nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, August 20, 2015

    dear tony, what do you do when things look utterly dire? 

    girl falling

    first, start by knowing that when you die you go to Heaven.

    second, start watching sports.

    what we love in sports is the team who comes back from an impossible deficit, with their star or unlikely star on the ropes, partially injured, undersized, outclassed, who no one believes in anymore

    who makes magic happen when it matters.

    and wins by a narrow margin.

    no one loves the blowout. no one cares for a team that starts strong and finishes strong.

    even the angels and saints want drama, despite what you want.

    speaking of… third, read the bible.

    theres all the stories about david and goliath, but that’s a red herring because david was never the Everyman, he was a superstar with no peers from the get go.

    the better stories are the ones like shadrach meshach and abednego who straight up Trusted the Lord and stayed true to who they were when they were led into the fiery furnace.

    always stay true, ponyboy.

    it’s easy to whine, it’s easy to say oh woe is me, it’s easy to say damn it sure feels like forces are lining against me, but fuck that. life could be a million times worse. theres people with missing limbs, theres people who have babies and the babies are all effed up. theres people who have terrible things that have happened to their faces and brains and imagine what it is like for them to try to find a job

    or try to get a girl to go with them to the dance or even a hay ride.

    crappy as things might be for you, odds are you could find someone to go on a hayride with you.

    start there.

    then remember if parts of life weren’t tough we’d never have poetry or shakespeare or hbo or rage against the machine.

    winter IS coming, fyi

    are you just gonna sit there and whimper and look over at your neighbors green grass and envy what you think is going on over there.

    i’ll tell you whats going on over there

    none of your business is going on over there.

    you have your own life to deal with, and it’s a full life, and it’s yours.

    you are bigger than your struggles.

    you have a terrible flu, youre in utah, and you have the ball.

    do you really want to be known as the black dude who lost a basketball game in utah?

    or do you wanna be known as one of the three bad brothers who casually danced into the firey furnace

    and then breakdanced inside it?

    theres a reason you learned how to pop lock

    theres a reason the Good Lord smiles when He hears your name.

    theres a reason when you walk down the street all the little pretties wave their hand.

    it’s because you can pull off the crazy ass shit

    with style

    that no one thought was even possible.

    which makes them believe They can.

    so if you ever feel like giving up on yourself,

    remember you’re giving up on them as well.

  2. Saturday, May 3, 2014
  3. Friday, December 13, 2013

    Gage asks “What song best represents you at age 20, 30 and now? 

    beastie boys license to ill

    the year was 1986, i was selling car stereos and audio at a crazy electronics store.

    i was paid only commission so not only did i need to know my stuff, but i had to hustle.

    the one tape i went through every six weeks was the beastie boys’ debut, licensed to ill.

    not only did i love everything about it: the humor, the stories, the beats, the samples

    but dat bass sold me more crappy 12″ pioneer subwoofers and alpine amps than i could keep in stock.

    the new style is what i put in on any demonstration.

    id say, some voices have treble and some have bass

    and id turn up that volume and the beasties would put their voices right in our face.

    heres an unreleased video of them in 2004 doing it for Dave Chappelle

    that was when i was 20.

    when i was 30, i was living in san francisco with my beautiful girlfriend

    i had friends all around me, three jobs, a great pad, a ford explorer

    but two things sorta bothered me: 1) i was no longer living in isla vista

    2) sammy hagar was ruining van halen while david lee roth was sitting on the bench

    fortunately santa barbara native parry gripp had just recorded

    exactly all of my thoughts n feelings on the self titled debut nerf herder album

    and especially on “van halen”.

    now id say it’s probably say miley’s “we cant stop” best describes my vibe

    because, you know, we run things – things dont run we

    thanks for the great question gage!

  4. Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    my poor momma is distraught about miley 

    and i was trying to explain to her that the mtv video music awards is great because its shocking

    i reminded her that madonna really catapulted her career when she dry humped her wedding dress at the vmas

    and then later kissed both britney and xtina while wearing a tuxedo

    therefore miley is just an extension of that.

    one of the most shocking (at the time) moments though had nothing to do with sex, but with politics

    mcawhen in 1998 mca of the beastie boys, three years before 9/11 criticized then-president Clinton that his retaliation to the US embassy bombings was a bad call.

    “Those bombings that took place in the Middle East were thought of as retaliation by the terrorists and if we thought of what we did as retaliation certainly we’re gonna find more retaliation from people in the Middle East. From terrorists specifically I should say, because most Middle Eastern people are not terrorists,” Yauch said.

    And then he brought it home by warning against Islamophobia: “That’s another thing that America really needs to think about is our racism, racism that comes from the United States towards the Muslim people and towards Arabic people and that’s something that has to stop and the United States has to start respecting people from the Middle East in order to find a solution to the problems that have been building up over many years, so I thank everyone for your patience, and letting me speak my mind.”

    the three bad brothers you know so well always knew how to shock in different ways, true.

    but when they were miley’s age they were bragging about doing it like this, doing it like that

    and doing it with…

    which is why i am totally fine with letting 20-year-olds be 20-year-olds,

    especially on my MTV

  5. Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    this is my JAM 

    good thing i dont have a child ready to get borned real soon cuz id name it

    charles deadgiveaway ramsey pierce the third

    now some of my people cringe when they see some of my people, lets say, being so colorful

    and soulful like the hide your kids guy

    or Sweet “Aint Nobody Got Time for That” Brown

    or Michelle “Kabooyao” Clark.

    they’re worried that it suggests black folks are only interesting if they’re acting cray.

    “It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform,” Slate’s Aisha Harris writes.

    i totally understand her concern but here’s my belief.

    i believe that we’re here on this weird crust for a blink of an eye.

    and as an aspiring storyteller, if one day i am blessed with the opportunity to tell an interesting story

    and i can do it in such a unique way that people are compelled to autotune it and love it

    for whatever reason

    then mission accomplished.

    thank God babies and kittens and michael jordan and angus young and sunsets and Wrigley Field are not afraid of allowing themselves to really be themselves and not some watered down


    half assed version of themselves.

    thank God they let us love them for who they are for being confident in who they are.

    like my man Kai, the homeless hero

    Ruslan Tsarni the uncle of the two suspected Boston Bombers

    even Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver

    as a journalist don’t you prefer when people keep it real even when the cameras are rolling? i do.

    just as a person i prefer that.

    isn’t life difficult enough trying to figure if people are being 100% genuine and forthright with you?

    why suggest to some that they have to anglicize their speech, actions, and behaviors

    so that it makes you feel more comfortable?

    to quote a white rapper, “you think im gonna change my style just to fit in?”

    and even before he said that The Untouchables recommended that we free ourselves. and i agree

  6. Saturday, May 4, 2013
  7. Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    beastie boys on touring with madonna 

    pbs digital studios, the people who brought us mr rodgers singing from the grave,

    has now dug up an old interview with the three bad bros you know so well

    and animated it for her your pleasure.

    i wish they had a little better interview to work with, but we get to hear them talk about their first tour

    and how many other white rappers were around back in 1985.

    but the best is hearing them be defensive about being labeled “suburban rap”.

    (which they def were for a while)

  8. Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    KM asks: let’s say you’re having a rough day, what tunes turn that frown upside down? 

    park ranger

    dear katherine,

    im so sorry you’re feeling gloomy.

    i am very worried about gloomy feelings because i get nervous that they can snowball into gloomy days, gloomy weeks, and gloomy months.

    so i try to nip even the slightest negative feelings in the bud.

    perhaps being a Cubs fan has helped me cope.

    since they’re terrible.

    and probably won’t win it all until 2014.

    weirdly i don’t find myself down too often, and “rough days” in journalism are just called “days”.

    but when things are extraordinarily difficult i usually go somewhere that has funny pictures or sweet things happening like Reddit and click real fast to see if theres anything inspiring or interesting.

    and look, today i spy a little note from a Yosemite Junior Ranger named Evie who sent something nice to the Park Rangers there.


    but you’re right, music does make the heart grow fonder though, so when i find the urge to turn on some music and take a little walk here are some songs and videos that would soothe this savage beast:

    Continue reading “KM asks: let’s say you’re having a rough day, what tunes turn that frown upside down?”

  9. Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    they say it isn’t what happens to you that matters 

    2it’s how you handle it.

    when i was younger i would fight.

    so much energy back then. and idealism.

    i was foolish enough to believe that if you fought, they’d understand you at some point: and change.

    then everything would change.

    and then lalala flowers and fruit punch.

    in the good book, even God’s like that.

    he’d get so emotional in the first few books.

    he’d ban people forever. he’d make everyone halfta speak different languages.

    hardening peoples hearts and such.

    then when he got super emotional he flooded everyone

    and later felt really bad about it.

    once when the chosen people were complaining about being thirsty,

    not long after the red sea miracle.

    god was all, imma…

    but moses was all, come on, is that what you want people to think about you?

    dude freed his people only to smite them in the desert?

    so then god decided he was gonna be the hands off, laiz-e faire god.

    it all built up to being just the opposite of that when he sent his only son to pay off the debts of the world

    but even then he chilled so much that Jesus yelled out on the cross on good friday

    “ηλι ηλι λαμα σαβαχθανι”

    why hast thou forsaken me.

    a cute pout in retrospect, but at the time the most human moment in Jesus’s short (un)happy life.

    i thought we had a deal.

    ow ow ow


    ive always appreciated the people who were cool when things were going cray.

    which is why, to me, the coolest story of grace under pressure

    is of the three bad brothers you know so well

    shadrach, meshach, and abednego

    who taught us to stay calm

    and when in doubt, dance.

  10. Monday, December 24, 2012

    people ask why i wear my cubs hat so much 

    728993_10151307188753057_991534213_o and i have several answers to that

    the first being that one day the cubs are going to win it all

    and when that happens and people see me running around the streets in my birthday suit crying in ecstasy

    they’ll say omg who the hell is that guy

    you can be all, oh thats the dude who’s worn a cubs hat since he was a little kid. dont call the cops.

    the second reason is whenever i dont wear it people say wheres your hat: i barely recognized you!

    the third reason is it’s an xbi secret weapon

    usually in the very cold coldness of winter i wear a little knit cap because as a bald man my head is as sensitive as your bare ass.

    today was only 4 degrees above zero, not 94 below

    so instead of wearing my Bears knit cap i decided to brave the elements and sport my Cubs hat in the one part of the world where instead of sticking out, i would blend in

    did i want to leave the house at all today?

    of course not.

    but i love my mother deeply, and my family, so i emerged out of the warm bliss of my mom’s home and ventured out into the wonder of illinois in the depths of winter.

    like a g


    my dear mother made a lemon meringue pie for a lonesome shut in across town. which was super nice.


    so we pulled into the woman’s drive way and my mom said, i’ll be right back AND LEFT HER DOOR OPEN AS IF IT WASNT A GAZILLION DEGREES BELOW ZERO oh im sorry 4 degrees above zero AND HER PRIDE AND JOY WASNT GOING TO LOOK LIKE JACK NICHOLSON AT THE END OF THE SHINING UPON HER RETURN!  i covered myself in snow as a what the hell are you doing leaving your door open? which actually was dumb cuz i was freezing to prove a (dumb) point and my mom just laughed at me. which was funny.


    she made it up by saying, lets go to Dick’s and pick out a new cap “Santa” can get for you.
    but i was all, im good.


    i did notice however the branding Da Bears have on pop and even water, which somehow didnt surprise me.


    what did surprise me was this nice gentleman’s 4Runner which proudly displayed his heritage. it wasnt that he was glad to tell the world that he was latino that made me curious, it was what did his love for the Transformers have to do with anything.


    time passed, the bears won, and my mom said, omg i remember yesterday you said how much you’d like to go to Red Lobster.

    i said, id go but in California they don’t drown the shrimps in butter and oversalt the lobsters.

    728788_10151307250818057_1237314717_oshe said you need to try the ones here, and whattya know, Red Lobsters the way they were meant to be: amazing.

    infact so many people had come to RL that our food was a tad tardy in arriving so the manager got on his knees (I ish you not)

    and introduced himself and said im so sorry but your meals will be a little late, is there an appetizer i can get for you?

    and i said A MCRIB! NOM NOM NOM!

    and my mom said, what about a shrimp cocktail? because shes classy.

    and poof out came six jumbo shrimps as we waited.

    mom and i had a really good conversation

    but one thing we didnt discuss was something we had seen at Dick’s Sporting Goods: this mysterious Cubs ball that was colored to look as if it was made of wood.


    if you know me you know that im insatiable at times in my wants and needs, and often the things that i demand are insane or at least partially ridiculous.

    but i have never ever ever said you know what this world is missing? balls made of wood – or imitation wood like baseballs. and as much as i like pretty much anything with the Cubs logo on it, i dont think i could ever imagine a nook or cranny in my many mansions where a wood like baseball would seem at home.

    indeed, it reminds me of that odd Beastie Boys line where outta nowhere Mike D says “if you get me some wood, I’ll build you a cabinet.”

    imagine the confusion if he said, “if you get me some wood, I’ll build you baseballs”?

    im gonna sleep late man, it’s much easier on my constitution