It’s Come to This: An Op-Ed Political Essay

getty images

getty images

I’m just one more voice screaming into the abyss.

Some days, I’ll be scanning through my Facebook or Twitter feeds, and as the constant and seemingly endless stream of status updates and selfies and shared articles and political rhetoric, the likes and dislikes and misinformation and click bait stack up like garbage piles infinitum on my eyes and brain, I’ll come to the gradual realization that I hate everybody I know. Or, more to the point, I abhor their online presence. I tire of all the “Look at me!” posts and the “Can you believe?” links, the mundane and asinine as glorified by characters and pixels. But I particularly loathe all of the political screeds and the trash spam articles masquerading as news. And I hate all of the condescension and contempt that harbors within me towards these people I normally have love and respect for in the non-digital world…the real world? And goddamnit, it always gets so much worse during an election year.

The Joup Friday Album: Moderat – II

moderat-iiThere is most definitely something about the electronic music I like that induces in me an ‘altered state’. I suppose the same can be said about any music – well, okay, not any; certainly not most pop – but the deep, bass-driven, keyboard covered drones of a hybrid artist such as Moderat and an album such as II absolutely carries me into a lighter, calmer state. This state is not extraneous – it is not “outside” my head. They are inside, the places where I go, where this record takes me. Moderat is very similar to several other artists I listen to, chief among them perhaps Underworld, in that the music they make brings down an easy veil of night even in the midst of the day (definitely need to drape the windows for that, but I’ve long maintained, in my most goth-like moments, that night, like Halloween, is a state of mind more than it is an actual physical time.

The Joup Friday Album: Bad Religion – No Control

0045778670260-png-1200x1200_q90_cropA wise friend recently told me that they could not survive an election year without Bad Religion. Well, here we go…

“Don’t be a henchman.”

Bad Religion’s fourth album, No Control, came out in 1989. Twenty-seven years have passed, and there is still a good majority of us that haven’t learned.  We’re still blindly supporting our religious and political ideals. We’re still slaves to voting red or blue no matter who. A third-party vote is still considered garbage. I daresay that the zeitgeist has become even more toxic. The constant barrage of news, “trumped up” or otherwise, has us clawing at each other.

The Joup Friday Album: Plague Vendor – Bloodsweat

bloodsweatMonday night, I chose to start working on this review rather than watching the Presidential debate. Why? For the same reason Plague Vendor appeals to me – the world is full of depressing shit with a few glimmers of happiness scattered here and there. When there are so many unavoidable things that suck all around us every day, why choose to intentionally subject yourself to something you know will make you mad or sad when instead you can enjoy something that fills you with joy and energy?

The Joup Friday Album: Traveling Wilburys – Vol. I

Album cover Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1In the supergroup pantheon, who really considers The Traveling Wilburys? Treated like a shameful secret among superfans of each of the group’s members (Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Bob Dylan), The Wilburys were an ‘80s “two-off” group that got together to spin folksy, watered-down Southern gothic kind of tunes that hovered around some of the easy listening stations of the time.

Abhorring anything Jeff Lynne and his omnipresent drum machine, my boyfriend Batdad Tu mocks the ever-loving shit out of this group. Granted, they’re not his beloved (fill in the blank of whatever superhero troupe Josh Homme is assembling at the moment), but my soft spot for – and defense of – The Wilburys shall remain unwavering.


For The Love of Comics – Seven to Eternity!!!


Yup. Rick Remender’s new book Seven to Eternity is out today. And guess what? If you didn’t realize it, if you hadn’t already read this, it’s Mr. Remender once again teaming up with Jerome Opena, the artist that, to me, best captured the awesome scope of Rick’s run on Uncanny X-Force a few years back. So I am PSYCHED!!!

Also, should be noted, there are several awesome variant covers (I don’t normally go for that kind of thing and I’ll still only buy one, but it’s nice to see so much great art on the book’s face!) and if you live in southern California Mr. Remender is signing the book and probably anything else over at Manhattan Beach’s The Comic Bug. Still the best damn shop this side of Chicago for my money…

The Joup Friday Album: Fugazi – 13 Songs

13songsA little over a month ago I finished the novel I’ve been working on for four years. It was a great feeling to finally nail the ending exactly how I knew it was supposed to be, and to celebrate I took a few days off from writing, watched and read a bunch of stuff I’ve been perpetually behind on and then began to access the next project. There are at least two sequels I have planned for Shadow Play book 1: Kim & Jessie, but before I start down that road I gave kindle-ready copies to two of my best friends and asked them to give me feedback. This works perfectly, as I’m attempting to employ the method Stephen King discusses in his book On Writing. Brass tacks: once Mr. King finishes something he puts it in a drawer for three months and works on other ideas. This gives him one of the most important tools a writer can have: perspective. This is something I am all for at this point. Having been submerged inside something for so long, well, I’ve lost the ability to see the forest for the trees. So, with Shadow Play tucked away into the hands of friends I decided to go back and give a nice dust up to a novel I finished in 2010.