by Brian Costello
I'm a Loner with a Goner!
O' accursed internet! Why for art thou? In other words: What's your meaning, Larry?
So I got this DSL hookup, and I'm not sure why, except I get to fuckaround much faster than I did with dial up, but fuckaround is all I ever do on this thing. It's a world wide wank--literally, figuratively--I get this yahoo homepage that tells me the world sucks (In the immortal word of Mr. Sagger: "Duh?"), I get to check my e-mails from friends bored at work and have this toy to keep them from killing themselves any more than they already are from boredom, and then, as a fine-tuned procrastination technique employed to keep me from writing the spiels I should be writing, I fuckaround on message boards.
But not anymore! And no, its certainly not because of some right-wing scatmuncher like Barry Goubler, although he epitomizes all that's worthless about said message boards, and no, it's not because some do-nothing geek doesn't share my same opinion about some band I like.
Really, it's like Flipper sings, "Sitting around and you're wasting my time, and it's nothing, nothing, nothing nothing." It's another spectacle, signifying nothing. It's empty dissent. It's meaningless. Arguably, it's fun just for it's own sake, but so's creating something on your own, and the creative act is 100 times more fun than sitting around on your fat ass arguing about "Favorite Mid-80's Hardcore Band Having the Word "Youth" in Their Name" or the always-witty "New Bands that like, Suck."
Let's see...I've had Internet Pissing Contests with the Following Fine Folks:
--Todd Tricknee (Columnist, Record Mogul, Internet Loudmouth)
--Jay Reatard (An Admirably Productive Musician, Makes a Living from His Music and Loves Talking About It)
--Brian Peterson (The Don of All-Ages Chicago Booking, Not the President of the Functional Blackouts Fan Club, Loves the              Petty Internet Squabblies)
--Barry Goubler (Makes Bad Pizzas and False Assumptions)
--A slew of anonymous cyberwussies too chickenshit to say any of the things they say on message boards in public.
The first two are long past history, and I actually like Todd and Jay. The second two were fun. With Peterson, I raised some arguments about his booking practices, about why Chicago so often seems as uptight about their gigs as a South Carolinian Ladies Club Tea Party. The response of the booking agency Mr. Peterson represents was to falsely accuse a member of my band of attempted rape. Yeah, rape, at a Brian Costello Show with his girlfriend in the audience and fifty of his closest friends. I'm still waiting on the apology for that one. I have a feeling I'll be waiting for a long time.
With Goubler, it's all so pathetic because he never responds to direct questions. He just insults everyone in this fifth grade sort of humor. You know, stuff like, "Yeah? Well at least my Mom's not a fag!" Which is sad in a way, because I have more respect for the kooks who walk around in sandwich boards and shout absurdist political ideological hogwash on streetcorners than I do for a guy like Goub, who clearly has no other creative outlet, and if he didn't have this, Lord knows what he'd be doing with his free time, although it's safe to assume a tower, a shotgun, and child pornography would be in the equation somewhere. So let him waste his time, just as long as he's not wasting mine.
And then you have all these Anonymous Assholes, who use these message boards to talk their shit and not have to be held accountable for it. Granted, I went by names like "lollipop blackout" and "Ron Cozumel" and "Cozzie Bear," but I figured people knew who it was, and I did always leave my actual e-mail in my profile if anybody wanted to take the time to see who exactly was saying the crap I was saying. Perhaps this is where message boards are fun for some, where assholes can be unmitigated assholes and all the fanboys can hide their boners under their office cubicles. "Oh boy! Another internet fight! Hee-haw!"But what does it mean in the end? Nothing. It's a big absolute zero, just like your average message board geek.
For example: You post on the internet: "I Hate the President." Is that dissent? Is that rebellious? Is it worthwhile, or even particularly interesting? No. It's a weak substitute for actually getting off your kiester and doing something constructive about it.
For example: You take part in the "Favorite Drummer of All Time" thread on your fave board. You write, "Brian Costello," because your taste is superlative, and it shows your fellow message boarders how freakin' obscure your tastes are. So what? It's like jocks in the locker room comparing penis sizes. Hey everybody: Look how knowledgeable I am about music! My taste is so refined! Look at me! Yeah yeah gabba gabba. So what? You don't listen to Phil Collins, like your stupid Mom. Is this cause for a major award or something? Who cares? Why don't you start your own band, or why don't you quit your job that's so boring you have nothing interesting to do except fuckaround on the internet?
For example: Everybody writes about how [Insert Latest Band Drooled Over by the Garridge Rock Community] is so great. Dude, they rock! Yeah! Everybody loves them, but you only think they're okay, so you write: "I don't get all the hype about [Insert Latest Band Drooled Over by the Garridge Rock Community]. They're so overrated." Well...aren't you Mr. Fucking Iconoclastic! You're just like Lester goddamn Bangs, buddy! Look at you, thinking for yourself! Score 10 scene points for you, brah! But really: So what? You're still an asshole! Your life is still spent buying shit you don't need and talking about meaningless crap, just like 99% of Your Fellow Countrymen on pins and needles over who gets to be Donald Trump's "Apprentice." Gosh.
I guess the conclusion I'm coming to is that the World Wide Web has become this place to make one feel like they're contributing something to debate, to information, to self-expression, but most of it is just so ultimately meaningless and people still aren't any better in their day-to-day lives. You know: "I did something on the internet, therefore I'm making a difference." But you're not though, are you? Like TV, it's a poor substitute for Real Life.
In the same sense that TV is a big problem in our society because the technology clearly can't do anything very well besides sell you a buncha products--it certainly can't convey emotional and intellectual nuances requiring depth, careful thought, profound and varied emotion and reflection--the internet has become yet another diversionary tactic, like all the spectacles listed at the beginning and end of The Feederz' "Teachers in Space" record. This isn't to say that I'll never use the internet and I'll never ever again post on Goner, and I'll definitely be checking out boards to find out when shows are happening and bands are touring and for Very False Reports About My Friends Dying, it's just that there's something false about the whole thing. I felt like I was wasting my time. That's why I pretty much knocked it off. I'd rather read a book. I'd rather write a story. I'd rather practice my drums. I'd rather get the next talk show figured out. I have better things to do, and so do you.
But if you must fuckaround on the internet, check this out: www.dayofnothing.com. I strongly encourage you to take part in what it's saying.
Be productive in 2005, and don't die! Thank you.
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