Hope springs eternal!
It’s been ages since I’ve been the recipient of a philanthropic e-mail offer from Africa, promising stupefying sums of cash, bags of gold dust, bars of bullion, and other forms of riches, in return for just a bit of personal information. No matter how many times I responded in good faith, none of those motherfuckers ever made good. And then they just stopped e-mailing me altogether.
I had pretty much given up, and stopped thinking about all the things I would do with the money, like paying Fleshgod Apocalypse to come live on my island and play for me whenever I want; construct the Grolsch beer fountain; re-open the wormhole vortex; hire personal groomers for the loris horde; and start paying money to get some decent writers for the site.
And then… and then I got an e-mail a couple days ago from a gentleman in London with a very enticing proposition. And I wrote him back, in-line with his message to me, as follows (I’m soooo excited!):
Beginning later today and for about one week, things are likely to slow down at this site. We’ll still get at least one post up here per day, but that may be all we can manage. This is because all of the regular staff writers of NCS are gathering together in Seattle for the first in-person meeting ever. TheMadIsraeli and Andy Synn will be arriving today, and BadWolf and DGR will be descending from the clouds tomorrow trailing godlike raiments, otherwise known as jet exhaust.
There will be much touristy activity, there will be a bit of drinking, there will be some live metal indulgences (among other things, Wintersun, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Arsis are in town tomorrow night), there may be fisticuffs. It is unlikely there will be much blogging.
We have some ambitious plans for that Wintersun show. Two of my comrades signed up for that Arsis crowdfunding perk where James Malone cuts your hair; if that actually happens, there will be a photo op and maybe an impromptu interview. And regardless, we will all be hanging out at Seattle’s Studio Seven tomorrow night. If you’re there, look for a mismatched quintet acting as if they should be on stage but are not.
It’s entirely possible no good will come of this. It’s one thing to pray together at ChristianMingle.com. It’s another thing to share popcorn on the sofa at a screening of Left Behind in person. Like, what if your butts are too big to maintain a chaste distance?
We don’t run this site like a business. There’s no reason to, since we don’t take any money for anything. But we still try hard to make NCS good, and we want more and more people to come here. Your humble editor obsessively watches our traffic statistics, and all of us do what we can to spread the word far and wide. We want to be BIG. I’m really not sure why. I think it’s probably the testosterone.
Since this isn’t a money-making enterprise, I ignore the e-mails we get every day from people who want to sell us on what they can do to make us BIGGER. As fast as it takes to see what the e-mails are about, I delete them. Except for yesterday. Yesterday, for no good reason at all, I read one from “Senior SEO Advisor Amanda Moss” (SEO standing for Search Engine Optimization). Ms. Moss had some very interesting things to say, so I drafted a reply, in line with her message to me:
“Hi Nocleansinging.com Team,
Hope you are doing fine.
Yeah, I suppose. What’s it to you?
I thought you might like to know some of the reasons why you are not getting enough organic traffic & most often you stick to Ad words to get more traffic which is quite expensive and the chances is high of getting a spam traffic as well.
Huh. You mean spam traffic like your e-mail to me Amanda? That kind of spam traffic? Please, tell me this isn’t just some piece of cookie-cutter spam you send to an electronic mailing list of millions. Please tell me this is a highly personalized message you wrote because you genuinely care about NO CLEAN SINGING and our sacred mission. Go ahead: tell me.
Spam is evolving. I know this because our site gets bombarded by it every day. It used to be that I’d get e-mails from people in Africa offering me mountainous stacks of cash from dead relatives I never knew I had, or cancer-striken widows just looking for a good Christian willing to spend millions caring for orphans. For some reason I don’t get those e-mails any more, which is too bad, because now I can’t write responses and share them with everyone here on the site like I used to do. Now I’m seeing the spam in a daily flood of bullshit comments.
I guess there have always been spam comments, but I rarely saw them until recently. The WordPress software we use to create content for NCS includes a spam filter plugin called Akismet that runs in the background and has always done an excellent job detecting spam comments and eliminating them before they ever appear. But as I said, spam is evolving, and Akismet’s algorithms haven’t yet completely adapted to the spammers’ new strategies. Because of the way the new shit is crafted, Akismet puts them in a “moderation” queue, and I get an e-mail for every one of them that Akismet isn’t sure about, allowing me to decide whether the comment should appear or be trashed. And every now and then, one of them will slip through even that filter and appear on the site.
The reason this new generation of spam is puzzling Akismet is that the comments sort of look like they could be real, by which I mean that it’s more difficult for Akismet’s programmers to develop rules that will be effective in determining if they’re real or not. Which is why I’m having to look at them. And I’m getting really fuckin’ tired of looking at them.
Before diving into the subject of this post, let me make one thing clear: I do not understand why metal blogs spend print on Emmure’s Frankie Palmieri. The writers I have in mind do not listen to Emmure. Most of their readers do not listen to Emmure. Frankie Palmeri is not an interesting person. Therefore, why write about him? The only answer I can think of is that he’s easy to make fun of, because he says ridiculous things. Seems like a waste of space to me. Now, having gotten that off my chest, I’ll move on and write about Frankie Palmeri.
By way of background, Emmure are touring Europe at the moment. So are The Atlas Moth — a band whose music I like a lot. The Atlas Moth have been stopping at venues where Emmure have previously stopped. Upon finding Emmure stickers and assorted tags at these venues, The Atlas Moth have been defacing them with drawings of dicks, because, well, The Atlas Moth think Emmure sucks. This has led to a war of words with Frank Palmeri, which is sort of like going to war with a cockatoo. Things that sound like words come out, but they don’t make much sense.
Yesterday (May 7), while performing in Moscow, Franki Palmeri received an electric shock while in the middle of a song, a shock that was powerful enough to knock him straight down and out cold. Obviously, a dangerous situation that could have been worse, though Palmeri has recovered and is already making PR hay out of the incident.
And finally I come to the subject of this post. In a display of creative genius, Cris Bissell, the drummer for a Wisconsin band named Orwell, created a music video, pairing up a continuous loop of film showing Palmeri getting zapped to The Atlas Moth song “Holes in the Desert” (which is a killer song). I found this to be funny as shit. Why?
March 2, 2010: I wrote a rare, completely off-topic post about a movie — Crazy Heart.
April 9, 2012: A new comment appeared on that post. No one would have seen this comment, except possibly for Phro, since he left the only other comment on the post — in March 2011.
Here is the recent comment by a smear of living diarrhea whose spam-bot created the name qr5mer, with my interspersed responses in yellow, since that is the color of the piss in which I would like to drown this jackass:
“Let it end up being. ‘If a cyst is smaller than average discreet, whether or not this doesn injured or perhaps scratch in case this isn reddish colored and also soft, then you could only get out only, Inches states that Jack H. Any hands-off plan is the best for any cyst.”
Pardon me for being less than average discreet, but I disagree. A hands-off plan for the cyst that you are would be the worst plan. I would like to injure you, by scratching you until you are nothing but a big reddish color, and also soft.
Oh what a difference a day makes. Yesterday I was congratulating Encyclopaedia Metallum – The Metal Archives on the addition of the 90,000th band to their remarkable band database (and celebrating the music of that band — Senobyte). And then today, thanks once again to a tip from Happy Metal Guy, I learned that Nickelback have now been added to that same database.
Yes, Nickelback. The band that all true metalheads love to club like a baby harp seal stranded on an ice floe. They are now polluting Metal Archives, right here, big as life and twice as smelly. And don’t think the moderators of Metal Archives didn’t know what they were doing. This explanation appeared last night on MA’s Facebook page:
After a long and harsh process, M-A has decided to add Nickelback to its database. Once our Canadian moderators brought up their early releases, and our German mods agreed in unison, we were forced to reconsider them. Indeed, their first album Curb is totally metal and influenced by Soundgarden and Alice in Chains who are both on the site.
We felt like explaining ourselves and we’re truly sorry to all their fans for this mistake, they DESERVED their spot on the Archives.
Knowing my interest in unsolicited offers of wealth from exotic foreign lands, my NCS comrade TheMadIsraeli shared with me an e-mail he received yesterday from Dr. Sani Ahmed, Director, Telex/Foreign Operation, of the Central Bank of Nigeria. I took it upon myself to answer the message and have sent the following response:
Heh dude, how they hangin’? You messaged my bro TheMadIsraeli yesterday about a pile of cash you’re offering to get to him. Because he’s my bro, he’s turned all that shit over to me so we can use it to keep our metal blog going. It’s a fuckin’ great blog, you should read it sometime. Seriously, it will change your life. And after reading your e-mail, you definitely need some kinda fuckin’ life change. No offense.
Anyway, I put my answers in what you wrote, and they’re in yellow so’s you can tell when I’m rappin’ at you instead of you rappin’ at me.
You may have noticed that over the last couple of months our site has periodically been unavailable. You come here, and you get an error message of one kind or another. Usually the outages haven’t lasted long, maybe 10 or 20 seconds at a time — except for a 2-hour meltdown that happened last weekend. But in that case, our web host (BlueHost) went down across the board, crashing thousands of sites at the same time, allegedly due to some kind of “power surge” that knocked out our host’s servers in Utah.
Even though the downtimes on our site have usually been brief, it has still annoyed the shit out of me. Given the increasing unreliability of the service, I’ve also grown increasingly worried that something really fuckin’ bad will happen, like corruption or loss of data in our database, destroying years of priceless NCS work product. Late this week, I finally decided to bite the bullet and switch web hosts.
This is not a decision to be made lightly, because switching hosting services is a BIG fuckin’ hassle. But hey, guess what! I may not have to make the switcheroo after all! This morning I received this e-mail from BlueHost:
This little story originally reported on gawker has been making the rounds on the internetz this morning, and it’s just too good not to share.
According to a notice posted on the employee bulletin board at Seton Hall University’s heavy metal radio station WSOU, uttering any band names or playing any songs with the words “devil,” “Satan,” “God,” “Jesus,” or “any other Catholic references that are portrayed in a negative light” will result in suspension.
But to take any guesswork out of which band names aren’t appropriate for the airwaves at “Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio,” the management drafted a list of the 53 dirtiest band names that you can never say on the radio, a la George Carlin’s iconic monologue about TV.
The list includes such metal radio staples as Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse, Anal Cunt, Morbid Angel, and Deicide, but also a bunch of just-fun-to-say-out-loud outfits such as Adolf Satan, Baby Jesus Hitler, Crucifucks, Jesus Chrysler, Smother Theresa, and, of course, Hell-O.
Completely understandable and appropriate. Seton Hall is, after all, a private Roman Catholic university (located in New Jersey), the Archbishop of Newark is the president of its Board of Trustees, and lord knows that the Catholic Church has never tolerated filth, depravity, or degradation . . . except among minor church functionaries known as “priests”, but that doesn’t count.