For the most part, internet comment sections are the 21st century equivalent of the Letters to the Editor section from your local paper; that is, they are typically orgies of awful grammar, bad spelling, and utter fucking stupidity. For the most part, I can honestly say the Bollocks! comment sections have miraculously avoided that particular pitfall.
(Cue dramatic music)
Until now. Early this week, I had to zip off to Wyoming (Dick Cheney country – I’m still there as I write this and, if I find that son of a bitch, you had better believe that he is in for such a water boarding) for work. On my way out of L.A., as my weak-ass laptop battery died, I dropped by Bollocks! to start a draft or two of upcoming reviews and I happened to notice my stats were a little funny. First off, let me say that I thoroughly enjoy the fact that 6 to 9 people on average read Bollocks! with anything approaching regularity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million time until I die: I am humbled and amazed that anyone reads this shit. When we hit 75 views in one day toward the end of 2008, I thought to myself, “Yeah, that won’t be happening again.” Well, on Monday of this week, more than 200 motherfuckers checked out Bollocks! And that’s really cool. Thank you, whoever you are. If you like what you saw, spread the word. If you don’t like what you saw, well, don’t be surprised by my lack of remorse. If you’re Craig Finn, I’m buying you a beer on July 7th.
Some of you clearly didn’t like what you saw in my three part, drunken review of Chinese Democracy. In fact, some of you didn’t like what you saw so much that you decided to throw caution, any understanding of what the word “subjective” means, and grammar to the wind and drag the ol’ Bollocks! comment boards to depths somewhere between your typical Onion A.V. Club article and a Fark politics thread.
The most frequent flamer was a user named Your a Tool. I did not edit the user name. He or she either meant to imply that I am a tool, in which case he/she/Axl Rose should’ve pulled his/her head out of his/her ass long enough to stick a fucking apostrophe in there (the user name, not their ass) or they wanted to be called Your Tool and accidentally hit the “a” key. Guess which one I think it is? I know Mr. or Ms. YaT is apt to argue that I’m a dick for picking on their grammar, but the fact is, I spent a lot of time in that review harping on Axl Rose’s utterly embarrassing grasp of the English language. Why? 1) I’m smart and 2)I’m a fucking music and language snob! It’s a double-edged sword that I have to try really hard not to wield pretty much all the time. Read some of the other reviews on this site, for fuck’s sake. When I don’t like something, I – because 1) it’s fun and 2) I can – rip it to fucking pieces. Also, YaT’s first comment was “you are a waste of life”, which is grammatically correct, but lacks the capital letter that kindergarteners know belongs at the beginning of a fucking sentence. So right away, YaT, you’ve fatally shown me that you do grasp the whole “your/you’re” thing and are just lazy.
YaT posted many comments, one of which helpfully pointed out that Chinese Democracy’s title track is a metaphor but less helpfully failed to explain for what, exactly, “Chinese Democracy” is a metaphor. Metaphors are only metaphors if they refer to something which they don’t literally denote in order to suggest a similarity. And even if YaT understood the meaning of the word “metaphor” it wouldn’t somehow prevent “Chinese Democracy” from being a musical abortion. YaT points out that “Shackler’s Revenge” is about the Columbine shootings, but explaining what the songs are about doesn’t stop them from being shitty songs. “Shackler’s Revenge” could be about how dumb Glenn Beck is and it would be accurate and yet still awful. YaT also says, “when he finallys tells his side of the story on this song and album…you complain…” The “he” there is Axl and the ellipses are not mine either. Not sure what they’re doing there, but YaT fails to understand that Axl Rose isn’t the only person I complain about on this site. I complain about fucking everything! YaT nonetheless tells me I should “just go drink your life away” to which I can only respond: why on earth would I drink myself to death when there are morons like you out there floating around in cyberspace with your shitty grammar, poor understanding of figurative language, and appallingly bad taste in music, just waiting to post the next dumb comment to a blog that very few people give a shit about? Do you realize how entertaining this is for me? I don’t wanna die, YaT. I want people like you to keep coming ’round and confirming how motherfucking awesome I am and validating my clearly superior taste in music.
Here’s one of my favorite things Your a Tool said: “Axl wasnt trying to please people like yourself who are stuck in 88.” I didn’t edit YaT’s post even a bit because I want you all to understand that this person is some kind of anti-apostrophe bigot. Anyone who has read more than one post on Bollocks! (thanks, close personal friends) knows that I am anything but stuck in “88”, which I assume meant the year 1988 (which would, again, properly be abbreviated with an apostrophe before the digits. Did apostrophes kill your parents, Your a Tool?). The only album from 1988 that I even like is Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth. If I’m stuck in any year, it’s 2008 because that’s when the last Hold Steady album came out. But, YaT was right – Axl Rose wasn’t trying to please people like me just as I wasn’t trying to please people (if Guns N’ Roses fanboys can be considered “people”) like YaT or Ossi, who was at least firm in his or her grammar when he or she wrote, “Wow, you are really stupid.” That’s an opinion to which you’re entitled, Ossi, but when people who revere Chinese Democracy think I’m stupid, I can only interpret that to mean that I am doing something incredibly, deliciously right.
YaT, among many stupid shots, fired this winner across the bow: “so lets see if your as tough as your reviews indicate…or will you be a pussy and not allow these posts to go through?” Again, he/she/Axl Rose probably meant “let’s see”, a contraction of “let us,” which would be, you know, fucking English. Well, YaT, I did let these posts go through but not because I think I’m as tough as these reviews indicate. Tough doesn’t even enter into the equation (though I am tougher than these reviews indicate because Fuck You, which is the only reason I need to do anything, ever, end of story) – I relish the opportunity to rhetorically bitch-slap idiots. Does that make me an asshole? Yeah, but that’s only one facet of my personality, and one I never dreamed would come along whilst I ejaculated my silly little thoughts about silly little albums out into the interwub.
YaT was the most prolific of the posters, but I wanted to share this tidbit with you from William Andrews: “…it is idiots like yourself that brainwash today’s young audience into liking flavour of the month music or should i say crap that is out there.” First off, Billy – can I call you Billy? I don’t care – before Monday, not nearly enough people read this blog for me to be capable of brainwashing audiences young, old, or otherwise. Second, some of the people who I know who read Bollocks! regularly either 1) disagree with me about the album (but with, you know, dignity and civility) or 2) don’t bother listening to the fucking thing. Also, people who have read more than one review on Bollocks! know that I’m definitely not shilling for the flavor of the month; I hate Wavves (indie flavor of the month) and every (every) teen-pop, emo, pop-country, et cetera act that you find on the radio. The only radio station I even listen to is 89.3 The Current which is in Minnesota. So I have to listen to them online and not on the actual radio.
I always appreciate feedback on the site and I approve any comments that don’t smell egregiously of spam, so people are welcome to respond as much as they like. Bear in mind however, that any and all attempts to convince me of the error of my ways will only have the opposite effect, amplified times infinity. Taste in music is subjective; in fact, hate to ruin the party for you, but 9/10 of life is subjective because humans are fallible creatures all of whom measure things (even the colors we see) differently. No one has to like what you like, you don’t have to like anyone, you don’t even have to use good grammar when you post stupid comments to a blog no one reads (until recently, I guess) and, most importantly, I don’t have to refrain from calling you an idiot when you do it. I will end this discussion in a way I’ve always wanted to end a public argument: futhermore, fuck you.