Some Guy Who Spends All Of His Time And Energy Complaining About Others In A Mean Spirited Way

By Phil Honolulu

Iím Phil, I scorn human contact, and I got asked by some of the hardworking staff over at stately Terminal Boredom Manor to do a column. Hereís the skinny: in early October, I decided to start a blog. Mindless tasks gather cobwebs between the ears and I figured a few spare minutes spent vomiting up something on the internet would be good for me. Nothing really wrong with that, right? But after I started posting, in addition to many things I praised, I rallied against things I thought ate shit. You should see the fucking email I get. Donít get me wrong, I get some from good people that I enjoy conversing with, but they do little to stem the tide of cretins. I get more assholes, idiots, pinheads, jerk-offs, nimrods, and the just plain dumb sending me their unsolicited thoughts then I know what to do with, Jim. Some of you out there in the vast wasteland of fanshipland are probably the catís pajamas, the beeís knees, folks if I met you in person I would be proud to call my friend, etc. But a lot of you are real fucking stupid, and donít deserve air.

Anyway, amidst all the bullshit I get in my inbox, both Rich and Todd Tricknee asked me to contribute to Terminal Boredom, and obviously, I accepted, although with a degree of reluctance. Iíve already got a forum for my thoughts, so I didnít see how it was necessary for me to spew words somewhere else. I donít feel any immediate need to rope in more readers that forum like this could provide, and most importantly, I didnít know how exactly I would go about writing a column anyway. Writing a column looked tough and unrewarding, just like life. Rich suggested a ĎGrim Reaperí column, where I review other reviews, both material from previous Terminal Boredoms, in addition to other sites and print magazines with similar areas of coverage. I think Richís assumption was my usually misanthropic self, filled with hate and disgust, would contradict pretty much everything I came across, generating nominal outcry. Itís a fine idea, but I agree with what many of these reviewersí opinions. I like the Lost Sounds, too, you know? In the future, hard up for a nice idea of my own, I may still peruse other reviews and offer my 2Ę, but I wanted to get a regular, unassigned subject under my belt first. This is it, and I donít have the slightest fucking idea what Iím going to write about. Really, Iím not trying to be funny, amusing, cute, or cheeky. I donít know what the fuck Iím doing. Column? What the fuck do I know about writing a goddamn column? But I said I would, so now Iím stuck. Here goes:

I try to write something in my aforementioned blog everyday. I got more then enough stuff I dislike confronting lazily floating around in my skull, so itís probably healthy for me to let off a little mental steam. Of course, trying doesnít make it so, and sometimes my Boss is on my ass or I just donít feel like typing or Iíve had an uneventful day or I just donít have the spare ten minutes. But, I think get a fair amount of verbiage up there anyway.

But then again, what the fuck do I know? Iím no authority on rock writing. I enjoy Nick Kentís - but his insistence on painting everything in grand, mythic terms can get really goddamn tiring. I like Tosches, even though sometimes he has the horrible inability to shut the fuck up, which is often coupled with his deep compulsion to constantly remind the reader of how great he sees himself. Richard Meltzerís not a music writer as such, and his purest attempts at rock writing are no great shakes. Lester Bangsí humanism rubs me the wrong way and anyone whose trajectory ended with him taking the Clash that fucking seriously is a sad and tragic story. Greil Marcus is a pompous windbag that should be buried alive under a pile of dirty socks. Robert Christgau is a dimbulb that wouldnít know a good record if it sunk itís teeth into his in his lumpy, ineffectual ass. Dave Marsh puts me to sleep. There is only one recent scribe to gain some widespread renown and his name is Jim DeRogatis, and he is a total fucking moron. Nevertheless, a generation ago, good music writing was encouraged, and could, on occasion, even manage to flourish in the press. But those days are long gone and any of your idealistic, pie in the sky plans/hopes arenít going to cut the mustard in a highly competitive, advertising driven marketplace. What in the mainstream is worth taking the time to type about anyway? You want to read about the material a typical Terminal Boredom reader gives a ratís ass about it, you gotta scrape the dark recesses of the counter culture to get the lowdown.

But fuck a duck, you got a degree of analytical ability, so you knew that already. But I got an exercise for you. Sit down, put your fingers in your ears and dust off your thinking cap. Take a minute to reflect on the way the world at large works, socially. Subjects for your cold, unblinking, objective mental gaze: the way people act, ratio of leaders to followers, reasoning to gullibility, conformists to nonconformists, folks with dunghills between their ears to the relatively intelligent. Got it? Done? Ready? Are the ugly, naked stats giving you the hundred yard stare from the back of your brainpan, Chuck? Alright, tell me if Iím wrong: The same behaviors, the same sad social mores that have been dictated by eons of evolution, the same predictable behavioral patterns inherited from apes, along with our biological functions..? They arenít much different if youíre dealing with the world at large as opposed to the small group of folks who are reading this right now. The only difference I can spot is that the former has a whole lot more girls (think about that for a minute, tightpants). You can get all uppity, and try to reassure me that the fanbase for something so off the beaten track has lotís more lights upstairs then the everyday average Janes and Joeís, but you arenít selling me. An aside; yeah, you like poking fun at Metalheads, Trekkies, various other groups of dipshits with easy to spot group name? Good for some yuks, is it? Who the fuck are you, Mister Garage Rocker? Iíve got some news for you Fred, how fucking different do you think you are, with your ever so similar codes of behavior? Obsessives are obsessives. Itís like when a member of one religion ridicules another religion. Use your noodle, Charlie, all of your fucking religions are equally silly, antiquated and intellectually invalid. For your further info, Slim, if some of the email I receive is a reliable, empirical indication, there is nothing for our group as a whole to be proud of. Like many others, weíre a group that theoretically is priding itself on nonconformity, while weíre happy confirm to whatever self appointed arbiters of taste have laid down. Not that Iíve got anything against self appointed arbiters of taste (I enjoy them if they are amusing or intelligent or entertaining, etc.), but the least you can do is try to take that shit with a grain of salt.

Phil Honoluluís theory of musical criticism in a nutshell: We all start out the same way as music listeners, but once our tastes solidify and become more discerning, weíre able to recognize merits that were once hidden. The most eloquent, articulate, compelling arguments for why you like something, or why you hate it, doesnít add up to oatmeal when said recording never tickled some buried neural receptor in the first place. B-b-but, maybe the good stuff (criticism-wise) can point you in the right direction. Right?

Obviously, I didnít put my theory into practice when I started posting, instead I did a pretty drastic downshifting from that mode of thought. I was just trying to point out to strangers something I liked, or attempted to make an pertinent observation on some record theyíve heard. Nothing wrong with that, right? Then again, I noticed how goddamned silly some of the bullshit that people in this often repulsive subculture enjoy, or accept. Throw in some movie reviews, and my recounting of recent biographical events (important for yours truly, who has a memory like an old rusted screen) and you got yourself the contents of my blog. This got some people upset. For those people, suck my toe.

Just wanted to mention something; I like some of these records and some of these bands and hold them in as much admiration and venerate them as much as the most ardent fans out there. Thereís nothing wrong with taking something seriously, especially something you feel enthusiastic about. However, there is something wrong with not having a sense of humor, and there is something wrong with lacking perspective. So fuck you.

Phil Honolulu, Letters Have No Arms