Saturday, July 30, 2005

Fear and Loathing in Cape Cod: A savage journey to the heart of an American pop-star....giving into to temptation...running for your life.

Look at us we're beautiful
All the people push and pull
But,They'll never get inside
We got too much to hide
-Moby

There was a dark period in 80s and 90s when being a musician meant nothing more than a group of young teens singing falceto and cordinating dance steps.

Groups like New Kids on the Block, 98 degrees and O-Town were producing crap that, for some reason or another, were being eaten up by pre-pubecent girls across this god forsaken music deprived country.

That was then. Today, those hacks are nothing more than washed up musicians - hopefully getting jobs in the real world...like becoming an accountant or insurance salesman. They deserve that kind of helll after the shit they force-fed us for so long and called it talent.

Unfortunatly some of those guys still think they have talent and have been trying (more like failing) at putting together a solo career. That is, it seems, the thing to do after your band failed to continue its success...it wasn't the fact that you collectivly were inept at music, now you have to embarass yourself on stage - alone....

Last night the paper sent me to do a simple bar review for the sunday pages. A quickk 200 word brief about this bar and what made it special and why people should go. Simple enough, except I was being sent to the most god awful place this whole fucking cape that juts into the ass of the ocean could produce - Pufferbellies.

Lets imagine every stereotypical dance club with flashing lights, fog, and a neon light up bar and there you are smack dab in the middle of this freak show.

Girls on Cat walks wearing nothing by tube tops and glitter...pop collar from every guy who was there looking for an easy score - or worse, was dragged there by his girlfriend who would probably make out with any thing that moved if she had on Singapore Sling in her hand.

The bar manager was nice enough, he let me in without having to pay the 25 dollar cover charge and did not mid that I was still wearing jeans and a t-shirt that I had worn to work - Yes there isa dress code and no, I was not even close to meeting it.

HE took me up to the VIP booth, which was nothing more than a plywood platform with courches hung from the rafters. Here the entertainers or "Cape Cod High Rollers" could look down on the mass of people grinding and humping the person next to them. The mass orgy of skin and gliter paste was blinding as the DJ spewed some of the most god-awful rap music from the stereo that was designed to do nothing but shot you across the room.

It was not a place to get a good drink, enjoy music and be with friends. IT was a place to dround out the sences so you do not have to actually look at the person you are fucking on one of the three dance floors in this establishment directly behind the Train Tracks.

Classy...

I made the mistake of poitning out that the building that could hold nearly 1,500 people only had about 150 hmping along on the dance floor.

"THis is kind of weak," I said to TJ (or was it JT) the clubs operations manager.

"FUck, I am going to have ot show you a fun-ass time," he said.

This apparently means he was going to take me up to the Green room where JOrdan Knight, formerrly of the New Kids on the Block was hanging out with some girl who was apparentlly was wearing nothing but a macrame shirt.

It was 11 and he had not set foot on stage, but he was alraead bent on some drug that he probably snorted off the ass of his new groupie. She looked more than ready to run away with this 32 year old wash out...he was still cool to her, sadly, though she was still living in 1987 - when in real life she was probably only a todler.

Also in the room were anumber of other wahs out punks, all of them with their own groupies ready to perform some kind of devious weird sexual acts jsut so they could grow up and tell their grandkids they fucked JOrdan Knight or the cute one from 98 degrees in the bathroom of a Cape Cod dance club.

I could only take it so much. I needed strong drink. SO i began grabbing as many beers as I could from the cooler in the Green room. Aparently they were reserved for Jordan - the star of the night. THat was too bad becasue he had really shitty taste in beer - miller? You are afucking half-wit singer - coulkd not atleast request something with a little taste or kick?

With enough drink in me, I noticed my attorney from the newspaper was already chatting it up with some of the other singers from O-Town - a band that had no furture from the get go, and yet Disney and its evil empire somehow got them a platinum record.

The only redeming quality of this idiot was the fact that he played Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart CLub Band as his opening song per my request...it was like a fucking Time warp I shouted to the bar tendeerr who was getting me free drink at this point - she did not understand - not that i expected her too.

WHile my night progressed I began to grow tired of dealing with these "rock star" and decided it was time to bolt.

JOrdan Knoght managed to corner me before I left, though. He knew I was press and was looking to get as much as he could

"We got a party after at my hotel if you want to come.." he said...he looked like he had enough company. I did not want to move in on his throws of women.

"No, Jordan, I'm going tot IHOP."

The mere suggestion of leaving him to go to a fast food diner sent him into a downward spiral.. He stared at me at first in what looked like anger...then quiuckly he became disbeleife and fianlly i THink his eyes settled on depressed. This bastard was sad I chose IHOP over him.

I got my fial job in by turrning to one of the other New Kids on the Block who aparently livesi n Boston now who was telling me I was passing up the oportunity of a life time. I had no iea who this jack ass was. ANd I made it pretty aparent I didn't care who he was.

THere is nothing worse than someone in the inner circle of the VIP room questinging your importantce.

Fro me, I knew I was nobody, just the newspaper man, but these kids were still riding a high and terrible wave of celebrity that came to a head and went crashing down everytime someone, somewhere asked "Who are you?"

For a real celebrity, they will look at you like you are crazy, comforted by the fact that they know they are famous, but for these mucial wastes, they rely on people like me to recognize them on stage and rmemeber their fame.

I was not giving that to these guys. And they knew they were done. Only one of them (the O-Town singer) semed to recognize the little paly I was orchestrating. HE knew he was nobody. And he seemed somewhat happy that he was just playing. I can respect that - sort of.

But he is still hanging with a group of losers who needed to be stoped.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Blogging from work...a new low.

There is a special game I like to play at my house in Dennis, Massachusetts.

I have gone nearly two weeks without actually seeing my landlord. Technically we both live in the same house. She lives at one end and I the other in my dorm-sized bedroom. The kitchen is really the only thing that connects our two room, but with only about 20 feet seperating us, we still manage to not see each other - we even share a bathroom.

But this is not all bad - she is crazy and goes to bed at 7:30 p.m. I am not joking. She gets up and goes to work before I even wake up at 9 a.m. So, the fact that we do not see each other is not the big of a strech. The crazy thing is that she still manages to communicate through notes her displeasure of having me live with her. The Gonzo in here is long dead.

Although the crazy life continuesto follow me at home, the newsroom on Cape Cod has becomes quite melencholoy.

In the past two weeks, the newspaper has seen two of its best leave (or announce they are leaving) for two very different reasons. It really seems to stereotype both ends of ther spectrum that a journalist has to live if they want to have any kind of a family.

Cliff the editor in cheif here, announced two weeks ago that he is leaving the Times to become the long Island editor for Newsday. Holy crap, I thought, this guy is amazing. Not only does he currently lead an award winning mid-sized daily, he is not becoming the equeal of the New York City Editor of the New York Times.

With this kind of offer (I am assuming it was an offer), you cannot really say no. He, obviously did not. So now, he and his family are uprooting a life they have spent several decades creating to move to Long Island.

He is leaving for bigger and better things and his family is moving along with him. From what I have heard, he actually has stayed at the Times longer than any other editor before him. He managed to hire half the staff and put most ofthe top editors inthe position they are now. This is not the first person to leave the paper. Most of them find higher calling elsewhere (this goes to show how good the Times can be in propelling its writers, editors and others to higher places.

Still, Ethan, the full-time business writer, also announced that he is leaving the Times. He is following his wife who got a job in the Washington D.C. area. He spent the last few months at the Times essentially looking for a new job in the D.C. area. It did not really seem like there was much of a choise from what I can gather. his wife a got a new job and she was moving with their daughter to D.C.

Ethan did get a job in D.C. He will be working for a Bankers trade newspaper that publishes five days a week. I am not going to say whether this was a good decision or not, becasue this is not my life and I do not know how I would have handled the situation if I hada wife and a daughter.

It sounds like to him he made the right decision. But, essentially, he is uprooting his journalism career to work for a banker newspaper. All of it for his family.

Again, no family of my own, no real career to speak about of my own, but both are very opposite directions. Both made becasue of something out of their control and for their better in two different directions.

If that makes sence.

It's all very odd and makes me wonder what kind of decision I will make (if i stay in the journalism busienss) come 10 years from now.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fear and Loathing in Boston: A savage journy for an American celebration

I was already jotled awake with a couple of those Starbucks doubleshot expressos. The kind that are supposed to make you feel trendy and cool at 6 in the morning as you get in your jetta and prepare to sit in traffic on the way to your deaden accounting job at some no-name firm downtown.

I decided the caffeine surging through my body needed some food to compliment my digestive track before my eyes poped out of my head. There was not much in way of food on the cape except for those crappy sit down country breafast spots. So, I decided to stop at the gas station for a microwave buritto. Nothing like a good 'ole American mande mexican buritto to start off the Fourth of July celebration.

Only my intention in the 7 eleven were more than jsut a food expidetion. I was looking for mixers. I needed something to throw into the liter of Vodka i had jsut stolen from my landlord and was planning on drinking on the trian into town. The whole trick was to make it a color and flaovr that noboy but myself and who ever i deiced to share with would know about.

Only my appearance at the front counter with two burittos and three bottles of root beer drew a little suspision from the state highway patrol man standing there getting gas. Try to act calm, trhis is jsut an all american drink and some burittos for a wary travler at 8 in the morning.

he was not buying it.

Staring right at me he could tell something was up. He probably thought I was going to robbthe place. No person in their right mind comes into a 7 eleven and get two burittos and three root beers. Maybe a serial killer with some hell-bent ttiwsted routine for eating microwaveed food with his victim before raping them and doucing their bodies in root beer, but not me. I am the model american boy.

This guy was not getting it. His swager represented everything I was there to celebrate, freedom to ramdoly question anyone who approaches you who appreas different. Wait, that is not what it represents.

Fuck it I though, deal with the pig.

The confrotation was brief. His words were simple short and spoken like a true nantucket native. "No worries officer, I am jsut here to celebrate like every other god fearing american."

As I left I began chanting U.S.A. - U.S.A...it seemed like the natural thing to do before he pitol whiped me into submission.

Back behind the wheel with the caffieen taking full hold. Blood shot eyes, lack of leg muscle control. 100 mph down highway 6 across the only bridge off this god forsaken Cape. The trip to Boston should take a normal human being some like an hour and half to drive. Mine, 45 minutes. There was no time to waste. I had to get into the holiday spirit and priase the freedoms to drink in public and shout obseniuties knowing I am protected by a constitution that says i can.

I had the entire train to myself. perfect. With a large ominous sign overhead warninig of the dangers of dinking while poregnate, I mixed my vodka and root beer. 10 a.m. - it was going to be a good day.

The state of Massachusetts is a weird state. It gave birth to one of the grests political dynasties tthis country might ever see - all of them alcoholic.

Yet, it is the strictest in way it deals with its own vice for alcohol. You are not allowed to have na open continer anywhere in public. The only way that businesses are allowed to have alcohol served in their restraunts is becasue it is inside (yes, law declares there must be a door between the public and the drinking masses), and it must be in private. No drinking in the park - well fuck to that system.

The first friend I made was sitting in the parrk behind a bench I had deicded to sit on for a little while. He wander up to me and asked for changee - I honestly did not have any to give the poor bastard, but I said Id give him a stong drink.

Who needs change when I can give him booze directly. cut out the middle man.

"Shit, man. I don't want to fucking get caught with htat here..."

His response surprised me...so my first reaction was not a good one.
"What are you a fucking cop?"

From there our friendship blossomed. I was not in any mood to get shived in the middle of a tourist heavy central park in boston,. So, I hightailed it to the nearest crowded area. He will never find me here.

MMy publlic dispaly of alcoholism was not going over well. Things needed to change and I needed a better cover than a clear nalgeen water bottle. The cops knew I was drunk. There were pigs on jsut about every streety corner.

Each of them trianed and heeling dogs that could spot disenters a mile away. Ready to tear off your arm as soon as you began to hiel hitler or praise the advances of stail.

Bad vibes all around me...this day was only going one direction.

End part one...