Pageantry Is Stupid

Let me tell you something about the Kentucky Derby. I hate the Kentucky Derby. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate horse racing. I actually enjoy the two-minute race. I just hate the entire day of Southern genteel-infused folderol wrapped around the race. The broadcast repeatedly refers to it as “pageantry”.

Is it pageantry to see a bunch of rich people wearing daffy-looking suits and dresses, silly hats and corsages? Is it pageantry to champion the drinking of mint juleps, a completely unpleasant beverage even by most alcoholic’s standards? Is it pagantry (sic) to dress up what is essentially an enterprise built on the exploitation of animals for entertainment and profit?

I don’t hate horse racing but I recognize it for what it is. It’s a seedy sport where a bunch of little guys in jodhpurs ride horses around a muddy track. Hundreds of horses die on the track every year. Many jockeys are injured each year being thrown off their horses. The behind-the-scenes people who succeed in that kind of environment are cutthroat players. The most successful horse trainer of this generation literally looks like Will Ferrell’s Ashley Schaffer from “Eastbound And Down”.

Bob Baffert

“I can feel another Derby victory in my plums.”

Let’s not dress up such a brutal sport with ribbons and flowery hats and call that pageantry. We could be talking about dogfighting in a different world if only few things had gone different. Imagine if the Governor of Kentucky presented a million-dollar check and a big trophy to the winner of a prize dogfight.

You know the first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875? Amazing! Ulysses S. Grant was President, Sitting Bull was still alive and we were in the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, a.k.a. the beginning of the Jim Crow era. In other words, black people had just been freed but not, y’know. . . not the white people kind of free. They still had to work for white people and serve them. And it’s a mighty white scene at Churchill Downs on Derby Day unless you’re working at the track or Von Miller. And let’s not forget the infield, otherwise known as the giant field party adjacent to the track where tens of thousands of people are drunk, stoned, FUBAR, hooking up on Tinder or having a name like Travis or Jimbo. Ask them if calling a racist racist is racist in itself and they’ll probably say yes.

Because a lot of money is to be made and the Kentucky Derby is the biggest horse race in the country, a lot of dressing up has to be done to bring in the casual viewer. Regular horse players know it for what it is but a casual fan needs celebrity, pomp and circumstance, a sense of occasion. . . PAGEANTRY! TV, movie and sport stars on the catwalk and in the stands. The men wearing silly looking suits with prom corsages, the ladies in silly-colored dresses wearing big dumb hats with bouquets on top. All of them with mint julep in hand. And what would have been just another day at the track becomes a television event that does great ratings, bringing in a lot of ad revenue for the TV networks and attracting a lot of casual bettors online as well.

In a way, looking at the so-called pageantry of the Derby is like wearing Cinderella’s glass slippers in that it was never meant for you in the first place. You weren’t supposed to be there. It would take all the magic in the world for you to fit in with everything around you because you don’t have the resources to make it happen on your own. But there is no Prince Charming. Instead there’s Charles Barkley, some SNL cast member, the quarterback from the Chicago Bears and the cast of The Voice and wouldn’t you like to know which horse they picked to win? What kind of party is this anyway?

 

I’m 41 b/w The Next Deadbeat Summer

Yesterday I turned forty-one. I celebrated by having an impacted tooth removed. My therapist told me I am a glutton for punishment. It appears she may have a point.

Why would someone schedule a tooth extraction for their birthday? Well, to be honest when you turn forty-one it’s not as special as when you turn forty so there’s less incentive to throw a big party. Not to mention my birthday fell on a Tuesday. And that was the earliest the dentist could get me in.

My tooth had been broken for two months. It was an impacted troublemaker and it was such a bothersome bastard. An extraction would be temporarily inconvenient but it would be better than living with a hole that needed to be cleaned out every meal. It is gross just writing about.

So I’m sitting here with a mouthful of gauze that I have to switch out every half-hour. The gauze makes me want to gag. The dentist’s assistant congratulated me yesterday for being “a light bleeder” so hopefully I can stop using the gauze later today. Obviously pool exercises are right out of the question, what with the blood and stitches. That’s literally in the list of no’s on the wall sign next to infections, gum and diving. Verboten. That doesn’t stop me from chewing gum in the pool because I’m a rebel.

So I’m taking the week off from exercise. I’m eating chocolate pudding and chocolate ice cream and Jello and I’m stuffing gauze in my cheeks and I’m taking pain pills and antibiotics three times a day and I’m fairly indifferent about it even though I like chocolate.

In other news, I just wrote a new song that’s either great, terrible or amazing. I hate it when bands use samples to build an entire song around. The best example is “Digital Love” by Daft Punk. They use literally the first ten seconds of a George Duke song and repeat it over and over again and that’s “Digital Love”.

Recognize that riff? Of course you do! You have ears and have been alive for the last fifteen years. That’s the entirety of the beat for “Digital Love”.

On the way back home from the dentist and with a head full of numbing agents, I came up with the best/worst/best again song, using the “Digital Love” principle. Why come up with my own instrumental parts for songs when I can just use the last fifty years of recorded sound instead? Why bother trying to create your own music organically when the best riffs are on a Todd Rundgren LP from 1974?

This song is going to blatantly steal the first eight seconds from Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire“. You know that song from Goodfellas where Henry is driving around paranoid about helicopters. But here’s the neat part, the song is going to jump into an interpolation of the chorus from N.E.R.D.’s “Baby Doll“. It turns out both songs are similar tempo and have the same key and chord structure so it’s a good fit. And the N.E.R.D. song has to be interpolated because I can’t find an instrumental version of it. Am I going to flip it in any way? You bet I won’t!

The lyrics are probably going to be about doing drugs and being sexy with your girlfriend over a misspent summer.

Here are some of the lyrics I wrote down. Hold on to your hat:

We got so… I was so… you were so… And I was… and you were… and we were… and it was… and it got… and it had… ’cause I am… and you are… and we are… and it is… it’s so much… it still is…

I’m telling you this is going to be on the list of Pitchfork’s 100 Best Songs of the Year or my name isn’t Toro y Moi.

 

The Post That Won’t Die

I have crunched the numbers and my most popular post of 2018 is “WWE Wrestler or Porn Star”. I won’t bother linking it because it has little value.

The premise of the post is for the uninformed reader to guess from a list of names which belong to AVN award-nominated porn stars and which ones belong to WWE women wrestlers. Most of the hits come from non-English speaking countries.

The most reasonable explanation is that a bunch of sad sacks from the Middle East desperately searched for naked pictures of their favorite WWE diva and happened upon my site.

A few well-known women wrestlers’ private pictures and videos have leaked online (most prominent Paige from the WWE) and led to an exceedingly horny fanbase of wrestling fans who want more more MORE.

With no effort on my part, I dashed hopes for the desperate fanatic by supplying not a treasure trove of pix and vids but instead a list of names.

On the bright side, some of the names on the list are porn stars so if you look them up hoping to find nudes you will be more than satisfied. Just don’t expect them to throw German suplexes.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have no control over anything, especially what posts on your blog get the most hits. Look for more lists combining porn star names with wrestlers in 2019. Apparently it works like gangbusters.

Some More “Bohemian Rhapsody” Errors

This weekend I went to see the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I enjoyed it immensely and even teared up during a few moments. However, the movie tries to condense fifteen years worth of events into a two-hour-plus movie and because of that the timeline gets mangled. I’ll give you some examples.

  • Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with the HIV virus in 1987. He took a standard blood test. He did not use an app on his iPhone.
  • Freddie also did not contract the HIV virus from playing Pokemon Go.
  • Some people know about the confrontation between Freddie and Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols but fewer people know about the knife fight between bassist John Deacon and Vanilla Ice.
  • Guitarist Brian May was an astronomer, not an astrologist. This wipes out the entire ‘Brian May Psychic & Lottery Number Hotline’ subplot.
  • Drummer Roger Taylor did have a psychic hotline, but it was for a brief time and came years after Mercury’s death.
  • Contrary to the film, Queen did not lose rights to the words “mama mia” in a 1976 arm-wrestling match between Roger Taylor and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA.
  • Freddie’s mustache was grown not in a government laboratory, but on his own upper lip.
  • The following lyrics were not used in the band’s 1982 hit “Body Language”: “You make me think of lighting in skies”, “Your offbeat dance makes me fantasize” and “Your ass is a spaceship I want to ride”.
  • Contrary to the film, when the band walks off stage after their famous Live Aid performance, Lady Gaga does not come up to them and say “You just gave me a great idea.”
  • In real life, Freddie’s corpse was cremated. In the movie, his living body is frozen in carbonite by Vanilla Ice.

Let’s Talk Battlebots

This is the content you need today. Take a moment. Enjoy yourself. Battlebots is on the Discovery Channel and if you’re not watching it you are a sucker. Battlebots ought to be the national pastime. Nobody uses HGH, nobody gets a concussion. Fighting robots get destroyed.

I would like to share with you some of the fighting robots from this season along with their owners/builders/operators. If what I write seems mocking, believe me when I say I have a great affection for these robots and the people for making them. It is all in fun. I love this damn show. It is the only show.

captainshrederator

This is Captain Shrederator. Look at this majestic American Beauty ™. In some ways the Captain is just like the USA, in that it’s completely unwieldy and hasn’t had a victory at all this season.

predator

This is Predator and its’ builders, the inspiration for the three nerds in that Simpsons episode where Homer goes to college.

battleroyalewithcheese

This is Battle Royale With Cheese, created by the Shitty Halloween Costume delegation. Notice the rotating blade that looks like a slice of bacon.

sawblaze

This is Sawblaze, one of the top contenders to win the 2018 championship. If this team’s story were made into a Hollywood film, the Asian-Americans would be portrayed by ScarJo and Tilda Swinton.

sharkoprion

This is Sharkoprion and yes THE TAIL IS A WEAPON! These old hippies made a robot out of recycled parts, including the spinning saw in the front. Glorious. Yes, they have seen Dead & Company and no it’s not the same without Jerry.

duck

This is Duck. This guy Ducks.

yeti

Here is Yeti. You see that spinning drum? It can get up to 4000 RPMs and it has SPIKES on it. Sometimes it hits other robots so hard that it knocks itself out. It’s the 2004 Jermaine O’Neal of Battlebots.

deviledegg

I dunno, folks.

ultimodestructo

Here is Ultimo Destructo, which sounds like the kind of name a child would come up with. I approve. Children should be naming these things. Sharkoprion is too literary and Battle Royale With Cheese is too clever. Dumb childlike names are cool.

tombstone

This is Tombstone, the big bad of Battlebots. You can’t mess with Tombstone. The guy on the left is the chief builder and he’s as close to a bad guy as Battlebots gets. If this robot could wear a shirt, it would say “I AM A MOTHERFUCKER” and it would beat up strangers on the bus.

kraken

Here is Kraken. What a silly-looking robot. The kids shouldn’t be made to stand near this abomination. This is the server staff that sings Happy Birthday to you at the nautical-themed family restaurant.

warhead

Finally, we have Warhead from the British delegation. This thing looks like a cyborg half-way through a transformation. It looks like a junk sculpture that would be sold to some coked-out investor for waaaayyy too much money.

 
When Shark Week on Discovery is over, you gotta start watching Battlebots. New episodes on Friday. You’ll love it. It’s a way of life.

Stuff I Want To See In The Freddie Mercury Biopic

The trailer for “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released today to the excitement of millions of fans.

I will be there opening weekend in November when the movie comes out, even though it will likely be a disappointment. Nothing against the filmmakers but music biopics tend to be royally terrible and I have no reason to think that “Bohemian Rhapsody” will be any different no matter how good the individual performances are.

Not to mention that this movie will be a drama, like most biopics. There might be a few slight laughs and some awesome moments but a lot of the focus will likely be on the personal and professional struggles of Freddie Mercury. Conveniently, the movie will end at Live Aid in 1985, six years before Mercury died of AIDS-related complications. So it will end happily, if prematurely.

The thing about rock bands is they tend to be silly and stupid when interacting with each other and the world around them. Even if they are the smartest group of people, they are in such isolation on a level of fame that they lose touch with reality. This makes their concerns way more infuriating and petty and that’s funny to me.

I want to see a funny Queen biopic. And I want it to be a cartoon. Like an adult swim cartoon. Aqua Queen Hunger Force, if you will.

Though it is far too late for reshoots, here are some scenes I would like to see in “Untitled Queen Cartoon Project (Working Title: The Band from Highlander)”.

  • 1970: Freddie suggests the band name itself “Queen”. Brian May and Roger Taylor protest. John Deacon agrees, but is rebuked as he isn’t in the band nor has he actually met the band members yet.
  • Their attempt to go to the store and buy groceries in order to cook a meal as part of a team building project after a terrible argument.
  • Upon learning “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the #1 song in the country, Queen get trapped in an elevator (this actually happened)
  • Two fans freak out upon meeting Freddie, start fighting over his scarf and nearly strangle him to death because its still around his neck (this also happened)
  • Freddie plays “We Are The Champions” on the piano for the other band members and they fell on the floor laughing (yes, really happened)
  • The infamous Bee Gees/Queen parking lot rumble of 1978, where Barry Gibb calls Queen “Abba” and Brian May promises that Queen will never ever reduce themselves to playing dance music.
  • Freddie and John Deacon get extremely drunk and accidentally record “Body Language”.
  • A scene where Freddie attempts to record songs with Michael Jackson but is disturbed MJ’s giant cocaine-snorting llama.
  • Roger Taylor invents Hot Pockets while writing “Radio Ga Ga”
  • Brian May, inspired by a screening of “Death Wish III”, writes power ballad “Who Wants To Live Forever”.

WWE Wrestler or Porn Star

 

I’ve started watching wrestling again, and by wrestling I mean “WWE” and when I mean again I mean “sometimes, with a distant eye in case they pull some shit that drives me up a wall”. It should not surprise you that the WWE wrestlers are in incredible shape and often look like they are cut out of marble. Look at them closer and you’ll see an absence of body hair. Once upon a time, wrestlers looked rugged and wild. You’d see wooly hair all over and they’d have beer bellies and sailor tattoos and missing front teeth. Not anymore, and especially not in the WWE. You’re going to see well-defined abs, bulging pecs and the women are likely to have big bolt-on tits, thick makeup and ridiculous hair extensions.

pez1

The “good old days” of pro wrestling

Their names are also generic. WWE gives them new stage names. Only a select few (like John Cena) get to go by their given name. Some of them sound kinda porny.

Don’t believe me? Have you ever heard of a guy named Dolph Ziggler? Dirk Diggler, Dolph Ziggler. Make the connection. In the 90’s, WWE had a porn-star character named Val Venis, but they’re not going in that adult-humor direction anymore. Now they just look like porn stars instead.

4.-Dolph-Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler

Porn and WWE have a lot in common: industries based on perception and looks, widely held in contempt by mainstream media, necessary viewer suspension of disbelief (that these two men hate each other or that this girl really wants to see you masturbate). And though I’m no insider, I bet there’s a lot of politicking in both industries.

With that out of the way, here’s something for the non-fan. Try to guess which names I list here are porn stars and which ones are WWE wrestlers. I will use AVN Award nominees as guinea pigs in my little game here. AVN stands for Adult Video News so figure it out.

Simple test: John Cena, Stormy Daniels

If you guessed that John Cena was the wrestler and Stormy Daniels was the porn star then bleh bleh bleh… you know the deal.

Mandingo, Fandango

Alexa Bliss, Alexa Grace

Tommy Gunn, Tyler Breeze, Curtis Axel, Axel Braun,

Sonya DeVille, Cherie Deville, Zack Ryder, Ryan Ryder

Asa Akira, Asuka, Abella Danger, Ruby Riott, Jules Jordan, Jason Jordan

Bo Dallas, Markus Dupree, Sasha Banks, Keisha Grey, Bella Rose, Mandy Rose

Foxxy, Alicia Fox, Aidra Fox, Nia Jax, Venus Lux, Tyler Bate (TYLER BATE?)*

Aliyah, Aaliyah Love, Natalia Starr, Violet Starr, Ember Moon, Mike Quasar

Rowan, Harper, Hunter, Rusev, Dredd, Mason, Big E, Danny D

I didn’t make any of these up. I either took them from the wikipedia for “List of WWE personnel” or “35th AVN Award”. And as far as me telling you who’s who. . . you’re on your own. Do a Google search. Do it at work, I don’t care. It’s not my job.

 

 

*I am being informed that Tyler Bate’s real name is Tyler Bate. Go figure.
DXtjOHnXcAAie4U

Does this guy look like a porn star to you?

Anti-Sludge Resolution

Perhaps you have seen this video. I watched it about a week ago.

 

I watched this video and looked at the smoke and the black sludge foaming up and I said to myself “That’s what’s inside you right now, big man. All that sludge is in you.”

I later found out that the guy poured Coke into sulfuric acid, not stomach acid. Is he mistaken or misleading? Does it even matter?

I’ve been struggling lately. Buy a six-pack of Coke once or twice a week and polish it off real quick. Drink water for the next few days then repeat the cycle. Am I as bad as I used to be about this? No but what I have been doing for the last year? Why am I trying to throw all that progress away? Why am I clinging to this that hurts me?

If there’s any silver lining, ever since I watched that video I hate the taste of Coca-Cola. I hate how it tastes and how it makes my stomach feel. Even before I saw that video I hated how I felt drinking that stuff.

I have a burning desire to never drink Coke or any soda ever again. I haven’t had any for about five days. I don’t miss it. I still have a bottle in my fridge that I’ve left unopened. It’s sitting right there and every time I open the fridge I mean mug the son of a bitch.

If I do this one thing it will be a major improvement. If I stay off the sodas it will make me feel so much better and the pounds will come off naturally. No diet soda workaround that doesn’t really work. Sludge = sluggish.

I want to try to stay off soda for at least six months. I’ve never done it and that’s saying a lot. That is my resolution. I’m only getting started. I hope I hold out and don’t feel like punishing myself.

2017 Albums Of The Year

It’s time to rate the best albums of 2017, a truly great year in pop music. If you haven’t heard any of these six incredible albums, let me know and I’ll dropbox you a link.

raazsecret

Ra’az, the Canadian-Sanskrit electroclash duo, has been called “a cross between ARE Weapons and Chromeo pumped full of HGH” (New York Times) and “Har Mar Superstar, but shittier” (Sports Illustrated). Their fourth(?) album “Secret” (Cherry Pop[?]) is a life-affirming spectacle about the joys of hedonism in a repressive authoritarian state, with songs like “Sangria Sharia Shangri-La” and “Oohlala XXX (Hit Dis Heni)”. Props to Jon Brion(?) for adding slick production to their almost-hit “Screwed Sucret Shalamar (The New Joint Next Level FUMF)”

djscantfuckvol2

The Western European techno collective finally busted through the glass ceiling on the second volume of slamming Ibiza club hits. DJ’s Can’t Fuck are the first and so-far only pure Gnostic DJ collective. The DJ’s either can’t fuck because they are eunuchs or because they’re sexually incompetent. Allegedly, a few of the DJ’s are physically able to fuck but refuse to for religious reasons or to preserve their precious bodily fluids. I have never heard this album and I probably never will. I only rated it so I could tell the backstory.

Smokey Weller and his younger sister “Marmalade” Sally have their intertwined their song stylings on their debut “Good Eatin'” (self-released). This California duo have positioned themselves at the forefront of the West Coast outlaw country scene with “Hey Smokey (What’s Up Marmalade)” and “Tickle My Ivories, Tickle Me Pink”. Sounding like Birdcloud having a threesome with the exhumed corpse of Townes Van Zandt, Smokey and Marmalade are surely the finest brother-sister country-folk duo to have ever come out of a Montessori school system.

elvietommy

This novelty mashup-single credited mockingly to Elvie & Tommy (or Elvis Costello and Tom Waits for those of you who don’t know) is actually the work of alternative rock hunk Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar, solo artist) and Swedish hip-hop producer Pron-Porg MC. “B.O.O.B.S.” is a one-percenter gag that will go over the head of most club-goers. For the bedroom set and their friends in the basement.

Foggy Notion, the Norwegian power trio of bad-ass riot grrrls, show you’re never too female to rock. Guitarist-vocalist Snorf Lordgren and bassist-vocalist Oksle Djorgenloff link up with avuncular, estrogen-informed vocals, reminding this reviewer of a fuzzier Sleater-Kinney. Drummer Elke Ogsneddenhoff-Magnedden’s ferocious, understated ovary-inflected grooves recall everything from the feminist minimalism of Meg White to the irrational haberdashery of Drumbo. Combining angular riffage and sonic mammary guitarmaggedon with a egalitarian credo. . . vagina.

firenexttime

Fyre Next Tyme is Wyoming’s most mysterious psych group. Imagine a more pranksterish Acid Mothers Temple (imagine listening to Acid Mothers Temple [look up Acid Mothers Temple on Wikipedia]). Fyre Next Tyme’s umpteenth album “Ypex Prydytyr” (Red Apple[?]) is simply WWE wrestler Randy Orton’s entrance theme slowed down 500 percent and fed through a flanger. An attempted US tour was cut short after Pitchfork reported that six of the eight band members were members of a registered hate group.

Sleeping On The Sidewalk (I’m Too Broke To Buy All These Reissues)

Suggested listening: “Sleeping On The Sidewalk” by Queen (vocals by Brian May)

 

Every band eventually turns into Kiss if they have enough success. Cash-ins, repackaged content in new or old formats that are suddenly fashionable again. Box sets, coffee table books, overpriced tickets to amphitheatre shows to hear soundalike renditions of the classics. Greatest hits, greatest zits, tits, fits and your very own Monopoly game.

Queen-Monopoly

I always wanted proof no one wanted to spend time with me.

Some of these tchotchkes are endearing. Maybe the best thing Kiss ever did was their innovations in the pinball machine industry. For years, the Flaming Lips sustained the gummy bauble industry.

But it’s all tchotchkes. Kiss pinball machines, Queen Monopoly games and books of 3D photography, Flaming Lips gummy brains, Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie charging Fleetwood Mac ticket prices for a tour with no Stevie Nicks, while Stevie charges likewise for a solo tour, Revolver and Pet Sounds on 180-gram vinyl at your local shoppe for $25.99 or six concerts with a near identical setlist on a thumb drive with a shitty costume packed in. They’re all tchotchkes in the end. If only Malcolm McLaren understood that, then he’d have died on a bed of gold bricks.

Kiss may be the most cynical, cold-hearted group to wring money from a fanbase but they are far from alone. There’s a big market for cashing in on fan nostalgia or the idea of the past for those who weren’t old enough to experience it the first time and Queen is eager to get in on that. Some of the biggest fans of Queen were born well after Freddie Mercury died in 1991. Queen stopped touring in 1986 and their last US concert was in 1982 and yet the Internet has made and kept they and their late singer relevant.

Which pair of guys would you rather have lunch with if you could choose? Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from Kiss, or Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen? Unless you’re a sado-masochist (that is to say, a hard-core Kiss fan), you’d probably choose Brian and Roger. And it’s not because they’re better people, but they are far better at the soft sell. Something about amiability and grace. You couldn’t imagine either of them being banned from Fox News for hitting people in the head with their book or saying a new stupid thing at least fifteen times a year like Gene does.

(I have no idea if Gene being banned from Fox News speaks ill of him or is a sort-of badge of honor considering that FNC was home of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly for decades. I can’t believe they didn’t offer him his own show.)

I get bitchy because I can tell when my favorite bands are not being straight with me. It’s all part of the great r’n’r swindle, folks. You want me to pay through the nose? It’s your price, you name it. I guess I’ve had it with hype. I hate hype when a new artist comes in with a load of it so when it’s a rehash of old stuff that was bought already it’s even worse. Just don’t burn me too often or too hard. You suck my wallet, you blow my head.

Anybody got that 40th anniversary News Of The World package yet?