Jan 072010

Last night I stumbled into the interweb equivalent of a brawl.  In one corner: the incomparable ladies of Reign in Blonde (Elise and Julia) and their cool new columnist Angela Gossowski. In the other corner, an infestation of whackjobs calling themselves members of the “Undead Army.”

Chapter 1: The whole thing started innocently enough about a week ago when Elise broke the story that a sometimes member of Hollywood Undead (Daniel Murillo) had auditioned for the new season of American Idol and apparently has made it through to the “Hollywood round” of the competition. Elise didn’t say much about Hollywood Undead other than to describe them as “that shitty rap/rock band that performs in MASKS.”

Now, RIB has a devoted legion of followers, but only a handful of folks post comments with any regularity, and those comments are usually articulate, funny, and — well — civilized. Elise’s story drew 10 posted comments. A few of the regulars popped in, but then (ominously) three commenters appeared with web monikers ending in “HU4L,” which I eventually came to learn stands for “Hollywood Undead for Life.” And one of those comments included this bit of witty repartee:

“Your are a pathetic piece of shit. Im not even kidding you. 1. You dont know one goddamn thing about HU. or where they come from. 2. You need to shut the muthafuck up before someone shanks your bitch ass. 3. Yes I know its your opinion whether or not your like them, so KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.”

Uh, what??  (more after the jump, if you have a strong stomach . . .) Continue reading »

Dec 292009

What do pop star Ke$ha, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, and Cambridge police Sgt. James Crowley have in common? Is it that they all like cock rock? Ke$ha says she does. Maybe the others do too. But I wouldn’t put money on it. No, what they have in common is they’ve all provided us with “teachable moments” this year.

As for Gates and Crowley, they got to know each other on July 16, when Crowley came to Gates’ home after police received a neighbor’s report about a possible burglary at that address. Crowley claimed Gates became abusive and arrested him.

In an effort to cool off the dispute between them, which had ignited into a headline-grabbing national debate about race relations, President Obama invited Gates and Crowley to have a beer with him on the White House lawn. The White House billed the chatfest as a “teachable moment.”  After the beer summit, Crowley said he and Gates had agreed to disagree.

I don’t know about you, but the lesson I learned from that “teachable moment” was this: don’t say anything about a cop’s mama to his face.

Actually, I’m pretty sure I already knew that, but hey, it never hurts to be reminded.

In the case of Ke$sha (and I really don’t want a case of Ke$sha), her ridiculously popular song “Tik Tok” has recently prompted an electronic discussion among Elise at Reign in Blonde, me, and some articulate people who’ve been posting comments at RIB, about that “us against the world” attitude that infuses metal bands and metal fandom and causes some of us to look down on pop music (or even more broadly, all non-metal music) as shallow and inferior.  I think it’s a discussion worth continuing.  (more after the jump) Continue reading »