Okay, so everyone has started somewhere in their writing work, and this is where I started: on a mailing list to a bunch of coworkers something like fourteen years ago. This is essentially completely fucking terrible, both from a writing perspective and from a “the opinions expressed herein are those of a fucking stupid 21-year-old” perspective, so it probably bears noting that this is going to be embarrassing as fuck, and yes, for a while, I was the Ugly American. So enjoy this or… something.)
Hey everyone. This is the first in a series of collections of the old rants from the E-mail list I used to do, titled, oddly enough, Your Hot Cup of Rant. This one, in particular, is the first of many I sent out, and was about as random a piece of work as you could get. In retrospective, my writing at the time wasn’t terribly strong or cohesive, never really got to a point, and honestly relied too heavily on profanity to get it’s point across.
It’s also probably a good bit funnier than anything I’ve written to date. (No, it probably wasn’t.)
Anyway, this one came out 9/12/01, and was mainly my way of dealing with the tragedy that had occurred the day prior.
Hey everyone, for better or worse, this recent deal of happenings has inspired me to write, so take it as you see fit, just read it and let me know what you think. Pass it on if you want, hell, I don’t care. I’m gonna do this again, so if anyone else wants it the next time around, lemme know. (I should probably note that, in the event there are weird wording or formatting errors, that I, for some reason, didn’t keep the original copies of the rants anywhere, so these are scanned copies of print-outs my then-girlfriend kept that I converted to text and reposted.)
First, some small, random thoughts before I get to the meat of my issues tonight…
I have a lot less respect for the band Crossbreed after having found out they were signed by Kittie… oh well, even the worst musicians show good taste once in a while. (I suppose that was meant to be an endorsement of the band Crossbreed and a shot at the band Kittie, though I almost certainly have to believe no one reading this, at the time, was terribly aware of either band. They’ve both passed me by as bands at this point, and are mostly just kind of… there at this point as bands in general, so this is yet another time capsule I suppose.)
I seem to find myself having a lot MORE respect for Fred Durst as of late, partially because he’s managed to attach himself to almost EVERY single form of popular media in existence in the past two years (video games, music (duh), wrestling, movies, you name it, plus he has friends like Korn, Staind, Cold, and Puddle of Mudd), partially because he’s venturing into producing and doing a decent job of it (he’s no super whiz, but c’mon, he wears a bright red Yankees hat, for chrissakes), but mostly because anyone who can act like so much of a doofus in his videos and still be considered a sex symbol can’t be all bad. (WAS Fred Durst ever legitimately a sex symbol? I know he made videos where he was making out with attractive women, but did the world at large agree with that assessment at any point? I’m thinking no. Though I did listen to one of Limp Bizkit’s and I swear to God the chorus sounds like he’s singing that he drinks jizz. Between that and the fact that Durst saw Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video and took away from it, “Rapping on the toilet is cool,” this all speaks volumes about him as a human being, and none of it says anything good.)
Anyone else (who watches wrestling) find it odd that Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho have been in the WWF for quite some time and rarely ever main event, yet for some really bizarre reason Spike Dudley and RVD were in the fed less than six months and have both fought Austin? (No; the former was a one-off deal meant to reinforce Spike’s underdog status, while the latter was because RVD was over as fuck and they couldn’t ignore it, but they completely could turf him out. See also Zack Ryder, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan, though the latter basically stayed strong through it, by some act of God.)
Maybe I should sleep more. (Fourteen years later, this is no less true.)
And finally, I’m gonna go on a mini-rant here before I get to the main one…. anyone who’s been paying attention to the news for a short period of time has no doubt seen or heard about the death of Aaliyah in some form or another. (This is not going where you think it is, so thank God, I don’t have to apologize for that at least.) First off I’d like to say that I feel it’s a truly sad thing to have happen. In any case, as she was, while not one of MY favorite musicians, certainly good at what she did, and a decent, if not truly gifted, actress, for the most part. However, I don’t really understand the outpouring of immense emotion over her death, just as I’ve never understood it before, and will probably never understand it in the future. She was a musician that released approximately three albums and was probably still moving up in the world, and she dies and everyone acts like they lost their best friend or some shit. Okay, to be blunt, COME THE HELL ON PEOPLE! There’s a good chance you never saw her in person, and an even better one you never met her, and an astronomical chance you CERTAINLY didn’t spend quality time with her, get the hell over it! Being sad is one thing, it’s acceptable, perhaps even accepted. Acting like your dog died is quite another, and it’s more than a little disturbing. How do you know enough about this person to say you “knew” them? (This was years before Michael Jackson passed away and we spent an entire week mourning his loss, despite having called him a fucked up plastic freak for years prior to that point. I get the concept now; people feel a strong emotional connection to artists and content creators who make something that impacts them in some way, as I certainly felt a sense of loss when George Carlin died, so I understand. That said, I also wasn’t sobbing about the loss for weeks at a time because I wasn’t friends with Carlin, and no matter how much I loved his work, it’s not the same as losing my grandfather or a close friend. I get that a lot of people lose themselves in the work of talented artists though, so I get this phenomenon a lot more than I did, and I don’t have a lot to say about it anymore; it’s just not a thing I do, but I get why it happens.)
By her music? Her topics were all over the place, and didn’t always connect to one another, and I’m SURE a reasonable portion weren’t even written BY HER! (That’s the one thing that always kind of amuses me with musicians; if a musician dies and your most pressing connection to them was a song written by someone else, that’s kind of hilariously sad. Protip: I completely understand if you were sad when Whitney Houston passed away, but to those who talked about how much “I Will Always Love You” touched them, you’re expressing a love for Dolly Parton. Which is fine, even if Dolly has become something of a self-parody these days, but the point is, at least try to know what songs your favorite singers wrote.) By her videos? Choreography, just like movies and concerts. Interviews? Interviewers are limited to what they can ask, and superstars are very watchful of their private lives. If you were an actual friend or a member of her family, then you have FULL justification to be sad and upset about this loss as much as you deem necessary. Otherwise, quit obsessing and move on with your life. I sincerely doubt her family wants to see you people beat this dead llama (I don’t like the image of a dead horse, so I chose an animal that I don’t have a good mental visual of) anymore than necessary. Let it go, let them pick up the pieces, then maybe things will set themselves into place… (For reference, I do want to point out that Aaliyah’s death was caused, not by addictions or health issues or fans or bad luck, but because of bad timing and decisions all around. Basically, she was trying to fly back to the US from the Bahamas, and her entourage rushed to do so, which ended up with them overloading their plane and ending up with a pilot who was unlicensed, and possibly drunk/high at the time. This is mostly for contextual purposes, as I imagine some of you reading this may well not even know who she is at this point, given that it’s been nearly fourteen years since her passing, and not to qualify any of the opinions above or whatever.)
…or maybe not. (Oh boy, here we go.) Unless you live under a rock, you, I’m sure, know about the rather violent terrorist attack that occurred hours (as I’m writing this, it’s 1:40 AM EST) ago in New York. In case you DON’T know about it, go to CNN.com, I ain’t wasting space on ALL of it. Real sweet and short, the World Trade Center was run into by not one, but TWO commuter Boeings, both hijacked by armed terrorists, and both full of passengers. A third hit the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pittsburg, PA. The terrorists were armed with what appeared to be hand-made knives, there were as many as four per plane, the crew were all generally assaulted and/or killed outright, and the plane in Pittsburg was headed for DC, presumably either the Capitol or Camp David, when the pilot himself grounded it. Survivors are being dug out of the wreckages as we speak, the Towers collapsed, as many as 50,000 COULD be dead, and Osama bin Laden is being heavily targeted as the instigator of the whole thing. (About half of that is probably inaccurate now, though we didn’t know that at the time. Osama bin Laden ultimately took credit for it, though, and it took us nearly another decade to catch up with him, though eventually someone did, indeed, kill the shit out of him for it.)
As one of my co workers put it, if he’s to blame “we need to bomb the hell out of them and erect a parking lot over the country”. (I assume he meant Afghanistan, but who the hell knows.)
Poetic, doncha think? (Clearly I didn’t know what “poetic” meant.) (That was Max, BTW for those of you who know him.) (Ah, good old Max. A Transylvanian expat who used to tell us stories about his sexual adventures, such as “the time Big Bird gave (him) head,” or “the time (he) had sex with girl and her brother at same time.” He was a fucking riot.)
Needless to say, here’s the tally sheet of the POSSIBLE versus the LIKLEYS. They appear in order.
1. The nation of Islam. (I believe I meant the Taliban here, as opposed to THE ENTIRE NATION OF ISLAM, because HOLY SHIT that would be pretty racist.) The single most likely of the little bastards who could do it, they claim such members as Saddam Hussein and bin Laden himself, which is ironic, since we MADE both of them who they are today, thus proving that we cause all our own problems, but that’s beside the point. (While that particular statement is rife with horrible undertones that I no longer cop to in any way, I do agree with the sentiment that, as we funded the rise to power of both men up to the point where they became political liabilities, yes, we caused our own problems with both of them, and we almost certainly should take away lessons from this about proper use of power and money, relatively speaking.) They’re the most likely suspects, mainly because 1. They fuckin’ hate us, 2. They have the money, (bin Laden’s a multi-millionaire) (Well his family is rich; I don’t know that bin Laden himself had money so much as he exploited his family’s wealth, but either way.) time, and motivation to do us in, and 3. They’re ALL psychopaths who believe killing Americans is a word of God, and if you the doing it, you’re a martyr and will go to Heaven. Needless to say, they rank as enemy #1. (Okay, yeah, as this was written like the night of the event I’d say that I was in a situation where I had no idea that there was a difference between “Islamic people” and “the Taliban”. Not that this makes the sentiment right, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t want to kill every Islamic person on Earth, at least. Though it’s interesting, looking back, to think about what kind of a frothy rage I was in, and how much that changed as little as six months after the fact. THIS SPECIFICALLY, as well as a few other things I wrote and regretted, ended up forcing me into the position I’m in now, where I do a shitload of research before I definitively commit to an opinion on anything important, which is a big part of why, for example, I really don’t like talking about GamerGate publicly.)
2- Anyone else we’ve pissed off China, Russia, Cuba, whoever it is, they all get a mug shot here. (Russia and China probably have the manpower and capability to perform such a task, but it’d be political and possibly real-life suicide to do that sort of thing. Cuba has mostly been trying to convince us to stop hating them for a while now so I don’t even know.) Mainly, though, they have no reason or motivation to carry out such a heavy handed attack, mainly because China only became pissed at us recently, and drawing THAT much attention would be really, um, I dunno, BAD, (To be fair I’m pretty sure China has hated us for a long time, because everyone hates everyone else in the world for one reason or another.) Russia couldn’t mount ANY kind of serious threat in it’s present state, or states, whatever, (Yeah this was before Putin turned Russia around hardcore, which was YAY, then became a fucking real life Bond villain, which was BOO.) and Cuba… um, I don’t think Castro has that much brains, honestly, Sorry Fidel, but you bitched about an eight year old, what am I supposed to think? (Pretty sure that’s an Elian Gonzalez joke? Fuck, I don’t know.)
3. The enemy within. This is the almost last choice, mainly because it’d be the sickest one, and the last one ANYONE wants to believe. (Lord knows it’s happened before and since, though certainly not to this extreme.) This one is pretty hard to swallow at this point… you’ll see why below.
4. The enemy we don’t know. This is the scariest one, mainly because It effectively means we pissed someone ELSE off we didn’t know about… never a good thing. (I’m pretty sure that the CIA knows about every country we’ve pissed off and to what extent, so it was almost never going to be a “Devil you don’t know” situation.)
Honestly, it’s about 99% bin Laden and crew. Why? See this…
Calls were intercepted between bin Laden supporters stating ‘targets were hit’. bin Laden got a few himself BTW. (Ughhhhhhh internet speak acronyms in writing I was sending out as an actual thing I was doing, fucking hell.)
Carved knives… Um, I dunno, but that seems like an indicator. (Uh. Why?)
If it wasn’t him, a HELL of a lot of known terrorists decided to fly that day. United Airlines was fined HEAVILY when the government found out a LOT of KNOWN terrorists were riding the planes in question, USING THEIR REAL NAMES. (The latter is true, the former may well just be bullshit from the 24 hour news cycle.) These, mind you, are the same airports that would like us to believe they hold a standard of security higher than any other airport in the US, yet have been fined nearly $200,000 in the past two years for ROUTINE security violations, and supposedly let a kid, who claimed he was trying to impress bin Laden, cut through an airport fence and sneak on board a plane which took him to ENGLAND? (I don’t remember any of this, but it’s entirely possible. These days we have to take off our belts and shoes to get on the plane, and during my most recent trip it was easier to leave Canada than it was the US. Not a lot, but still. Flying in general sucks a fat one these days, to be frank about it.)
Palestinians were DANCING IN THE STREETS, eating candy and singing ‘God is Great’ after this was announced. (That’s almost certainly exaggeration from the 24 hour news cycle, though I’m sure some of that went on, because we tend to piss a lot of people off. Not that this sort of behavior is justified, but that’s what people do: they demonize the other, so we think of Palestinians as monsters who celebrate our deaths, and they think of us as people whose deaths should be celebrated. It’s a fun circle of the drain, isn’t it?)
Okay, I can believe a lot, but bin Laden NOT being responsible? COME THE HELL ON!! He did it, next story. (This was almost certainly the prevailing sentiment, but his taking credit for it after the fact pretty much cemented it.)
But, needless to say, we’re not done yet, oh no. Arafat (remember him? He’s Islamic too) came on TV and more or less announced his sympathies to us all… and seemed genuinely shocked about it. Well, it either means that he had nothing to do with it, or that the right hand isn’t telling the left one what it’s doing. (I’m mostly certain that Arafat had nothing to do with 9/11, as his interests were mostly with the Israelis, and as I understand it he was kind of trying to work towards peace as he got closer to the end of his life in 2004. Bush apparently told him to go fuck himself, politically speaking, at one point during that, from what I can gather, and he didn’t seem to have many, if any, ties to modern terrorist organizations. He would know better than I would, though.) In addition, bin Laden is hiding out in Afghanistan, who has more or less said in the same breath that they feel bad for us (our children, actually, which has me a little worried about their night life) but deny bin Laden had anything to do with it. (I’m not sure what the “feeling bad for our children” thing is about, but yeah, bin Laden basically came out not long after this and said he totally did it, so we bombed Afghanistan for a while, and when Iraq went tits up Afghanistan became the “good war,” because they were stupid jerks who let bin Laden hide out there when he was a known terrorist. So I feel bad for the citizens, but politically, the government was fucking stupid as hell.)
Well, let’s put this all into perspective. We know it was done, and damn sure have a suspect. Let’s play devil’s advocate and assume he did it, and we prove it. What do we do? Well, if the Afghanis are telling the truth, they turn him over to us, we try him in the UN court, fry his ass, end of story.
But what are the odds of that? (Nonexistent, as it turns out; we had to send a SEAL team in to deal with the situation, which absolutely was not great for anyone involved.)
Chances are, they’ll provide him safe passage out at the first sign o f trouble, and he’ll go in to hiding somewhere else. (This proved to more or less be correct.)
So then what? (He went into hiding for a bunch of time, and then we assassinated him in Pakistan a decade later.)
Well, we don’t have much to worry about… of all the Islams out there, only about 50% of them support these kind of actions, and most of them come from Iraq and Palestine. (TO BE FAIR, the Palestinians mostly hate the shit out of Israel, and us by extension because we’ve sided with Israel on a bunch of terrible shit; not that they’re not ALSO genocidal and horrible, because both sides of that war suck, but they do have a reason. Iraq is kind of a weird situation all around, though these days the entire country has basically shit the bed.) They have so many different factions it’s hard for them to agree on ANYTHING for long, and they’re having wars IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES (Iraq is at war with just about everyone adjacent to them, Palestine has a war in their own country, and Afghanistan just got bombed today by rebels who no doubt feel they’re doing us a favor (morons)), (Everyone hates everyone else, basically.) AND they have no ICBMs. (well, maybe Iraq) (I think we more or less realized that no, Iraq had no ICBM’s, just a bunch of ideas and threats that amounted to jack and shit.) All they have to work with is chemical warfare, and all they have on that end is Anthrax, a chemical that has to be used in EXTREMELY large quantities to be effective, and can be avoided by a rudimentary gas mask. (Not that this prevented people from using it, albeit it in mail bombs and all kinds of other crazy shit.)
In other words, if we need to, we’ll proudly go into their countries and fuck them up the fudge hole. (We did, in fact, and it didn’t end up great. We’re good at winning wars, just bad at everything else.)
And as far as burning the countries to the ground and erecting a monument there under any other set of circumstances, I’d have one very simple gripe about that:
“What about the innocent civilians?”
1. Do you think they asked that when they planned to crash commuter Boeings into populated, non-military buildings?
2 Do you call people who danced in the streets and cheered about these turn of events “Innocent”? (Yes, I just called for the deaths of civilians, because I had no idea what the Geneva Convention was. Honestly this is just a super embarrassing thing I wrote a long-ass time ago, but frankly, I own it, even if I no longer feel this way in the least. It’s good to remind yourself that you used to suck a long time ago, sometimes, because it lets you remember how much you’ve grown as a person, or at least, how much less of a douche canoe you are.)