Screed #9

May 28, 2009…

 

So shock-rocker Marilyn Manson is back with a new album, The High End of Low, and we, here at Eclairé A Pensé, could not be more overjoyed. Of course, we are being totally sarcastic, as we have never felt anything other than utter contempt for him and his mediocre music. Could there possibly be a more pitiful, annoying song than “The Beautiful People” or “The Dope Show”?  What vile dreck!

Over the course of his career, he seems to look for new ways to be offensive, just for the sake of being offensive – which we find pathetic and sad. He’s no different than shock-rapper Eminem, in that respect, who we also despise. His songs, his album covers, his image – it’s just cartoon Satanism. Is anyone even supposed to be scared of Manson anymore, if ever? Dick Cheney is more frightening than this clown – at least he comes packing heat.  

Now, on Manson’s new album, there are songs with titles like “Pretty as a Swastika” and “Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon” – we don’t even have to listen to them to know how pathetic and contrived they are – just like all of his songs. This dude’s sell-by date expired years ago. There’s nothing sadder than watching a circus freak whose act becomes more and more outrageous just to desperately hold on to what remaining fans they have left.  

His supporters claim that the self-proclaimed “Antichrist Superstar” is a crusader of free speech and he’s being ironic and thought-provoking. Bullshit. He’s just trying to sell records to white trash rejects too stoned to realize that his music and act is nothing more than third-rate Alice Cooper set to a sub-Nine Inch Nails industrial beat. It’s just crass audience manipulation and everyone fell for it.  

Let’s hope though, that this mutant crawls back into the wormhole from whence he came, once and for all, and stops subjecting all of us to his wretched music.

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Guns Before Cursing (Screed #8)

 May 22, 2009…

 

We would like to praise Green Day for their refusal to bow down to the evil behemoth that is Wal-Mart. Green Day’s recent album, 21st Century Breakdown, could not be sold by Wal-Mart unless Green Day agreed to release an edited version of it, removing all profanity. The band refused to edit their album, which meant it is not eligible for sale at the retail chain – a common practice of theirs. Okay, fine.

Now let us review some interesting facts: Wal-Mart sells more firearms than any retailer on the planet, yet they refuse to stock any album with profanity on it. Does this not strike anyone as absolutely hypocritical? We suppose they would rather someone walk into their store, purchase a gun and go commit a violent crime, rather than an adolescent hear a swear word? Amazing. We can all rest easy knowing that when our children grow up, they will use only polite words while they are killing someone with the gun they bought at Wal-Mart.  

Now, don’t get us wrong, we don’t really see the need for excessive swearing and violence in music. Some artists do it just to be controversial. Green Day’s new album, however, is a thought-provoking and intelligently-written album that is not just using curse words for the sake of controversy. God forbid, an adolescent might hear music that might actually make them THINK. Let us keep them pacified with the mindless drivel that passes for most music these days. We are glad to see that Green Day has the #1 album in the country, without the help of Wal-Mart.    

Another interesting thing to consider is the fact that Wal-Mart is the nation’s biggest retail outlet. The fact that actual record stores are closing up everywhere you go, pretty soon Wal-Mart will be one of the few places left to sell albums. They are pretty much dictating that this disturbing trend of censorship will be getting worse in the years to come.      

To quote band leader Billie Joe Armstrong:If you think about bands that are struggling or smaller than Green Day … to think that to get your record out in places like that, but they won’t carry it because of the content and you have to censor yourself,” he said. “I mean, what does that say to a young kid who’s trying to speak his mind making a record for the first time? It’s like a game that you have to play. You have to refuse to play it.”

We couldn’t agree more. Green Day: bravo! Wal-Mart: shame on you! 

Roll Call #1

May 22, 2009…

 

Here are some of the slimeballs, cretins and subhumans that we would like to see sent to the bowels of Hell, so far this year:

Bernie Madoff, Rod Blogojevich, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, all AIG executives, Drew Peterson, Henry Paulson, Chris Brown, Michael McLendon, Jiverly Voong, Richard Poplawski, James Harrison, Robert Stewart, Ervin Lupoe, Davon Crawford, Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Eminem, Sen. Chris Dodd, Joe Cassano, Jimmy Cayne, Christopher Cox, Angelo Mozilo, John Thain, Dick Fuld, Jay Bybee. 

People that have earned our respect, so far this year:

President Barack Obama, Green Day, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Arlen Specter, Matt Taibbi, Bill Maher, Prince, Bob Dylan, Nat Hentoff, U2, Jay Leno, Charles Nesson.

People who we are tired of hearing about:

Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Kate & Jon Gosselin, Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, Sarah & Bristol Palin, Sen. John McCain, Octomom, Kanye West, Terrell Owens, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Jessica Simpson, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump.

American: Idle (Screed #7)

May 21, 2009…

Now that American Idol ended its latest season last night, we just want to say two words: thank God! Why this ridiculous show is as big as it is, and for this many years, we will never know. Of course, we can see why young kids would be as enamoured of the show as they are, but why anyone over the age of 25 would give a damn simply boggles the mind. People waste so much valuable time watching this inane program, instead of doing something more worthwhile with their hours.

We feel this show is one of the main reasons why music has become as disposable and unlistenable as it is these days. All they are turning out is garbage. Just one more nail in the coffin of what used to be good music. Every finalist on there is just a clone of someone already famous and far more talented. We couldn’t name you one song by any artist from the show. Proudly too, we might add.

This has also contributed to this unrealistic goal in our country, that every kid wants to be a rich star, and can somehow instantly get fame by going on a show like this. We are turning out millions of kids now who think the only goal in life should be to become famous. It’s a disturbing trend – but just more of the “Tard Nation” mentality running rampant in America, circa 2009.

The end of this show cannot come fast enough in our eyes. Good riddance for another year, at least.

Screed #6

May 20, 2009…

 

When did we all get to be so self-important and think that we need to document every waking second of our lives, as if we are all famous celebrities on TV? Why do we feel the need to endlessly discuss the mindless minutiae of our daily routine in such excruciating detail? Is it just so we can feel like we’re important enough to think other people really care about what we are doing, thinking and feeling every minute of the day? I blame it on the ridiculous “reality show” world that we all find ourselves living in in 2009. Everyone thinks their life is so exciting, when it really isn’t. 

Between Twitter, Myspace and Facebook, we feel this need to update our “status” every five minutes, to keep people constantly informed of our mundane, boring actions. “I am taking a shower”…”I am going outside”…..”I am raking the leaves”…”I am going to the store.” Who the hell cares? When you actually do something interesting and productive with your time, then tell me about it. Otherwise, keep quiet.

When you get right down to it, most of our lives are actually quite boring and routine. We get up, we shower, we go to work, we come home, we go to bed. Not exactly exciting stuff that we need to constantly share with the rest of the world.

Between that and cell phones, it’s like we can never have even two minutes to ourselves, where nobody can get in contact with us, nor can we contact them. We feel this need to be in touch with everyone in the universe every second of the day. Human contact is definitely a good thing, but we need to realize that spending some quiet time to ourselves is also important.

We need to turn off the constant chatter in our lives and just enjoy the silence every once in awhile.

Screed #5

May 19, 2009…

 

Eminem’s music was and always will be lowest common denominator garbage. And we have never once thought the man can rap. He sounds like a typical lame white rapper trying desperately to sound black. He’s pathetic. Yet, critics all fell over themselves to praise him as a “genius” when he first came out. We really have been dumb-downed as a society to think this man’s music is of any social or musical significance whatsoever. It just perpetuates negative stereotypes and despicable views of women and homosexuals. And his new album is just more of the same contrived nonsense. It’s not even shocking or offensive. Just tired and boring. We’re sure it’ll sell a couple of million copies too.

Screed #4

Written April 5, 2009…

 

With all of the recent mass shootings that seem to be occurring every couple of days lately, we don’t know what the hell is going on with our society. We just seem to be taking out all of our problems and frustrations and rage on each other, instead of trying to help one another through these difficult times.

The fact that we are becoming numb to tragedy such as this (due to there being so many mass shootings, one after another), is one of the reasons why the tragedies seem to be happening with alarming frequency. There’s a definite malaise that has all of us in its grip. It’s like we’ve just become resigned to the fact that we are doomed as a nation, so we feel helpless to try to stop it. And so it continues to escalate. And everyone running around with guns certainly doesn’t help the problem. It just makes it worse.

Because of Obama getting elected, some people still cling tenuously to the idea of “hope” but one man can’t solve a nation’s overwhelming problems.  

We certainly don’t know what the answer is to all of this. But with the AIG fiasco and the botched government bailout (both of which completely infuriated us) and all these mass shootings, plus the fact that many of us are out of work (and have no idea if and when we’ll find a job again), 2009 is shaping up to be even worse than last year. And it promises to, unfortunately, get worse before it starts getting better. It’s like we are all just trying to blindly hold on, not knowing what’s going to happen next.

We certainly hate to sound like pessimistic doomsayers, but these are bleak times we live in. We all need to try to help each other though and not let this destroy us as a nation. We know that sounds trite but unfortunately, that’s all we can say at the moment. Let’s just pray that better days are ahead. It doesn’t look good though.

The Sad State of Music Journalism (Screed #3)

Written March 30, 2009…

 

We were reading a review of Prince’s new album LotusFlow3r today (we won’t mention the magazine or the reviewer), but it really upset us. Not because this person disliked the album, but because he reviewed it after admittedly listening to the album exactly once. That’s it. Now, how can any respected music critic write a review telling you that an album is bad (or good, even) after just one listen? We think this is irresponsible, lazy journalism and it seems to be a common practice these days. You cannot trust any person’s opinion about an album if they have not listened to it at least three or four times. What about if they completely change their mind about the album by the third listen? Are they going to write another review letting you know they were wrong? Or are they going to allow people to continue to be influenced by that original review that they no longer stand by?

There are many artists, including Prince, U2, R.E.M., Neil Young (etc) whose albums we have to listen to several times before we can give an honest opinion about them. They don’t reveal their strengths and weaknesses so quickly and easily. Sometimes we dislike them off of one listen, but then by the third or fourth listen, we may start to change our opinion. There have been albums we’ve listened to, that we did not like at all on first listen, but then months or years later, after hearing them again, fell in love with them. Now, we are not saying that a reviewer should listen to an album a hundred times over the course of five years before writing about it. We realize there are deadline considerations to be taken into account. We realize an album you liked or disliked twenty years ago might be one that you simply feel differently about today. But they should really give an album more than just one listen before announcing to the world whether they like it or hate it. Remember, there are many people who base their decision on whether to buy something or not by what a certain reviewer might be telling them. They need to know that this critic’s opinion is something they can trust.

We realize that everyone’s opinions are different and are unique to them, and the reasons why they like an artist might be different than why we like that artist. Just because you are a so-called “music critic” does not mean your opinions are necessarily worth more than the next person. But we do hope that the critic who is writing the review knows something about their subject and has listened to the album enough times to write an informed, detailed review on it. We also hope that they have their facts straight. We read so many reviews of albums where the critic can’t even get the name of the song or album correct, that they are praising or denouncing. How can we, as buyers,  trust this critic’s opinion when they can’t even get certain facts correct? Again, this is just lazy journalism, in our opinion. We wonder how many albums people buy or choose not to buy based on some critic’s misinformed opinion.    

Another sad state of music journalism is how almost every review nowadays has to be no longer than two paragraphs. How do you properly convey to the public why an album is good or bad in fifty or a hundred words? Everything has to be a quick soundbite these days. Instead of giving a detailed review of ten albums, each magazine would rather write reviews of twenty albums that are so short as to be worthless. They simply tell you nothing of any substance. This has becoming a disturbing trend over the years. There are some online music webzines that are trying to reverse that trend though, and we think that is a good thing. We want to read a detailed review by someone who is an informed lover of music. Not someone who knows nothing about what they are writing about. It is one thing for someone to write a blog about something they like or dislike. If you are writing for a major magazine though, you need to do your homework before writing an article. Unfortunately, there are too many writers out there nowadays who can’t be bothered. It is a sad reflection of the “soundbite” world we now live in.

Screed #2

Written Jan. 29, 2009…

 

We were just reading the news and were overjoyed to see that Illinois Gov. Rod Blogojevich got impeached. What a narcissistic slimeball this guy is…a slithering slimy worm of a man. And with his constant (unbelievable) comparisons to Dr. Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, he is also completely out to lunch. Talk about having a super-inflated ego and sense of self-importance and entitlement. We believe he also compared his arrest last month to the attack on Pearl Harbor. If it wasn’t so infuriating and insulting, it would be completely laughable (about as laughable as that ridiculous hairstyle of his). But now, he is going down in flames. Good riddance.

We have had it with all these sleazeball politicians and greedy, arrogant CEOs who have been raping the American people for far too long, and helping to cause the staggering mess we are in today. People like Blogojevich and Bernie Madoff and all the rest of them. We’re tired of reading about how we HAD to bail out all of these troubled companies, and then they take that money & go right back to giving themselves fat bonuses, taking lavish trips, buying planes, etc. Obviously, they didn’t NEED that money after all, did they? And we, the people, get stuck paying for their messes and their unbridled greed. It’s time we took back our country from all these rich, greedy, lying, deceiving, scum-sucking douchebags. We have been heading in the completely wrong direction in this country for too many years. Let’s hope 2009 is the year where things start to change (at least a little bit) for the better. And luckily, we have a new leader now. Finally…

Scientology: A Cult of Lies and Greed (Screed #1)

Written July 19, 2008…

We, here at Eclairé A Pensé, are reading some articles about the Church of Scientology. Some stuff we already knew but never realized the extent to just how dangerous and crazy this “religion” (and we use that term VERY loosely) is.

Its leader and founder L. Run Hubbard was nothing but a self-absorbed, severely drug-addicted (despite what its members will say), wife & child-beating, racist, homophobic, scam artist (with visions of self-grandeur), who used people’s stupidity & gullibility in starting a “religion” & making a large fortune for himself in the process. He admitted himself to starting the movement as a way to become rich. He came up with a fictional backstory as well (his best-selling book Dianetics), to sell the religion. Its followers apparently take this “story” as TRUTH.   

He was nothing more than a wacko cult leader like Manson or David Koresh or Jim Jones and probably 100 times worse than them because he has millions of followers, not just tens or hundreds. The way to Heaven will NOT be through charlatans like Hubbard or Koresh.  

It amazes us how stupid all these Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta are for believing in this ridiculous nonsense. When reading about Scientology, we find it completely unbelievable that anyone with half a brain would believe this nonsense. E-meters, thetans, auditing, going “clear”…it would be completely laughable if it wasn’t so dangerous.

Scientology uses these celebrities to get them to donate large sums of cash to the church & to give them needed credibility. They build special “Celebrity Centres” that treat these Hollywood stars like royalty, while average Scientologists are treated far less kindly. It’s a huge racket. Not that people like Cruise or Travolta would ever see it that way.  Plus, from what we have read, if you have no money (ie: poor people), they have no use for you. It is very expensive to join their little world. Hence, you are not going to find many minorities, if any. Just to take one of their “personality” tests can run you as much as $500.00.   

Hubbard was right about one thing though: the real money is in starting your own religion. There are so many lost, delusional & easily manipulated and gullible people out there. It’s sad.

This cult has used torture, fraud, the legal system, infiltration, smear tactics, manipulation, censorship and brainwashing to keep people in line and attack ANYBODY who has even the slightest criticism of their organization. They have threatened companies like Google to not even place websites that speak out against them. They are highly litigious and have the money and lawyers to back them up. Again, this is all well-documented.

They are dangerous and evil. And anyone inside the organization looking to get out, it’s almost impossible. They are like the Mafia. Once you’re in, you’re in for life. Plus, you are encouraged to disassociate from any family members or friends who are not in support of Scientology. They have been known to brutally exploit their members. They want to keep them under their strict control. That is the very definition of a “cult” as we see it. 

They hide behind the term “religion” to keep the American government off their back. In countries like Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium and the United Kingdom though, they are not recognized as a religion but merely a commercial organization. We find it funny that Tom Cruise can go on TV and talk about psychiatry being nothing more than a “pseudoscience” when Scientology is nothing more than a “pseudo-religion.”   

We just think Hubbard is not that man. He just looked for a way to get rich quick and invented Scientology as the means.         

Frankly, we don’t give a damn what anyone believes. As long as you don’t try to force your beliefs down someone else’s throat. We don’t believe in any cult or religion that starts wars in the name of God, Allah, Mohammad, etc. or attacks anyone physically or mentally that criticizes their beliefs.

You have a right to believe in anything you want. And we have a right to criticize it if we want. At least in America we have that right. Scientologists don’t seem to believe in that though. We’re sure if we went on TV right now speaking out against them, a team of their lawyers would be suing us for defamation, or their members would be trying to dig up dirt on us to discredit us. We wouldn’t be surprised if they did much worse that that actually. They have in the past been accused of these very tactics. They call it “fair game” – attack all critics.   

Like we said, they are extremely dangerous and we feel sorry for those that get suckered into their world. For those thinking about joining, first check out a website called http://www.scientology-lies.com for more information.