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ISSUE #131
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Live from wherever it's windy

An extremely tedious and depressing activity for Americans from 35-73!

It's official: Women are idiots
Allan Uthman

An inebriated survey of hard-working Americans
Ian Murphy

Pharyngula's hellbound PZ Myers chats with us about religous idiocy, bigotry and other American pastimes

An American tale from the heart of Huckabee
Clint Eastwood

Warning: May not be true
Steve Gordon

Aside from all the guns, of course
Joe Bageant

Bill Kristol, revolutionary feminist
Allison Kilkenny


ArrowThe Beast Page 5
Subtly Racist Contrived Voting Bloc

ArrowWaxy Beast: Music Reviews
by Eric Lingenfelter

ArrowKino Kwikees: Movie Trailer Reviews
by Michael Gildea

Your completely accurate horoscope, in the form of koans about the Alaska Governor

[sic] - Your letters


The Jonas Brothers, A Little Bit Longer (Hollywood)

And now, for your consideration, the Five-Point Plan for Modern Teen Idoldom:

1. Doll yourself up like the Saturday morning cartoon version of Johnny Thunders.

2. “Write” some generic guitar pop that rocks just hard enough to seem vaguely rebellious but not hard enough to piss off anyone less conservative than your average Parents Television Council member. Now send the songs off to the label to have all of the personality pressed out of them (assuming there was any personality there in the first place) and to have them buffed and polished until they sound no different than they would if you just had a big time producer/songwriter write them for you in the first place.

3. Toss around the words “rock” and “rock star” in your songs, interviews, TV shows, merchandising, movies of the week, etc. This will con your impressionable audience into thinking that you’re the real deal, even if you wouldn’t know rock if Angus Young chucked one straight into your makeup-spackled face.

4. Embrace one side of the Donny/Donnie dichotomy.

Choice one is to be a Donny Osmond. Project an image so squeaky clean that Jesus himself would call you a total melvin before giving you a swirly and shaking you down for your milk money.

This is quite easy to pull off. Just think of all the rebellious things that many normal teens do for fun. Now, don’t do any of them. Ever. Publicly brag about the fact that you don’t indulge in any of this dirty badness and imply that the sheeple who suckle the witch’s teat of iniquity are missing out on a richer, sweeter, slightly butterier flavor of life by not nuzzling up to the soft, supple, milky white breast of purity. You also might want to point out that they’re going to Hell and you’re not, so nyah, nyah!

With this approach, you’d be placed on the highest pedestal by timid girls who are looking for an equally tame fantasy boy, one who would love nothing more than to stay up all night snarfing ice cream and soda , talking about feelings and just being a big ol’ snuggly wuggly bugglepuss. Tee hee hee!

You’d also get some play from the little jezebels-in-training who would love nothing more than to pull your wussy-yet-still-pretty-cute ass over to the dark side for some spirited making out (with tongues, even!) and awkward dry humping.

Choice two is to be a Donnie Wahlberg. Pretend that you have a stuffy uncle, Sir Geoffrey Butterfield, and that your sole purpose in life is to make his monocle pop out of his eye in hilarious fashion while he bellows, “WELL, I NEVER!”

Curse in public, wear heavy metal and punk rawk t-shirts, moon your fans at concerts, post pictures on Myspace of you and your friends getting super wasted on Bacardi Breezers, set small fires in hotels and claim that it was all a huuuuge misunderstanding when you’re inevitably caught and brought to court, etc. Basically, just act like a 12-year-old would act if he were trying really hard to get in with the older kids by proving how super hardcore he could be.

You’d get the same audience that you would if you went the Osmond route, but for slightly different reasons. The good girls would love you because they secretly want to be bad. Since they don’t know any better, they want you, you Pat Boone in Link Wray’s clothing, to show them how.

The “bad girls” would love you because they’re fake badasses in search of attention just like you, and once they’ve alienated all of their friends and family with their rampant angsty bitchcraft, they’ll need someone to look up to that might understand their plight and love them for who they are. You, sir, will be that douchebag. Don’t take that responsibility lightly.

Parents shouldn’t have a problem with either approach because at the end of the day, no matter if you’re a goody two-shoes or a baddy biker boots, you’re still a pubeless pud prancing around cooing “OOOOH, GIRL, OOOOOH!” and you’ll be replaced as soon as the next cutie-patootie, fresh ‘n’ fruity pop-rock poseur rolls off of the hit factory assembly line and into their daughters’ fickle hearts.


A Little Bit Longer gets a rating of exactly 697 more words than I ever thought I’d write about a lame teeny bopper phenomenon in my entire life.


Metallica, Death Magnetic (Warner Bros.)

Hope can get us to believe some pretty funny stuff.

Hope can get us to believe that a politician will march on down to Capitol Hill to shake up Washington and tell those fat cats that they’d better start working for the people of America, or else.

Hope can get us to believe that the next lottery ticket we buy will be our one way pass to a penthouse condo in the solid gold building at the corner of Rich Bitch Boulevard and See Your Poor Ass Later Avenue.

And hope can get us to believe that a band that hasn’t put out a decent album in almost 20 years can suddenly find that old spark and give us a chance to re-experience the old days, when they were the utterly unassailable, biggest, baddest metal band on the planet.

Of course, this is all bullshit.

The only thing that politician will shake up is a big batch of martinis in celebration of a backroom deal with his not-so-secret corporate companions that will keep the money flowing out of your pockets and into theirs.

The only thing those lottery tickets are going to get you is a bigger hole in your wallet.

And the only thing that a new Metallica album will give us is a chance to reflect on how good they used to be and how far they’ve fallen since then.

It’s illogical as hell that I and so many other people who are now or were at one point metalheads would still carry a torch (or at least a lit match) for this band after nearly two decades of aural abuse.

It’s doubly so when we consider the fact that Metallica’s last attempt to “rediscover their roots” in the beginning of this decade led to the following:

  • The acrimonious departure of longtime bassist Jason Newstead

  • A stint in rehab for singer James Hetfield

  • Extensive sessions with a “performance-enhancing coach” who was sent by the label to sort out the band’s “trust issues” and keep them from splintering apart under the pressure of creating their first album of original material in six years.

  • A reworking of their sound into something more stripped down and raw, with “stripped down and raw” translating from bullshit to English as “fuzzy and unfinished, with guitars that sound like their amps were wrapped in wool, drums that clank and ring like empty oil cans and laughably earnest lyrics delivered by a singer who is apparently 40-going-on-12 and still dealing with the squeaky, squawky havoc that the ravages of puberty are wreaking on his voice.”

All of the above troubles resulted in St. Anger, Metallica’s most offensively shitty album to date and one of the worst albums in rock and roll history to be delivered by a formerly great band.

And yet the hope is still there. Maybe all the turmoil fucked with their creative process last time. Maybe that was the one that they had to get out of their system before they showed us what they’re really all about. Maybe this time they can break through the thick layer of suck that’s been crusting over them since they broke it big and rediscover the inspiration that made them great. Maybe Death Magnetic is the one we’ve all been waiting for!

Or maybe we should all wake up to the fact that the Kool-Aid is bad for us no matter who serves it up.

Death Magnetic gets a rating of two cups of ...And Justice for All’s meandering overambition, a quart of the Black Album’s tepid, plodding riffs and half a stick of St. Anger’s self-help lyrics and emphasis on grooooove. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and fold them together. Pour the mixture into a cake pan and overbake in a 450 degree oven until dried out and crusty. Break the rock-hard cake apart with a hammer and jam the pieces back into the pan whichever way you please. Finally, take the finished product outside and throw it into the face of the first metalhead you see while hoarsely shouting “AH YEYAAAAH, WHOA!”


Motorhead, Motorizer

Just wanted to let you know that there’s a new Motorhead album out. That’s all.

Motorizer needs no rating because Motorhead is beyond being rated by any Earthly number system, but if you insist, I rate this album eleventy-three fafillion out of a quagle.


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