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andee's world: August 2005

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

For Those Not About to Rock...

In my ongoing war against stupid, sheeplike behavior, I have to address this subject, because I've lost all patience with it:

People doing the "heavy metal horns."

You know "the horns" -- the hand gesture made with forefinger and pinky extended from a fist raised in a gesture of "rocking out." Ronnie James Dio started the whole thing like 25 years ago as part of his stage act (according to Dio, the actual meaning of the sign is something akin to "warding off the evil eye") and it's since become the official salute of headbangers everywhere. God bless.

But here's what I don't like -- people doing the horns and not meaning it. Assholes trying to be cute, giving the ironic horn salute at inappropriate events, like a wedding. Or a funeral. Or while some folkie is onstage gently strumming an acoustic guitar. The gesture says, "get it? I'm pretending to rock out even though this music or situation isn't really rocking!" Yeah, we get it. Why don't you go put your head in an oven?

The horn throwers will ALWAYS do the sign whenever a camera is pointed at them. And they always do it, for some godforsaken reason, with the tongue stuck all the way out. Ugh. People can be so predictable that sometimes I feel like I'm watching reruns of my life.

As boring and cliche and unfunny and overused as the devil horns gesture is, people still think they are being so fucking cute when they do it. Listen, folks. IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE. Beavis and Butthead exhausted all of the humorous potential of the devil horns over a decade ago. And the reason it was so funny then is that when those two lovable cartoon cretins did it, they were SO INTO IT! They were banging their giant animated heads to Pantera and it was awesome. The reason you're doing it is because you're trying to be ironic. But all you're doing is perpetuating an extremely tired joke. The irony is deeper than you think.

I saw Anthrax a couple years ago opening for Motorhead in Asbury Park. At some point during their set, Scott Ian made a little speech about people giving the horns. He said "if you don't own the first six Black Sabbath albums, then you're not allowed do the devil horns."

Amen to that. If you mean it, then flash the heavy metal salute with all the gusto you've got. But if you're just trying to be cute, then go find another party.

Rock on.

Andee's Essential Listening for Headbangers Everywhere

Black Sabbath Master of Reality and Mob Rules
Slayer Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss
Motorhead No Remorse
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power
Rage Against the Machine self titled
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
Alice In Chains Facelift
Ministry Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs
Anthrax Among the Living
Prong Cleansing
Judas Priest British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance
Megadeth Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? and Rust in Peace
Helmet Betty
Metallica Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets
Fight War of Words
White Zombie La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1
Accept Balls to the Wall
Mercyful Fate Don't Break the Oath

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

One Mother in Crawford -- NYTimes editorial

Summertime often produces unexpected media figures, and this is Cindy Sheehan's season. Ms. Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is camping out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., and says she won't leave until Mr. Bush agrees to meet with her to discuss the war. There are many reasons for the flood of media attention she is attracting: she has a poignant personal story and she is articulate - and, let's face it, August is a slow news month. But most of all, she is tapping into a growing popular feeling that the Bush administration is out of touch with the realities, and the costs, of the Iraq war.

Ms. Sheehan's 24-year-old son, Casey, was killed in Baghdad. She says she and her family met privately with Mr. Bush two months later, and she is sharply critical of how the president acted. He did not know her son's name, she says, acted as if the meeting was a party and called her "Mom" throughout, which she considered disrespectful.

Ms. Sheehan has traveled from her California home to Crawford, where Mr. Bush will be spending much of the month, in the hope of having a more substantive discussion. On Saturday, Mr. Bush's national security adviser and the White House deputy chief of staff met with her beside a road a few miles from the ranch, but she is still insisting on a meeting with the president.

Even many Americans who do not share her views about the president - she arrived in a bus bearing the slogan "Impeachment Tour" - share her concerns about his war leadership. President Bush has refused to ask the nation to sacrifice in any way, so the sacrifice gap has never been greater. A few families, like Ms. Sheehan's, have paid the ultimate price. Many more, including National Guard families, are bearing enormous burdens, struggling to get by while a parent, a child or a spouse serves in Iraq. But the rest of the nation is spending its tax cuts and guzzling gas as if there were no war.

Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve. The administration seems reluctant to have the president take part in events that would direct widespread attention to soldiers' funerals or to the thousands who have returned with serious injuries.

Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Bush is not leveling about where things stand with the war. He continues to stay on message, as he did with the platitude he offered last week: "We will stay the course; we will complete the job in Iraq." The public knows that things in Iraq are not going well on any number of levels, and deserves a fuller, more honest discussion led by the commander in chief.

Just 38 percent of the respondents in a recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll, a new low, approved of Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq. That does not mean the remaining 62 percent agree with Ms. Sheehan that the troops should come home immediately. But it does mean that many Americans are with her, at least figuratively, at that dusty roadside in Crawford, expecting better answers.

In Ms. Sheenan's own words:

I shamefully and regretfully admit that before Casey was killed in Iraq I didn't publicly speak out against the war. I didn't shout out and say, "Stop. Stop this insane rush to an invasion that has no basis in reality. Don't invade a country based on cherry-picked intelligence and despicable scare tactics. You don't use our country's precious lifeblood unless its absolutely necessary to defend America." If I had broken the bonds of my slavery to silence sooner, would Casey still be alive? I don't know.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


It seems like every single time I walk into my neighborhood grocery store, I hear the same f-ing song on the radio. I swear to God. It's as if those wacky wiseacres at C-Town are just waiting for me to show up, giggling, with the song on cue, because they know that this particular little ditty makes me completely fucking homicidal.

Whenever I hear this thing, I want to whistle a bullet through my head. I don't know who sings it, but I believe it's called "1985." The lyrics are a litany of cheap, gimmicky pop culture references from everybody's favorite decade, THE EIGHTIES. The chorus is like, "Springsteeen, Madonna, way before Nirvana..." and is sung by some little whiny puke who makes Weird Al look like Henry Rollins. The music itself sounds like it was assembled in the same factory that cranks out Averil Lavigne and Sum 41 hits. The song was apparently written for the benefit of nostalgic yuppie types who stopped listening to new music while Bush #1 was still in office. Hearing it makes me want to peel my skin off.

If anyone can tell me the name of the band that is responsible for this vile piece of worm-ridden chart fodder, please do. Because when I find out who it is, I'm going to track them down and squish them like bugs. Then I'm going to firebomb their record label.

I think I need to listen to some Slayer to get my equilibrium back.