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There is no such thing as 'bad' art

Posted 9 December 2002, 7.03 pm by Alexander

I must take this opportunity to thank all the deliberately objectionable people I speak to online. They get me thinking about things, and sometimes not just how the internet should have an intelligence test for entry.

The other day in an IRC channel, we were talking about music, and I was shocked when some kid said one particular band was "bad music". I asked him how he qualitatively judged music, and he went on to tell me everything he personally didn't like about that particular act. I asked him the question again, and a third time. Still he could give no reason why this band produced 'bad music'.

I offered this: There is no such thing as good or bad music, just music you like and music you don't like. Listen to early industrial like SPK or Throbbing Gristle and you'll hear noises, rarely anything remotely resembling a note or a melody. Some of it is just painful and detrimental to your hi-fi. It's still music, and these bands were relatively popular. Still are today in fact, although not in the sense that NSync are popular.

Flip side - Think Britney Spears is rubbish? Why? In what way is Britney Spears 'not good music'? If it was really of such a low quality, why would it sell in such phenomenally large quantities? And don't blame marketing - are you insinuating people are buying music they don't like? If you don't find the sound of Britney's latest opus pleasing, say so. Say "I don't like Ms Spears". That's a statement of both opinion and fact.

This isn't just a post about mainstream pop culture. That's been done to death. Hating the mainstream is so mainstream now, it's people who profess to liking Linkin Park who are the real outcasts. Not the minority, by any means, but certainly in the marginal internet demographic. No, let's look at the wider picture. What makes art successful?

In my opinion, as an artist (cough), art succeeds when it meets it's target, fulfills it's potential and performs the task for which it was designed. And who sets these criteria? The artist. Therefore, NSync is good art because it succeeds in getting money out of 13 year olds and their long-suffering parents. Damien Hirst's is good art because it sparks controversy and debate. SPK's is good art because it embodies Graeme Revell's mindset at the time. Art is thrown out into the marketplace, gallery or record store with a purpose. It's just not always obvious what that purpose is sometimes. If Throbbing Gristle aimed to sell 500 copies of their LP and did that, they would be just as successful as NSync picking up some teen award.

So before you scoff at the next mainstream, pre-packaged pop idol, bear in mind it's purpose may not necessarily be to entertain YOU. And while you are absolutely entitled to your own opinion and the right to voice it, what you think is irrelevant unless you're directly affecting the piece's success.

Try it, see the bigger picture. Recognise what is effective and ineffective to you, rather than making qualitative judgments based on your own personal tastes.

Straight outta Hobbiton

Posted 7 December 2002, 9.12 am by Alexander

Elf booty got soul! Elf girls like to rock n' roll!

Smile, Damn It

Posted 4 December 2002, 11.50 pm by Diva

I woke up, got ready for work, and looked at myself in the mirror. I'm not living. Life is a peculiar thing. You only really feel it when you are in some emotional frenzy. Love, hate, remorse, pain. That's when you know you are alive. I have a pulse, but there's something missing. Rather, I am conditioned to feel a loss. Society has pushed this idea in our heads that we can only be happy for a reason. I used to walk down the street and smile at everyone. Sometimes I'd get a smile back. More times than not I'd get a leery glance. Instead of just being someone enjoying the day, they'd rather think of me as a potential psycho-killer.

Me. "Hi!"
Friend: "Hi. How are you?"
Me. "Great!"
Friend: "Wow. Why are you so happy?"
Me: "Why? I just am."
Friend: "But why? What are you happy about?"
Me: "I just am. Do I need a reason?"
Friend. "Well... Yes. Something must be making you happy. What is it?"
Me: "Nothing. I'm just happy."
Friend: "I can't believe you're not going to tell me."

Why does there have to be a reason to be happy. I should be able to laugh, cry, and yell without a reason. I refuse to react according to society's guidelines anymore. I'm going to walk down the street, smile at everyone and let them deal with their foolish insecurities. The next time you get a call from me, be prepared to talk to a happy person... Or make bail.

so tired

Posted 30 November 2002, 6.35 am by Villager

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ''''''''' rrrrrTHHY Ml';,lkuh g ,,,,,,,,.////# :'@@@@@@@@ @ @@@@@:POLIR NBM KJHVFDDDDD . Sorry, I think I fell asleep there for a time. Allow me to explain.

I don't know anything. I haven't suffered a bump to the head or anything (not that I'm aware of at least) and I don't think I've been taking drugs. I know my name and I know what day it is. I know how to ask for directions to the hospital in German, French and Arabic, and I could tell you quite a lot about the origins of the European Enlightenment right now, but none of it means anything to me. My name just a tag, the day changing roughly every 24 hours. I probably won't ever need a hospital outside of Britain and the Enlightenment could be the invention of a brighter kind of light bulb for all I care. No, what I don't know is the problem, not what I do. Who am I? What am I? What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Does it matter? Why does it matter? Who am I to say it matters? Why does anything need to matter?

I took a shower today, thought it might freshen me up a little. After about twenty minutes I get bored with standing, so I sit down. The walls are a little damp and cold, but once you learn to love them, they love you right back. I stare at the wall, watching the water drops splash against the sheer surface of my plastic cage, and trickling down until they disappear into the puddle surrounding me. I feel as though it understands. The water doesn't need things to matter; it just does what it must. It doesn't care whether I stay clean or not. I begin to feel tired, and start to think about things. I get tired of thinking, so I try to keep it under control. I think about what makes me smile, what makes me sad. What I want for the future, how I feel about what has happened. How I feel about now. How do I feel? The thoughts can't hold my attention for long, and soon they too trickle down into the water, where they can't make any noise.

I begin to laugh. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've been sitting here for nearly an hour. Why is that funny? I haven't got anything else to do. Laughing doesn't seem funny anymore, and I feel like crying. I try to get a hold of myself, but I can't think of any reason not to cry, so I let it out. Trouble is, I'm not sure that I feel sad, so I swing between laughing and crying for a while. I feel very tired all of a sudden. It's rare that I feel energetic, but now I feel deprived of energy. Have I been eating properly? Well enough, I guess. I lean my head against the wall, and kiss the water as it falls. I want to fall asleep. I can't quite explain why I didn't, but it crossed my mind that I might wake up with hypothermia or something. The water is getting cold now, but it feels warm. A voice somewhere inside wonders aloud what it would feel like to have hypothermia.

I turn the water off. I persuade myself to get out and I get dried and dressed. As I ponder my wrinkles I realise that once again everything that I thought I knew is either wrong or utterly useless. What do I want to know? I couldn't tell you, but I'll know when I do.

I want to sleep now. Gtrseeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEe EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,, , , ,, , ,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, , , ,, , ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, , , ,, ,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,, , ,,,,,,,,,,,,, , ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I took it all and never looked back.

Posted 29 November 2002, 3.15 am by The_Roach

We in America have just had another holiday. This means, of course, that it's time for me to post another one of my ethno-centric articles regarding the holiday in question and how it relates to our lives. I'm nothing if not dependable.

On a weekly basis, I visit my family no less than three times for a free meal and to take an opportunity to spend time with them. They drive me absolutely batty half the time but, hey, it's a free meal and the conversation is horrible. Thanksgiving is the mother of all meals, though. Allow me to give you a little insight into how my family celebrates.

The first thing you can expect to see is my mother doing her best impression of a Dervish whilst stirring things, checking the oven, setting the table, etc. You'll discover my father laid out on the couch, probably watching television. We'd lift a finger to help her, but we've long since learned that it's easier to just not get in her way. No matter how much she claims to desire our assistance, I think she'd much prefer to have adequate space in which to prepare the meal.

About five minutes prior to the actual serving of dinner, there will be a barrage of complaints about my mother's cooking prowess, all coming from her. We smile, nod our heads, and suggest that everything will be fine. It always is. Despite what she may argue to the contrary, my mother is a rather excellent cook. Then again, I am her son, and I'm required to say such things.

Once the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry salad, rolls, green bean cassarole and sweet potatoes with apples hit the table, there comes a moment of truth; The prayer. I think that it would be no small victory for my folks if I were to actually say grace before the meal, but it hasn't happened since I stopped being afraid of them. I don't suspect it will happen again any time soon.

Then, we dine.

My family has a long history of taking in strays. My grandfather did it for all of my uncle's friends after the Vietnam war. Took them in, gave them a place to sleep and eat until such time as they were self-sufficient. My mother did the same for a friend of mine when I was in high school. As a result of this, any time one of us hears about somebody having no place to go to Thanksgiving dinner, they invariably have a place setting at our table. In past years, my dining room has been graced by the likes of AKpCEP'ers fishstyx and Requiem2501, among many others.

This year, our only guest was a Sudanese refugee who had been staying with some neighbors of my parents' until they moved a little over a year ago. He and his brother were picked up by the Catholics and deposited into our land in order to recieve an education and a real chance at a life that didn't involve running from people with very large guns.

Spending time with this young man always reminds me of all the things I've taken for granted in my life. Here he is, within six months of recieving his high school diploma (having only been in this country for three years, and learning sufficient English in that time), and he doesn't know how old he is. He thinks it's somewhere under twenty years of age. I suppose you don't spend too much time dwelling on when your birthday is while avoiding eye contact with that lion so he won't consider you prey and rip your throat out. You may think I'm making some sort of uninformed statement regarding Africa being uncivilized. I'm not. Ask the guy yourself.

I bitch about America a lot. I look at all of the things we're doing wrong, and I complain about it. I vote, I talk to people, I try to sway opinions. I'm trying to make it better. It's days like today, when you talk to a person who knows full well that the so-called "democracy" in Kenya is nothing but a sham because he's fucking been there, that you can shift your focus away from the things that we're doing wrong to the things that we've done right. This country has granted me nearly limitless potential to achieve my goals, and I'm going to be outrun someday by an immigrant who's never known such opportunities in his life and plans to take full advantage of them.

God bless America.

So, maybe today isn't your holiday. Maybe you had to work or go to school. Perhaps this day means nothing more to you than another day at the grindstone, something that you'll have overlooked by the time you wake up in the morning. All I can ask of you is to take just one minute and think about how good you really have it, and to be thankful for those chances you've had and for those people who were a part of them. Do it tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Read and become the monster!

Posted 27 November 2002, 8.14 pm by Sickan

Name: Robert Cummings.
D.o.b: January 12, 1966 Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Robert Cummings moved to New York at the age of 19. In NY he worked as a bike messenger, a porn magazine art director and a production assistant for the children TV-show, 'Peewee's Playhouse'.
Rob Zombie worked on his dream, White Zombie in the meanwhile. The band was formed in 1985, the year he moved to New York. One may best describe White Zombie as a 'bizarre hybrid of hardcore/punk aggression, New York art-damage and hard rock thunder'.
(Thank you www.musicphase.com)

The visual part of Rob Zombie and White Zombie as well is greatly inspired by classic horror/sci-fi movies.

His incredible visual sense gave Rob Zombie the tools to design and create every merchandise for White Zombie, album art, T-shirts, stage shows and music videos. These things never occurred to Rob Zombie as work, but as his life.

The hard work paid off in 1990 when White Zombie signed with Geffen Records.
Soon thereafter the band was ready with their first major label album, 'La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1' - issued in 1991.

The album soon became a major hit and ended up selling two million copies. And the song 'Thunder Kiss '65' was nominated for a Grammy.

Then in 1995 'Astro Creep: 2000' hit the stores. This album was what everybody had been waiting for and it made the Billboards Top Ten for two months. And again they had a Grammy nomination with 'More Human than Human'.
'Astro Creep: 2000' was certified triple platinum.

While on tour Rob Zombie had a couple of side projects, as making a scene for 'Beavis and Butt-head Do America' (the one with Beavis hallucinating).

Rob Zombie was also contacted by The King of All Media - Howard Stern. Stern wanted to make a duet-song for his movie 'Private Parts' - They created 'The Great American Nightmare'.

Then in 1998, the world was once again dragged into Rob Zombie Land - as he released his most ambitious album: Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International'. Listening to this album is a wild ride into Rob Zombies mad mad world. He comments 'This is a full-blown evil ragging beast - a total Zombie extravaganza'.
(Thank you www.robzombie.com)

Soon after the release Todd McFarlane contacted Rob Z. An Action Figure was made - this was one of the most successful ever made by the company.

In April 2002 Zombie began to work on ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ (Universal Studios). This is Rob Zombie’s writing and direction debut in the movie-world. Sadly, Universal Studios discovered that the movie is ‘too dark and disturbing for release under their releasing guidelines’ This delay did not at all slow Rob Zombie down, he jumped into the studio and began to make his most recent album: ‘The Sinister Urge’

This masterpiece of an album has a nice list of guest players as; Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee (ex-Mötley Crue drummer), Kerry King (Slayer guitarist) and Beastie Boys Mix Master Mike.

Thank you for reading this and get your ass up and get some of Rob Zombie’s music!

Peace

It's nothing personal.

Posted 27 November 2002, 9.34 am by The_Roach

Well, darlings, it's finally reached that point with me. I sat back and realized that I now hold the same opinion of the internet that I do with the "real" world: It'd be a whole lot better if there weren't any fucking people on it. There are many folks out there that I truly enjoy the company of. If it comes down to having to take the good with the bad, well... I'm sorry. You've all got to go. The ovens are to the left.

I'm not entirely certain why I did not hold this opinion long ago. I've certainly been on the internet long enough, and there was no shortage of absolute morons littering it's landscape even back in the "old days". Frankly, I look back and think that things aren't really all that different now than they were five years ago. Sure, there's more marketing, pop-up windows and l33t sp33k. There's a lot more people. On the whole, I think the ratio of people who are tolerable to people who aren't has remained pretty much the same.

Is it because it was something new and exciting? Perhaps. I think my continued presence here has more to do with being unable to find anything my time would be better spent upon than out of any fascination with a revolutionary medium for communication. After all, there's enough ways for people to call each other names and tell dead baby jokes. Who needs another one? No, the real problem here is that I'm happier being miserable but occupied than ecstatic and bored.

So, don't think of this as goodbye or anything. I'll be here for you, baby. At least, as long as something better doesn't come along.

Say what?

Posted 27 November 2002, 3.43 am by Kateifer

This is a strange poem I wrote when I was feeling quite alone and vengeful. I'm not sure what to call it and I'm not sure if it'll even make sense to anyone but me. I don't usually show people my poetry, this one just rather confuses me.

darkening cavern
engulfing systematic
endorphines decline
children slide

simplicity demands
friday's tears
leaden saturday
crossing chasms

eating foil
sipping cyanide
grip's slipping
consumed turmoil

empty words
meaningless sentence
futuile education
pointless messages

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In 2018 I started painting again. This was one of a series of acrylic sketches I did to relearn techniques and revisit my skills from art college.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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