Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The world seems too unstable these days. I just read an article about a 3rd homicide in 4 days in an area of Fort Worth that a friend of mine works; he has been the first officer on site for all 3 shootings.

Another headliner is Chris Benoit, a professional wrestler who apparently killed his wife and child, then himself, becoming yet another member of "too pathetic to leave your family out of your pathetic, cowardly exit" club.

BREAKING NEWS: Paris is out of jail...

...While one story that flew under the radar was this. We do not negotiate with terrorists. But if we pay them off, that's...uh...different?

North Korea's upcoming news headline: "Idiot Americans Give Us Heaping Piles of Money We Can Spend on Different Weapons to Kill Them All."

In the meantime, there are ever-looming environmental concerns - are the concerns even real? If we all start hugging trees will it even make a difference, or are we part of a cycle that's inevitable, but we are accelerating by a few hundred years? Of course, it's impossible to find an unbiased opinion, since the leftist scientists unequivocally support their agenda, and the right supports theirs.

John Edwards and his wife were on Leno last night, commenting on the fact that despite her cancer, they are still tearing up the campaign trail. This is what their purpose is, they said. And you can't help but believe that no matter how screwed up, power-hungry, or misled past and present politicians have been, they truly must want to make a difference for the better to jump in the fire with all this madness. Or their just crazy, which is also possible.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Billy Corgan: Explain Yourself!

Am I hallucinating, or is this reality? For those of you too lazy to click away, the link says that the upcoming Smashing Pumpkins release Zietgeist will be released in 4 different versions - one for Best Buy, one for Target, one for iTunes, and one for everyone else. The first three will contain a "bonus track" and the last will be the "no bonus track" version that everyone else gets.

What the fuck?! This isn't the same Billy Corgan that gave the finger to his old record label and threw caution to the wind in releasing Machina II: Friends and Enemies of Modern Music by giving a few records to friends and letting it spread on the internet only. "Take that, corporate rock!" So what the hell is this nonsense?!

Corgan has a history of stream-of-consciousness blog entries about various topics, so here's to hoping that he explains what the hell he's thinking regarding this shamelessly money-grubbing move. Otherwise, on the day the new album is released, I'm going to buy the damn thing since I'm a psychotic Pumpkins fan, but I'm not going to be pleased about it. And I will pilfer the other bonus tracks remorselessly, asshole!*

*Maybe there is a good reason, and proceeds by people who've gotta have all versions of the album will be used to feed starving children in Africa, or to build a huge sign in Chicago that says "D'arcy and James - what now, bitches?"** If not though, you're an asshole, Corgan!

**Former Pumpkins who refused to reform the original band.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

“EAT ME, DRINK ME"/The Trilogy.

For those of you that aren’t aware, I’m a huge Marilyn Manson fan. I first picked up “Portrait of an American Family,” (POAAF) his first album, when I heard that he was opening for Nine Inch Nails. I figured any band that opens for NIN must be good and picked it up. As soon as I heard the opening drum beats of “Cake and Sodomy” I knew it was good stuff. His subsequent masterpiece, “Antichrist Superstar,” set a new bar for metal in general, but we’ll get back to that later.

“EAT ME, DRINK ME” (EMDM) wasn’t supposed to happen. He originally intended for “Golden Age of Grotesque” (GOAG) to be his swan song, but lo and behold, he meets the young actress Evan Rachael Wood (starring in his “it’ll be released someday” Lewis Carroll-inspired “Phantasmagore”) and is inspired to make music again, centered around “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” which is the closest Manson has come to writing a love song in his career.

I’ve read a lot of reviews for EMDM, and one I read on a message board keeps coming back to me that I’ll shamelessly reproduce here – this is the first Brian Warner album. Clearly it still contains the trademark Manson sound and there are typical dashes of talking about death and destruction, but this album has a much more personal feel than anything he’s ever done, to an extent where when you listen to it you think of Brian Warner the man making a Manson album, as opposed to Manson the persona creating chaos in the form of music.

And because of this personal feel to the music, I appreciate it for its flaws as well as its triumphs. Of all Manson albums, this rivals GAOG as the most “spotty” in terms of quality. While some songs are utterly amazing, others are sort of casually “there.” This is a contrast to the trilogy (more on this in a second), of course, where almost every song is awesome and speaks to a greater story.

At the end of the day, if you’re a big fan of Manson, you’ll love EMDM, like I do. Standout tracks are “Heart-Shaped Glasses,” and the deliciously raunchy “Evidence,” which rivals “Cake and Sodomy” for rocking guilty pleasure.

The Trilogy

Thanks to our friend Wikipedia, I’ve been studying the “internet summary” of a litany of Manson information I’ve been missing the last few years while I’ve been working instead of researching Manson on the internet. After POAAF, Manson released “Antichrist Superstar” (AS), “Mechanical Animals” (MA), and “Holy Wood – In the Shadow of the Valley of Death” (HW) in sequence. Listening to the albums in real-time as they were released, AS was an instant masterpiece and became perhaps my favorite metal album of all time. MA came as a bit of a shock in terms of its Bowie-ish feel, but it was actually stunning in that is was almost as good as AS. [In fact, a bit of Badger-trivia for you – I have listened to MA more than any other MM album because my roommate Freshman year of college insisted on listening to it while going to sleep just about every night. Believe it or not, the fierce “Great Big White World” (about cocaine, not race issues, Manson-haters) makes me a feel a bit sleepy to this day as a result.] Next came HW, MM’s first release post-Columbine, which was unsurprisingly dark and heavy, addressing his detractors head-on concerning guns, God, and government in songs like “The Love Song,” “The Fight Song,” “Disposable Teens,” etc.

It turns out that the proper order of the albums, however, is HW-MA-AS. It concerns a hero, named Adam, who goes through protest, ending in disillusionment (HW), turning to drugs and decadence (MA), and ultimately being reborn as “The Worm” in AS. The fact that such an explanation works, yet also that the real-time release of the three albums coincided logically with Manson’s real-life events, blows my mind. Those that own these albums also know that the artwork is incredibly detailed and interesting, and extremely detailed explanations can be found for just about everything contained therein.

In case you’re a fan of hard music but have avoided Manson in the past, I recommend you pick up “the trilogy” and listen to them in order while reading their background. Even if Manson isn’t your favorite artist, I have gained an even deeper appreciation of these albums from an artistic standpoint – they are truly amazing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lost: Damn Straight!

The producers of "Lost" have now gone on record to say that the show will not end like The Sopranos.



I watched Seasons 1-3 of The Sopranos on DVD and thought it was brilliant. I simply haven't had time to watch the remaining seasons yet and I don't have HBO. Upon learning about the controversy surrounding the show's ending, I had to know what it was about, because realistically, it'll probably be a couple years before I make it through the remaining episodes I haven't seen.

I think David Chase is a genius. Was the final moment a shift back to the Tony-perspective, where everything went black and the music ended, symbolizing his being whacked? Was the audience whacked when we least expected it? What really matters is that it captured the paranoia surrounding Tony's lifestyle (and our paranoia for him), and the feeling that he must constantly be on the lookout for people trying to kill him. The most appropriate ending for The Sopranos was the figurative one, where we can draw our own conclusions.

"Lost" is a different story, though. The entire point of the show is figuring out what's going on, through the experiences of a diverse set of characters that react differently to their precarious situation. If the last episode of "Lost" were to end with something like *"Thank God you've made it back safely. No one has ever escaped that island, which is a "/BLACKSCREEN* I'd say it would be justified for the producers to fall at the hands of angry-mob-death.

However, I believe we can expect everything in "Lost" to wrap up in a nice, neat little package that will make us want to go back and watch every episode from Season 1 immediately. And hopefully it'll blow our minds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Because I Write Scatterbrain!

I occasionally catch episodes of Dr. Phil with Monika, which is a guilty pleasure due to how heinously screwed up some of the contestants, I mean “guests” are. Yesterday was a rerun of an all-time favorite, the “Out of Control Spending?” episode. It concerned two couples; one featured a woman with a propensity to spend paired with a husband who was a cheap bastard (he claimed $200 could buy clothes for an infant child from age 6 months to 5 years). The other “couple” was a young woman named Carlina and a friend of hers who was there to tell Dr. Phil about Carlina’s crazy ways. The gory details: Carlina has $38,000 in credit card debt, no job, and continues to go further into debt – why? What’s her all-encompassing rationale for going further into debt which she will most likely never pay? “Because I’m Carlina!” Yes, that’s right. In case you thought you farted while she was explaining herself and didn’t hear correctly, she repeated it at least 5 or 6 more times. “I’m Carlina. People talk about me. I just have to have it because I’m me!”

I didn’t think there were people that dumb on this planet any more. For example, they might have just crossed a freeway in rush hour because they are Carlina and traffic should just stop in their presence. But somehow evolution missed some. It’s pretty cool, though, because it somewhat validates the “perfectly illogical” argument. Think of the possibilities! We catch Bin Laden and in court he says, “Look, I just had to kill a LOT of people, because I’m Bin Laden! It’s ME, guys!” Perplexed, the judge will respond “Shit, we have no case!”

It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to own a Lamborghini. Screw it, I just need to walk in there and take care of this! “Guys, it’s ME. I write SCATTERBRAIN. You know, that blog…okay, you’ve never heard of it, whatever. Just give me the keys, I NEED a Lamborghini.” I’m convinced that a combination of this conversation and possibly some artillery will do the trick. If the latter gets me in trouble the court will easily let me off the hook because it’s me and I say so.

Let’s do this!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Master of His Domain.

Some of my friends call Miles "The Mastadon." Beware to those who dare enter his realm...

Well, That Was Quick.

The women's final at the French Open just ended. Yet another good example of why I'm not a big fan of women's tennis. 1 hour, 5 minutes. Ana Ivanovic comes out firing and breaks Henin in the first game - my God, she's going to make this interesting! Then she proceeds to take a big dump the rest of the match, and got absolutely obliterated. The commentators find they have nothing better to talk about than lopsided French Open finals - "hmm...the last time there was a competitive women's final was 2001."

There was also a brief montage for notes, which are apparently the new rage on the women's tour. Want to be more (or less) subtle than on-court coaching? Take a notebook, or a manila envelope, out of your bag at various points in the match to read tips that have been left for you. I guess it's "legit" because they aren't getting the instruction from a physical presence, but geesh, come on...

Here's to hoping the men's final is better. At the very least, I guarantee neither Roger nor Rafa will be busting out "inspirational writings" during their match.

Side-note - did you see Mary-freaking-Pierce during the telecast?! If that doesn't convince you all to wear sunscreen, I don't know what will.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tears of SORROW, people!

I just can't resist watching this train wreck. Yes, I'm a lemming.

Props to TWM, who usually beats me to this sort of thing...but check it out - CNN, you've gone TOO FAR this time!!!

Attack of the Black Widows.

You move into a new house, and are excited about the fact that you (hopefully) won’t experience the dead water heater, or the cracking foundation, or various other problems that crop up in older homes. However, you’re not immune to deadly critters.

I found the first black widow at Scatterbrain Central in the garage. It was nestled in the front-right corner of the garage. He had spun a web and was just hanging out near the sensor that detects whether the garage is clear to close. I thought, “hmm. A black, mean-looking spider. And what’s with that red on the belly? That looks familiar. Oh, wait, is that one of those spiders that can make my brains pop out of my eyeballs if it bites me?”

Yes, the black widow is particularly fond of my abode. I have since found a couple more, but yesterday killed four in one session, upon discovering that they are particularly fond of nestling themselves in our fence, beneath the top ledge, behind the fence posts. As you can imagine, we have many fence posts, and apparently each one is dying to have its own black widow companion. I grabbed my nearest copy of the Wall Street Journal, which triples as educational reading material, Miles’ favorite-run-from-the-newspaper-game, and black-widow-ass-whoopin’-dispenser.

So, over the past few weeks, I’ve gone from seeing a black widow in a zoo to seeing a handful at my house. Not good. At least none of those bastards have found their way inside – yet. This would be a pleasant consolation if it weren’t for the fact that on Wednesday night I killed a SCORPION that was crawling on the wall in the master bedroom. Mind you, again, I’ve never seen a scorpion outside of a zoo in Texas, and thought they only lived in the desert. How one made its way into my freaking house, I have no clue.

I’m thinking about putting a big box in the back yard and filling it with a ton of pest poison. I’ll poke a small hole in the box and label it “Super Fun House! Free Admission for Spiders, Scorpions, and Other Repugnant Pests Only.” That way they’ll think they’re in for some fun and they’re getting a good deal to boot. Do you think it’ll work?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hot Topic Rules.

What?! Did I just say that?

Yesterday Monika and I took a vacation day to shop and relax. We went to Grapevine Mills mall and immediately gave more of our money to Nike - the two of us certainly do our part to keep Tiger and his buddies making multi-millions in endorsements. Sometime afterward I decided to hop into Hot Topic. I perused the standard fare, but before I headed out, a Radiohead shirt caught me eye. One of the new shirts on W.A.S.T.E., in the clearance section. I typically pay $30+ for these things. They had one XL for $9.99. I couldn't believe it and snatched it up immediately.

...Let's pause for a moment for something you may or may not know about me. I am quasi-obsessed (okay, just "obsessed") with Radiohead shirts. I have at least 20 of them. They are all XL. Why, when I typically wear a large? Well, apparently Brits are scrawny, because all Radiohead shirts run a size small, or a size-plus, as I like to think of it. Because even most of my XLs don't fit - I only regularly wear 5 or so of my Radiohead shirts. It's not only the girth and the sleeve length, it's the actual shirt length - some of the damn shirts are almost like halter-tops. I mean, come on, people! I have a little joke with myself about the "Radiohead Crap Shoot" - I buy them, wash them, and put them on wondering whether they'll actually fit. They usually don't. No matter, I'll keep buying them...

Now - shockingly, the unbelievable-deal-Hot-Topic-shirt came out of the dryer and fits like a champ. In fact, it fits like a "normal" Large shirt, perish the thought! This will probably become my most-worn Radiohead shirt as a result.

I made my purchase and headed out of the store, but then as I glanced at the facade on the way out, I noticed something I hadn't seen while I was in there - it was Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar on vinyl, and it looked AWESOME. The records themselves are covered in the album artwork, and they reside in a clear plastic sleeve. Back into Hot Topic I went for a second purchase.

So yesterday brought not one, but two items purchased from Hot Topic, which was two more than I thought I'd ever buy from the place, which usually has Badger-repellent sprayed with the oh-so-flagrant use of "come in, angst-ridden teens" marketing supplies scattered throughout. From now on, I'll give them a shot.