Whew, I almost blew past the one-month-without-a-post-mark. What a shame that would’ve been. I know, internet fans, I know. It’s hard. But chalk it up to me not being able to churn out more than a couple of pages of college-y paperwork-y stuff a day. But here, have this funny instead:
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Remember that post about fake cheerfulness and phony celebrations? Wow, that seemed agos ago, right? Ahem.
Today I found out about a festivity I can totally get behind: pancake day! In honor of our beloved Saint Pannekoeken I whipped up a batch of fluffy treats.
Top: regular buttermilk vanilla pancakes, Bottom: cranberry smoothie-infused blueberry vanilla pancakes
These almost made me forgot carnival.
Carnival, fuck off.
Two updates in a single month? Holy fuck, I must’ve boarded the crazy train.
But hey, there’s a good reason I’m plaguing the internet with one more posting than I’m actually entitled to. Fucking Mardi Gras / German carnival. Not only are incessantly happy people clogging every possible traffic route in this town, no, they’re also fitting right in with conformist culture axioms - work all day, watch lots of TV, be cheerful and drink alcohol when WE tell you to.
I can’t really grasp any reason why everyone would be like “Hey, we have a day off (to celebrate what saint or memorable cultural / political event again?) and society says it’s cool to booze it up in public, so why don’t we do it?” I mean, I can understand the celebratory feelings that some festivities like Christmas and German Unity Day may evoke in some people. But CARNIVAL? A celebration invented purely to finance bad tailors whose skill doesn’t surpass stitching up fake cat ears? Come the fuck on.
What happenend to the good old “I hate my boss and where I work, so I’m gonna drown my sorrows in seas of rhye and ethanol on a Tuesday night”? Is it so bad to want to party down and keep the bottoms up whenever you feel like it? Apparently so. Well, carnival enthusiasts, have fun with your unwanted pregnancies, walks-of-shame and harassment lawsuits. I’m staying in and listening to Superchunk, waiting for summer to come.
“But men are moved so much by preconceptions. It is not realities, circumstances that astonish us; it is the concussion of what we should have known, if we had not only been so busy believing what we discover later we had taken for the truth for no other reason than that we happened to be believing it at the moment.”
William Faulkner - Knight’s Gambit
List of lists
The list of lists. Read and weep.
Best list of great videogames 2011:
1. iamgamer-Year’s End list of the best videogames 2011 -> Ker-Blam!
Best best of list of best of lists:
1. Marc’s Best Of-List -> Read this if you like reading.
Most best of lists on a single plattform:
Tumblogs most unlikely to cease existing despite no one caring about them:
1. My own!
2. Shit xxx says-Tumblogs
3. I don’t know since I don’t actually read that many Tumblogs.
Year’s end list almost a month late? Well, fuck me, that’s so anti-establishment I’m about to sprout nose and teeth hairs and start pawning off my belongings on anarchosyndicalist relic hunters.
I’m still alive. You never know how much of a time-hog things like a band, college, work and immersing yourself in DIY culture can be until you have to juggle it all. So, since “time is tight” (which is a song worth checking out), I’ll keep my rants short and sweet.
So why not check out this incredibly fun video of ways to die in the only game you’ll ever need to play, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Be a sport and take an arrow to the knee, will ya?
Dear interior designers from the 70s and 80s,
You couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t care what your fancy college class or some other shitheads told you, but PVC never was and never will be superior to parquet flooring - and putting shitty, low-cost-lower-value PVC on top of amazing wood nets you no cool point whatsoever. Thanks to you and your regime of “state-of-the-art flooring”, my whole body aches and I’ve developed a bottomless hate for spatulas of all kinds.
On the plus side: Whenever there’s hate and disdain involved, Hope Con is always there for you. There’s no greater catalyst for when you just want to destroy and annihilate stuff.
Alright folks, this is based on actual experiences with my own band, which I won’t plug. Come on, I’m not that shameless. Anyway, my next thesis on punk rock show etiquette sounds something like this:
At DIY punk shows, there is no such thing as „just one support slot“. As a scene who desperately needs to be more integrative, axioms like this are bound to be the killing blow, straight to the heart of the idea that punk and hardcore can be shaped by everyone involved. If the bill is full and the venue has a strict curfew, fair enough. If you don’t like a band or they don’t fit the bill (if the latter would be the case, the band probably wouldn’t ask, so the point is kind of moot), cool with me. If changing up the flyers or posters is too much work or on short notice, alright. Just be sure to inform bands who want to jump on the show bandwagon about the real reasons why they can’t play. Otherwise, you’ll leave them bitter and disheartened, as was the case with my band.
When a sort-of famous band in the smallish sub-scene of punk that my band caters to came to our town, we were like: rad, these seem to be cool dudes. There’s just one local support band booked, no posters or flyers printed yet, let’s ask the local promoter if we can hop on board. So after a couple of tries to get a hold of the dudes via eMail and personal appointments, we were told that there’s just one support slot. At a venue that literally has no curfew. With doors at 7 pm. On a weekend. I’m guessing that the real reason was merely a dislike for our muscial output. Needless to say, we were pissed. Not because someone didn’t like our stuff, but because it basically felt getting a big, backhanded slap in the face of the goal of making rather than breaking a local scene and trying honesty for once. It wouldn’t have felt too great if we would’ve been told we sucked. But really, I’d rather hear that than some bullshit excuse covering up your lack of honesty and backbone.
I know that booking shows in a town with not much of a die-hard punk scene can be a hassle, always skirting break even. I’ve been there. If the touring bands ask high guarantees on a weeknight you’ll want to minimize your expenses, especially as a DIY promoter. But there are so many talented, young bands out there that will gladly play for food and a couple of brews. You want to deny them that? Fine, but make them understand why and tell them upfront. No hard feelings, no harm done, see you next time. Sadly, being stuck-up and elitist seems to be all the rage in many spaces of the punk community nowadays. I, for one, will still support bands that come through my part of town, even if the aforementioned idiots are putting on the show. It’s all about the bigger picture and hoping that things will change. Shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish that, right?
You know you’re a college student when your working week lasts from Friday through Monday. It’s still a long shot from feeling caught in the grind of working your ass to the bone, but hey, shouldn’t college (in Germany at least) be about hardly working at all? “‘fraid not”, said the bank account. Damn.
Hello, wanderer of the wastes of Web 2.0. „Ho-hum“, you might ask yourself, „Music is dead, you say? Wouldn’t it be better to not talk about it then, lest it rise from its grave and attack unwary mourners and onlookers?“ Well, a jolly good question indeed. Even though the state of modern-day music industry is in some weird way comparable to a clogged toilet in a retirement home for patients plagued by chronic and violent outbursts of cholera diarrhea (yes, this also goes for a lot of the glorified sub-genres and underground cultures), there is hope for some of it. Wave around the snobism flag all you want, this is the internet. A blog, no less. „We rant, therefore we are“. So while I enjoy a variety of music, even beyond actual sounds and rythms, there is always something that gets on my nerves. I’ll start you off with something that’s been bugging me in terms of the whole underground HC / punk scene.
See, bands with a purely political / moral agenda are utter bullshit. They don’t deserve any recognition and should be banned altogether, forced to scrub the aforementioned toilets with nothing but an old kindergarden paintbrush. Don’t get me wrong. Neither am I a right-wing conservative, nor do I condone amoral behaviour and recklessness. Let me help you to my 2 cents on this topic.
When you start a punk band, your eyes probably sparkle with the prospects of creating something lasting and meaningful in a world full of drab stuff like parents, loans and office jobs. So, naturally, you tend to put a lot of effort into your chosen way of release, in this case by jangling around bits of wood and wires and banging away on animal skins like a raving lunatic caveman. In an ideal world of music you put forth everything you got, your whole being. And here’s where bullshit and pretense rear their ugly heads. Bands in radical punk scenes often feel prone to ridicule when faced to expose their inmost thoughts, feel scared even that they won’t be taken as seriously. But get the facts straight, no one solely defines themselves over an abstract agenda. Yes, I’m looking at you, vegan straight edge crusties. If that really was a universally true statement, we’d live in a sad world. Still, some people like to act the part, because acting out a play rather than being open and honest is what it really boils down to. It just really drags you down when people with feelings become holier than thou political spokespersons once they’re up on stage. This is what rock stars are for, cultivating a stage persona based on the need of the times – be it no strings attached entertainment, a voice of global consciousness or harbingers of a problematic truth. Sure, punk is based on criticising and rejecting hopelessly outdated values and ideas, encouraging change in politics and the way we treat each other. But really, is that all? Why is it that people sometimes get hassled or taken less seriously in certain circles when they sing about their girlfriends, their personal problems or their favorite movies?
We, of all peolpe, should be way past the need for bands to only convey dogmatic paroles and regurgitated and commonly accepted views in order to hide their real persona. Aren’t topics like relationships, hobbies or anything apart from politics far more relatable? Won’t singing about every day life, about not having a clean slate and admitting to your moral failings on top of a strong political or social agenda help erase the stupid band-fan dynamic and create an atmosphere of friends talking to each other over a pilsner / a glass of juice? If we ditch politics in punk, we’d be lost and damned. But if we neglect telling our own personal stories, we’ll be none the richer. What’s so wrong with a little less pretense and a little more honesty? A healthy mix is where it’s at.
So here, have this song about drinking coffee: