start off with basically nothing, and hungry, and they won’t shut the fuck up about how hungry they are until you down three cans of beans and two powdered milks. Then they’re thirsty, so off you go in the middle of bumfuckistan to find a gazillion cans of pepsi. Just when you think you have that shit covered, BAM! Hungry again.

Who the hell is this hungry all the time? I’m more sugar than human at this point, and I can last basically three quarters of a day without eating. C’mon dude. pick your game up.

Then there’s the thing where you’re in the middle of Bumfuckistan.

You were spawned in Bumfuckistan,

you are continually hungry or thirsty in Bumfuckistan,

you will inevitably die in Bumfuckistan.

Where are all the cities? I’ve managed to find large towns and then got stuck in a coastal area with a lighthouse and died of starvation because Dudley Dickhead didn’t have food in 2.5 seconds.

At least he’s got being a zombie down pat; wander around aimlessly (you don’t get a map, so your best hope is to just find a road and hope it doesn’t lead to the fucking Lighthouse), satisfy eternal hunger, get stuck on stairs, or rocks, or flat concrete, or an infinite plane.

Oh, and holy shit you’re bad at combat. Like I get you’re not meant to be the Terminator or anything, but surely your numbnuts of a character can swing a fucking axe. Any time a melee weapon hits it just makes this unsatisfying “paff” sound. Jesus fucking christ, throwing toilet paper would do a better job.

Oh, and forget about unarmed fighting; the dude’s boxer stance just gives you false confidence. You’re going to die. Your character has all the punching power of an infant.

For some reason it’s running better on my computer now, so there’s that. plus even on low rez it’s rather pretty. I would have stuck around to admire the scenery, but Dudley Dickhead died of starvation again and I was re-respawned near the lighthouse.