Friday, August 18, 2006

Vox in the Box (10)


So Froms, where is the fucking fury? I liked that somebody besides me piped up because...like Bono once said: sometimes you can't make it on your own. Maybe yall could follow suit. We need Hadman Rants on this site. Maybe we could use a Pucky's (Porn?) Palace. Or Guth's Truths. Froms, that ESPN insider also drives me nuts, but be happy that the current Sports Guy column and maybe one or two gems from the Simmons' archive is still free. ESPN controls the world, and one day, after too many pumped up fictional programs that have no air like Tilt and Playmakers, after the poker craze goes bust, and after Stuart Scott becomes a cartoon of his former self like Chris Berman....well then ESPN will charge you for the current Simmons' column. Maybe then the Boston sports guy can go underground again and be able to tell us what he really thinks of ESPN's unbearable Sunday Night Football crew.

I also heard Rome prop himself for not scamming clones. But we still have to hear him pimp chicken sandwiches from McDonalds and SlingBox. When I started listening to the Jungle in '97, Rome wasn't hawking products. I know it's a huge payday when radio personalities cut a spot, but surely Rome is rich enough from world-wide popularity and syndication that he doesn't need to tell us how bad he's gripping for that processed piece of poop from MickyDs. And does he really need to pretend he's going to Sirius?-- just to field calls from clones who say "I love you Romey, but I won't pay $11 a month for you." Then Rome replies, "You know, I get that." Nevertheless, I like Rome. He kisses too much ass in interviews and then tongues himself for softballs, but he's still pretty fresh...without the nicks and cuts of a blade. War those two guys who guest-hosted and ran their Price Is Right/wrestling smack. Think about it, how mind-numbing and indigestible is that all three Von Erich brothers committed suicide? Another column, for sure.

Citizen Vs. South Euclid: If it seems like I'm always piling on South Euclid, well, I am. They finally lifted that stupid ordinance prohibiting eating in your car. And if you've noticed, the Ban on the Ice Cream Man is also a thing of the past. Ice Cream Jones is back, in his stylish yellow truck, riding slow on the streets of SE this summer-- peddling treats to poor, overweight, little tunklers. (Damn, I wish they'd bring back those WWF Ice Cream Bars.) But I'm at Bexley Park the other day with Goose, Mrs. Vox and Memphis, and I'm fucking ambushed by rules and restrictions. No Dogs Allowed, of course (I knew that one, but it's a rule that all the residents quietly ignore; I even prompt Memphis to take a leak right underneath the sign). Also...No Rollerblading, No Rollerskating, No Hitting Golf Balls. But this new rule defies explanation- NO HARD-BALL PICK UP GAMES. I kid you not. I couldn't believe my fucking eyes. If a group of kids can't walk up to the diamond and play baseball, why the fuck is the park in existence? They may as well put up a sign when you enter, HAVING FUN IN BEXLEY PARK IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. You can't rollerblade, you can't walk your dog, you can't whack the golf ball around, and now-- you can't play baseball on a baseball diamond. Only in the Euc.

The other day, this kid knocks nervously at my front door and asks me to sign a petition for reinstatement of school busses to Memorial. I signed happily without paying attention; I'll sign any petition that moooves, as long as it undermines authority. Then I shut the door and thought about it. We just passed a levy and I'm paying $400 a month in property taxes and they can't bus these kids five minutes to Memorial? And this 12-year old boy has to waste the last precious days of his summer going door to door in the 80-degree heat because South Euclid can't budget the books? Maybe they can organize a few more Hold'Em tourneys or Night at the (fixed) Races or sell me a few more $12 frozen pizzas to pay for the busses? 'Coz obviously, passing a million dollar levy couldn't do it.

Dump the DP: It's 2006. Actually it's the year 5767. But you goys decided to start counting over when Christ was born. Definitely not the smartest decision civilization ever made. Anyway, almost six thousand years have passed with humans making various progressive decisions...and we still implement the death penalty. On May 2, it took 40 minutes for us to execute a death row inmate. So, not only did we kill him-- we tortured him too. What the fuck are the amendments for in this country if we don't follow them? The eighth amendment clearly states Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

We can't count votes in Ohio. We deny basic civil rights to citizens with different sexual orientations. And we can't even kill someone properly. But that's just a small part of the giant problem that is Capital Punishment. Statistics show that it certainly doesn't deter crime. And we've actually executed more than a few innocent people over the years. And worst of all, it's barbaric and used inconsistently. Rich, white folks avoid the DP. Which makes capital punishment a purely discriminatory mechanism that, by its convoluted methodology, ends up singling out poor minorities who lack sufficient legal reprentation. If the state is going play God and kill someone, shouldn't the system, at the very least, be consistent?

Vox Growing Angrier By the Paragraph: If you write it, make it right. If you pimp it, know why. If you use it, do a little research first. Or just fucking google it. The world, specifically cyberspace, is full of mistakes. I just want consistency and accuracy.

And although Vox may read like shit, it's correct shit. Unlike Swerbs Turds, where, despite it's pro layout, inaccuracies are everywhere. In Swerb's Opening Old Wounds articles, there are two errors. First, Mark Price did not win the three point shootout in 1992. And second, Jordan was not on the Bulls roster when they swept us in the '94 playoffs. I may be the only dork that noticed that, so I had to email Swerb...after all, I'm sure he wants an accurate site. But three months later, it hasn't been fixed. And it's eating at me. Just like those hillbillies that think Born in the USA is a patriotic song. Or the fans that go uuuuuuuaaaahhhhh when their team is kicking and receiving. Or Kenny Roda not knowing who played middle linebacker for OState during the Greg Belisari era, then the Bucks win a national title and Roda jumps on the wagon and suddenly-- he has a vote in the Harris poll. DISGRACE! Or fucking Quicken Loans and their SmartChoice mortgage product that magically refinances you at 5.5% with bad credit, no equity and unverifiable income. Or the "different direction" Dan Gilbert desired that cans a competent and colorful Cleveland favorite for a YES man delivered straight from the city that stole Game 6 from us.

If you scrolled right down to the Random Top 10, STOP HERE.
The Top 10 Songs I Would Sing If I Was A Contestant on RockStar: Supernova--


1. The Kids Aren't Alright/Offspring: This song falls under the category of great piece of art from an artist I don't care for. Similar to Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas, Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Dennis Hopper's Carried Away & Nasty Varmint's Out of the Sanbox/Into the Shower. I can't sing in Offspring's key, but, believe me, I would rock this song out.
When we were young the future was so bright (whoa)
the whole neighborhood was so alive (whoa)
and every kid on the whole damn street (whoa)
was gonna make it big on every beat

2. Machinehead/Bush: Varmint and I rehearsed the hell outta this one. When things were going bad, it was "ok, let's try Machinehead." It always raised our confidence level, as Bush was the one artist we could always agree on. I liked being Gavin Rossdale, the drummer felt the beats were similar enough to Rush, the guitars were loud and fast, and we didn't have to hear Zac sing, because Bush never used backing vocals.

3. Elevation/U2: Definitely not one of my favorite U2 songs, but I'd walk on stage with the house lights on, much like Bono and the boys did to start the Elevation tour. Then I'd just jump straight up and down like Bono; that is the great equalizer for white front men who can't dance. Explain all these controls/I can't sing but I've got soul

4. Smokin' in the Boys Room/Motley Crue: During the guitar solo of this Motley classic, I'd pull a Vince Neal, New Years Eve 2004, and scream "Happy FUCKING New Year Tommy" on national television. Sure, it wouldn't be New Years Eve and the RockStar execs may not appreciate that, but I'll be damned if Tommy Lee wouldn't love it. It's always been a dangerous thing to put a mike in my hands, and if there's vodka running through my veins, chances are you want to advise the DJ-- never let SamVox grab that little black piece of amplified plastic.

5. My Michelle/Guns-n-Roses: This is one of those under-appreciated Guns songs that paved the way for the entire grunge movement. G&R made hard rock accessible for the mainstream thanks to Slash's iconic riffs and Axl's vocal gymnastics. I can't hit any notes on this song, but I'll run with it to the second round anyway.
Your daddy works in porno
Now that mommy's not around
She used to love her heroine
But now she's underground

6. Ry's On Fire/The Dan Green Band: Here is the middle eight lic, Doug, don't ask me again: Sometimes we're just sittin' on our porch, fuckin hungry and drunk, shoutin 4 letter words at some north campus punk. You know, in 31 years-- four of which I wrote professionally-- I've done a lot of shit. Poems, prose, press releases, slogans, taglines, album reviews, etc. 99.9% of it is worth about as much as an Alex Cole rookie card. But Ry's On Fire is something I will always appreciate. Sting once said that the best songs are gifts from above; they write themselves in about 10 minutes and you just try not to get in the way. Well that's what happened when I sat down and scribbled the words to Ry's On Fire. So if I ever get on TV, it's getting performed.

7. Lolly Trolly/ SelWreck: SelWreck was my first band. A rap three piece with Froms and Droe, inspired by the Beastie's Boys License to Ill. The beats came from one of those 80s Casio mini-keyboards and the writing/rapping was collaborative. Our first single, Camp, was about how the three of us met. The b-side was the classic Lolly Trolly, two and half minutes of twelve year olds trolling the creative wave that was 1987. Froms and I did most of the vocals, but we threw Droe the bone of the song-- I met dis girl named Holly/ And I'm takin' her on the Lolly Trolly. We gave him like 60 takes to spit out 14 simple words, but he just couldn't get it right. We laid the track down anyway, and I'd happily trade my copy of The Fly on vinyl to find the cassette tape we recorded on.

8. Who Will You Run To?/ Heart. Another shout-out to Supernova guitarist , Cleveland's own Gilby Clarke. I saw Heart at the Newport Music Hall in 1998. It more of a lesbian convention than a WNBA game. Which didn't bother me; I guess we were all there for Nancy Wilson. There is no celebrity couple out there I'd rather double date with more than Nancy Wilson and her husband Cameron Crowe. Imagine that. During dinner, I might ask Nancy about early Heart and how eccentric and tenacious tunes like Barracuda and Crazy on You eventually gave to flowery pop ballads like All I Wanna Do and Never. Then I'd ask Cameron if he agrees with me that Say Anything did not age well and Ione Skye was never hot. I might butter him first, letting him know that Singles, Vanilla Sky, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High are incredibly important to my existence. Oh, and, Mr. Crowe, what's the significance of Eric Stoltz appearing in every single one of your films? After a few drinks, I'll just come and say it-- Jerry Maguire is a pile of shit. I can't even watch that flick without feeling like I'm cheating on myself. And now that I'm on this tangent, I'll have to ask Nancy if she ever had a threesome with sister Ann. A foursome, if you count Ann twice.

9. Hang on Sloopy/The McCoys. Remember when Derrick Vinyard went to prison in AmHistory X? First thing he did was "raise a flag" by taking his shirt off and proudly displaying his Nazi allegiance. That's why I"ll bust out Sloopy-- to win the all-important Ohio vote. I wish John Kerry woulda thoughta that.

10. Girl I'm Gonna Miss You/Milli Vanilli: This would probably shake things up a bit.
Now I'm sittin' here
Wastin' my time
I just don't know what I should do

I do. How bout wrapping up this column? Ok--

It's a tragedy for me to see
The dream is over
And I never will forget the day we met
Girl I'm gonna miss you

I am Rob Pilatus in the box.

And we got the goddamn Grammy...parting is inevitable