Last week, I was sick and I wrote in depth about how shitty life in general is. I was criticized in the sock drawer (for you newcomers here, the comments section below each post is called the sock drawer because it is so often filled with content relating to semen, much in the same way a teen’s sock drawer is full of socks full of semen) for ignoring the good things that happen to me, the exceptional moments in my life, and instead focusing on the shitty, soul sucking commuter bits. This person was dead on. He was ignoring that I was sick and in a bad mood and I explicitly stated that in the post, but even so, he was right on. In an effort to combat the overwhelming urge to just be a negative douche all the time, I’m gonna go for it and try to focus on the good stuff.
For example, did you guys know that I went to New York last weekend? I did. It was super fun. I hung out with some pretty wild characters, including famous pervert/photographer Ben Pier, the Jaded Punk Hulk, Dave Hause, Jenny Owens Young, Kyle Kinane, and some guy who couldn’t stop talking about Jesus and blue jeans…uh, who was that guy? Anyway, I played a show in Brooklyn that would have to go down as one of the greatest shows I’ve ever played in terms of fun, enthusiasm (I mean, who expects ENTHUSIASM from Brooklyn kids?) and all around vibe. And when Brian Fallon (THAT was his name!) played that National Anthem song, I really, truly almost cried. It was so, so incredibly fun. I’d like to personally hug each one of you that came out, I’ve rarely had such a good time, and certainly that was one of the most magical shows I’ve attended, much less been a part of, so thanks.
However, the most fascinating thing that happened to me in NYC was the little pub crawl I did with Ben Pier from Penn Station to the bottom of the island when I first arrived. We started at a place inside the station called Kabooz’s, which, I think we can all agree is an awesome name for a bar (a name that we did not realize was a play on the words ‘caboose’ and ‘booze’ until waaaaaay later than we should have). Kabooz’s is pretty much the typical sports bar you’d find in a typical strip mall in a typical suburb of a typical midsized town in the Midwest. Kabooz’s is where Michael Scott brings his clients for Margs and boxcar nachos after a long day at Dunder Mifflin. It’s the most gaudily dull place on the entire earth, and it’s located in the heart of Manhattan.
Truly, if there’s a theory that the center of the universe is simultaneously the edge and vice versa, Kabooz’s proves this theory to be true. It was overwhelmingly weird to be in there. It’s more like the place where my high school English teacher meets up with my highschool science teacher to secretly rendezvous than some kind of hip Manhattan spot. But, that’s precisely what made it so awesome. It’s hard to say why, but its complete lack of pretense, charm, charisma and dignity, exactly what makes Kabooz’s lame everywhere else in the world, made it awesome in Penn Station. I dunno. I guess you’ll probably go and be underwhelmed. Whatever, worldly assholes. I thought Kabooz’s was totally rockin!
The next place we went was called something along the lines of “White Trash Trailer Park Bar” and it was essentially a very clean, Disney version of a hillbilly themed Fridays. There were license plates and doo rags and mustaches and shit everywhere and they sold PBR cans and fritos and the waitress had a bun and cats eye glasses and tattoos and an attitude, and the whole thing was EXTREMELY well done and weird.
The reason it was weird is twofold. Firstly, there’s nothing inherently clean about white trashdom. As someone who was born in Missouri, I can attest to the intrinsic value of clutter, filth and general disarray that is crucial to any sort of white trash authenticity. This place was eat-off-the-floor spotless, and the various knickknacky shit all over the walls were so strategically and meticulously placed that it’s not far fetched to imagine a focus group being conducted to determine every single spatial element.
The second reason that the White Trash Trailer Park Bar (or whatever the fuck it was called) was so weird was because it was a fabricated version of the Midwest, rural south, eastern Washington, shitty culture that (presumably) all the shitty hipster Manhattanites fled in order to come to the big city and distance themselves from. It’s the most bizarre form of cultural cannibalism that I’ve ever seen. Leave crappy town full of backass hicks. Come to big city. Discover that those very hicks you hated back in Sandusky (the town, not the shower enthusiast) have been fetishized by all the big city dildos. Re-embrace an inauthentic version of the very thing that drove you out of your town in the first place with renewed vigor because you have an intrinsic connectedness to the source material. Is that not just fucking bizarre? I mean, I’ve seen a goddamned woman with no nose. I’ve seen a tuxedoed midget working as a bouncer in a titty bar. I’ve seen a dude walking down the street with a hole cut in his overalls SPECIFICALLY so he could dangle his balls out of them, but I ain’t never seen nothing like that before.
Anyway, I’m real hungry so the rest of this can wait, but I’m excited as shit to see you fuckers this Saturday. We will be playing at the very least, one new song. We will also have exclusive Asian Man vinyl. Get stoked!
Can’t wait. And just to be clear, I love you guys. Thanks!