A Heart Felt Letter to Trebek (Playlist)

Happy Wednesday!

Dear Alex Trebek of Jeopardy!,

Screw you.

Sincerely,

Fin & Louie

 

Alex Trebek thinks that nerdcore hip hop is not fun and for loosers as he stated in this clip from his general knowledge game show of the last 32 years, Jeopardy! I don’t think it’s particularly cool but it has inspired some fun songs across the nerdcore genre.

 

Trebek Diss by Twill.Distilled

This first track rocks.  Twill.Distilled represents the women of nerdcore in her lyrics. Check out these lyrics:

Alex Trebek, you aint polite, I thought you were from canada
after that im just like, bro, whats the matter with ya
lets take a look at your show and your key demographic
biting the hand the feeds you, thats just simply tragic

Wanna talk about losers, lets focus on you
The rhetoric of nerds is overplayed you know it’s true
slinging out insults like loser on a show of intelligence
your diligence of dreadfulness like a benighted emulous

I don’t know whats more tragic, your career or your fitness
A foreshadow of kardashian, Lucinda Moyers is the witness
not one but two heart attacks I think the universe is callin
time for you to tap out while nerdcore keeps on ballin

Callin our home girl and all ofus losers
bruh are you serious, just take a look at her
maybe you’re just getting old, or you got glaucoma
but your presence on this nerd scene is nothing but an adenoma

 

Fuck Alex Trebek ft. Osiris Green

I love this deep bass rap by Wreck the System.

“these guys who created music, hip hop music, that were hardcore about their nerdom hence nerdcore…being computer…programmers hackers…video game addicts comic book readers, they could explore that what they love and put it in to music”

-Fuck Alex Trebek ft. Osiris Green, 1m12s

That quote just makes my day man.

Also big Thank You goes out to Lady J (Wreck the System) and Paleface for last week’s press release of their music video Link With a Kink and interview.

 

“Suck It Trebek” A Response RAP | TEAMHEADKICK – Mega Ran – MC LARS

The last one I have up is an excellent flow trio between TEAMHEADKICK and Mega Ran and MC Lars.

Let’s not forget Susan Cole for being the one to stand up for the genre.

 

BONUS LETTER:

Dear Susan Cole,

Thank you for being awesome.

Sincerely,

Fin & Louie

Offbeat, On-point

100 posts and going!

Happy Monday!

This here post, is my 100th post for Offbeat On-point and it has been a ride.  I have to be honest, I have not spent much (any) time thinking about doing anything particularly special for this post.

I feel like maybe this would be a good time to let y’all in on my some details of my master plan(1).

Image result for evil master plan

“”Master Plan””

Steps towards “The Vision 1.0”:

Merch:

I plan to start making stickers of my comics.  I’ll start a test run this summer trading stickers in person for schwag (things we all get) and rides, however due to my living situation(2) I won’t be able to mail stickers until October.  Eventually I’d like to make t-shirts and a line of emoji and other stuff.

Volunteers:

I am semi-actively looking for freelance or reoccurring or even better a recurring  writer.  I have plenty of stock ideas and am open to pitches for Mystery Monday and Rewind Wednesday, and I’m not sold yet but I’d be willing to open up Funny Fridays to pitches.  I cannot offer you pay however I can write you one hell of a recommendation letter(3) and some free stickers (when available).  If you are good at doing social networks (really could use a hand with twitter in specific) or feel like there is some other skill you could offer me, feel free to contact me.

#finandlouie4president2020:

This is not a joke.  I am determined to get “Fin and Louie” on the ballot for the American Presidential Election in 2020.  I must clarify, I (as in the writer/artist) am not running for the presidency but my creations, Fin and Louie, are.  There is historical precedence for this in the United States(4) and after the 2016 election results I’ve been inspired to start the “We Could Do Worse” Party(5).  However we need YOUR help.  If you Believe in the Fin or want to Follow Louie, whenever you see a political post somewhere on the internet post in the comments #finandlouie4president2020 #ibelieveinthefin #followmelouie #wecoulddoworse use all of them or one but the most important one to get traction is #finandlouie4president2020 and feel free to link to the comic too.  That will help understanding I am sure.

Overall I’m interested in building more of a relationship between us here at OBOP and you, the reader.  If you have ideas, suggestions, or anything please feel free to leave comments below.

Thanks for sticking with us for 100 posts and we hope to see you here in 100 more posts!

Also, don’t forget to check back in this Wednesday for the Press Release of Lady J and Paleface new music Video Link’s Arousing!

 

Footnotes:

  1. I read somewhere that a successful business is not grown on potential but vision.  If you exhibit a vision and give people, consumers and employees, a reason to believe in what you’re doing you’re more likely to build the kind of loyalty that nurtures relationships versus royalty-loyalty.  Though I guess that’s easy to say at this point when this a one-man show running on stolen time.
  2. I’ve been accepted into Lancaster University as a degree seeking student however in order to renew my visa, I must return to the United States.  For normal people this wouldn’t be much of a problem however as I am a hobo (DO NOT mistake my kind for bums, being a hobo means that one works to travel and travels to live; we earn our living and our way along the road we walk) I don’t have a home to go back to in St Louis.  So I plan to fly to San Francisco and walk the beach, looking for stories, adventure, and work while killing time until October.  This as you can imagine, does not afford the luxury of a set mailing point or address which would facilitate my sending stickers to you but when I get back to uni, I’ll have three hots and a cot again (probably, honestly haven’t looked into housing for next year but I’m not worried).
  3. I’m very excited at the prospect of getting to use the word “mogigraphia” in a recommendation letter.
  4. See Mickey Mouse Party and the Cthulhu Party, in fact I supported Cthulhu in 2016.
  5. Name isn’t set in stone, we could also name it the “Fin or Louie? Why Not Both?” party or “The Re-Tweeters” or “Team Not-Trump” or “It’s Just Politics, How Hard Could It Be?”, honestly were open to suggestion.

MC Lars Interview and Poe Playlist (music)

Happy Wednesday!

20170301_201431

Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture with MC Lars after the show however when I think back, this is about what I think it’d look like.

MC Lars was the fourth and final artist I saw at the Manchester show.  I really liked his set, I was vaguely familiar with his music before now but after the show I’ve found a new nerdcore great.

The First song I heard from MC Lars was a song about Edgar Allen Poe(1).

 

Then recently when I started listening to him rap, I noticed a trend:

 

 

Big thank you goes to MC Lars for the following interview:

OBOP: Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally? (As many answers as you want, don’t worry about restricting yourself to one source)

MC Lars (MCL): My biggest influence is definitely “Weird Al” Yankovic! I love how he was able to, as Lin-Manuel Miranda said on Marc Maron’s podcast recently, strip music of its “genre clothes” and comment on everything. He’s definitely my biggest influence and I was so stoked that he thanked me in his last album.

OBOP: Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?

(MCL): I always wanted to be a cartoonist, but when I did my first Shakespeare rap in 1998, I knew I was onto something!

OBOP: What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)

(MCL): Definitely playing Carnegie Hall in 2012! We debuted “Flow Like Poe” and I felt like I’d finally made it.

OBOP: What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)

(MCL): I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

OBOP: If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?

(MCL): It would be amazing to go into the Bible and meet Jesus – I’d love to hear what he has to say about today’s political climate.

MC Lars is one of the most approachable people I’ve ever met, I mean that includes all celebrities and everyday people,  when he says

I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

-MC Lars

I can really buy it.  Funny thing is my friend and I had gotten to Manchester a few hours early and we thought the doors opened at 7.30 and so we walked in and there was like this hush of when people are present who aren’t immediately recognized and like 5 dudes standing around.  I thought we were early and didn’t think much of it until one of the roadies (I assume, maybe he was an employee of the club) asked me if we had tickets and I said yea and as he was informing us that we were 30 minutes before the door this big dude, who I didn’t at first recognize as MC Lars comes over to us and asks us if we’re here to see the show.

This giant man has a butter melting smile and his handshakes turn into back-pat hugs, even with me and my mate who were strangers to him.  We get to talking and MC Lars hears my accent and asks me where I’m from, I frequently forget that I have a discernible accent, and I tell him I’m from St Louis and how I’ve been trying to see MC Chris in concert for 10 years and had missed him in concert in St Louis 3 times including October 2016 and all that.  He then asks how long I’m here for and all that which leads me into talking about how I’m a study abroad student and somewhere around minute 5 of me rambling on I realise this guy has been giving me his ENTIRE attention as if I was an old friend and we were catching up. As my friends can tell you, I have no problem talking(2), but I’m not always used to having someone pay so much attention to what I have to say much less this strange celebrity.

I feel bad because I remember asking him where he was from as well and couldn’t tell you where without looking it up but I do remember he told me that he studied abroad when he was in college too.  He told me it really changed his life.  Dude’s a great artist, writer, performer, and if you ever see him live don’t be afraid to approach him.  If he doesn’t approach you first.

Footnotes:

  1. Remember “Offbeat, On-point: A literary blog…kinda”
  2. One of my friends has described me as “Fin doesn’t say much until you get him talking.  Then you can’t get the guy to shut the fuck up.”

MC Chris is Dreaming (album)

Happy Wednesday!

I need to start with an apology.  I mentioned previously that I got MC Chris to agree to an interview and despite repeated emails and facebook messages, MC has refused to acknowledge me further one way or the other despite saying he would do “what ever I can to help a fan.” I’m not going to spend this piece chatting shit (I don’t want to get hit), however before this I was going to write something like “They say not to meet your heroes but that doesn’t apply to MC Chris because this guy is LEGIT!!” however I guess timeless advice is timeless for a reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I still respect the hell out of the guy as a musician and an artist.  His work has been a really important part of my musical enjoyment over the last 10 years and I’ve made some really great memories over this guy’s music.

me-and-mc

Speaking of great memories, probably the best show I’ve ever gone to.

Anyway, the show must go on.  Thankfully this year MC Chris has released a new album so I do have something to write about and the good news is that his new album MC Chris is Dreaming is easily his best album to date and as a fan I’m really happy to say this.   However with a disclaimer like that, you know I’m going to be pretty honest.  Let’s get to it!

If you’re not already a fan, there are a few things you should know about MC.

  1. He’s a nerdcore raper which is a sub-genre of rap which focuses on the things nerds, freaks, and geeks (1) can relate to such as a love for candy, star wars, trouble with mates/social acceptance.
  2. He really likes skits on his albums to “…break up the monotony of the music…” which are mostly accessible but there is some continuity between albums and inside jokes/jokes about obscure things that may require further research.  I’m a fan of them but they can be polarizing among his fan base.
  3. Dude has a high voice.  It’s not a gimmick, his voice is just naturally that way and personally I think it’s fucking awesome.  I wouldn’t say it’s his thing but it gives flavour to his music that if it wasn’t present, I feel like there would be something missing.
  4. Dude gets vulgar at times.  Examples include The Masturbation Song and Booties for Breakfast (Booties for Breakfast is a personal favoutite, I’m not sure what that says about me though but booty is pretty sweet)
  5. This guy has some really sweet and unique beats.  Take for example songs like Aulpragasm or DQ Blizzard or Reese(2).  I love listening to this guys music on multiple levels.  Many of his songs really are an aural-feast and particularly Aulpragasm is a song I tend to listen to on repeat for like hours.  I didn’t understand the “[x] for 10 hours” thing on youtube for the longest time until I found certain songs like this (not saying that I’ve done a 10 hour of the same song but…okay yea I’ve done it, I’m shameless…in fact I’m currently in a Aulpragasm loop as I write this it’s ridiculous to be honest).

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been a fan of this guy for over 10 years now ever since I first heard Fett’s Vette (“…you think you can cook, I got a grappling hook…”) and Hijack (“…go take a hike and don’t forget the trail mix, BITCH…”) and Evergreen (“on the first day of xmas my dealer gave to me a bag of shrooms and some lsd…”).

Anyway as I said earlier, MC Chris (in my personal opinion) had a really strong early career with albums like Life’s a Bitch and I’m Her Pimp, Dungeon Master of Ceremonies, and the prime album MC Chris is Dead.

However after that, for a long time, I really didn’t get in to his newer albums like MC Chris Goes to Hell, Marshmallow Playground, or Race Wars.  I mean, he had some solid songs from those albums like Drinkin’ Blunts  from MC Chris Goes to Hell (I LOVE the brass in this song), Best Day Ever from Marshmallow Playground (this song is so cute and this album lacks his usual caustic edge but it is really sentimental which I appreciate seeing the diversity and emotional vulnerability as an artist but most of it is just something I listen too only when I’m in such a specific mood that I still can’t place what it is), and On the Road from Race Wars (since I’m being very honest, I’m just really not a fan of this album overall).

Then MC Chris is Dreaming dropped and my. mind. was. BLOWN. I didn’t even know about the Foreverrr album until MC Chris is Dreaming came out (Foreverrr is a solid album, from skits to songs with Give Up the Ghost, I’m a Fucking Wizard, and Foreverrr) and honestly I’m kind of sad I didn’t know about Foreverrr album sooner so I could have spent more time with it.

Back to MC Chris is Dreaming.  This album has the strongest opening since MC Chris is Dead with the titular song MC Chris is Dreaming (unfortunately, I cannot find individual links to the songs from this album either on youtube or soundcloud however here is a link to his entire album

and trust me, the ENTIRE album is worth listening to and the skits are on point, some of his best ever) which opens with this slow build up for the first 38 seconds then it drops at 40 seconds and gets to work.  This album, like Marshmallow Playground feels like one of his most honest and vulnerable fitting the theme of Freddy Krueger being a central character in the skits.

freddy

For those of you too young to remember, Freddy was a dream demon who would find your insecurities in your dreams and kill you by invading your dreams and killing you in an ironic way that related to your insecurities which would manifest as a death in real life.  Rick and Morty had a good time with this character as Scary Terry.

He touches on some sensitive subjects as childhood obesity (Spanky), growing up with an alcoholic father (Pop Run), and substance abuse struggles (Ditched).  The last song, Ditched, really hits a chord with my personal struggle as I’ve mentioned before I am an alcoholic in recovery and despite having some sober time it’s still a real fucking struggle.  Lately it’s been extra tough being an American abroad, being almost 30 with no savings and a “colourful” resume/CV, and Cheeto Voldemort and the League of Unqualified Millionaires (Billionaires?)(3).

chetto

I am beyond giving a crap if people get offended about my opinions about the current administration.  We have a fucking REALITY TELEVISION STAR and repeatedly failed entrepreneur and FUCKING PEDOPHILIC RAPIST as a president so pardon me if I refuse to respect anything about the orange idiot.  However, now that the presidency is basically a joke and open to anyone I’m starting a new hashtag #FinandLouie4President2020  

Anyway back to MC Chris.  Dude’s a great rapper, he’s a funny guy, and his kid is probably too young to realize yet but he’s got a cool AF dad.  Yea, he’s kinda been a flake but he’s still a pretty fuckin’ good rapper.

 

signatie

Dude signed my notebook. I guess he’s pretty legit.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Here’s how I delineate the differences: Nerds – really smart, but are happy being reserved socially.  Geeks –  usually more passionate than traditionally intelligent and more sociable but usually focused around niche things like tabletop gaming, book clubs, LARPing (Live Action Role Playing).  Freaks – pretty much the crazy artsy types who kind of don’t really fit in with any one social group but are happy to be accepted or not a long as you don’t fucking judge us for our eccentric bodily modifications or outfit choices.  I personally identify as a Freaky-Geek.
  2. I can’t stop here, there are so many good ones like Older Crowd, Fett’s Vette, MC Chris is Dead…I could keep on but my word count is already getting high.
  3. Just to list a few: Betsy DeVos the new head of Department of Education has no experience with the public school system and WANTS TO SHUT DOWN THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist is a outspoken racist, Rex Tillerson who is the ExxonMobil CEO secretary of State (guess what? as CEO has done plenty of business with the Russians, which is the extent of his foreign policy experience, has pretty obvious conflict of interests, and is very anti-global climate change advocacy), and my personal FAVOURITE Rick Perry picked for the Department of Energy DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE JOB DESCRIPTION ENTAILED BEING IN CHARGE OF THE NUCLEAR STOCKPILE AND NUCLEAR INFRASTRUCTURE.  I cannot fully express how fucking mad and anxious I am about this living fucking nightmare of a situation.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo! (interview)

Happy Wednesday!

First I want to thank Valeria Quinn for the links to some bonus Mega-Ran song!

It’s pretty tight, I liked it a lot.  Feel free to leave music recommendations.  FAIR WARNING: I have at least 2 more interviews for the nerdcore series and a couple of bands to follow up on first but I am open to suggestions!

Koo Koo Kanga Roo! is a fun duo and put on an excellent show.

When they came up on stage, in their gold sneakers and gold fanny/bum packs (worn on the front), they put on some music and had been warming up and told the crowd “We are a dance along kind of show” which was followed by instructions for the crowd to learn some dance moves, one maybe two and all pretty easy, per song starting with a warm up song.  I wish I could remember their line up however here are some fun songs by them:

Dinosaur Stomp

I’m pretty sure this is the first song they opened with.

Pancakes for Dinner

I know they played this one.

Fanny Pack

I remember this one was particularly funny since in the UK fanny…doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in the US.

And here’s the interview:

  1. Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally? (As many answers as you want, don’t worry about restricting yourself to one source).

    We like any group or band or performer that puts on a great live experience. We started the band after seeing bands like Dance Band, Zibra Zibra, of Montreal and the Flaming Lips.

  2. Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?

    Always liked music and wanted to be apart of it some how. Didn’t know how until college.

  3. What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)

    Just the fact that we are still doing this crazy little project is cool to us, but feel like there are still bigger things we want to get to.

  4. What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)

    I want to have a pocket of gummi bears always loaded up. Fully stocked at all times.

  5. If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?

    I would go into the Mighty Ducks universe and hang with the team. Maybe be their water boy.

Thanks. Answers from Bryan in Koo Koo Kanga Roo. 
 
Bryan

Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Big thank you goes to Koo Koo Kanga Roo for playing along!

If you liked this or have a music recommendation feel free to leave a comment and share.

Interview with Mega-Ran (music)

Happy Wednesday!

A few months ago in November I went and saw my first nerdcore show in Manchester and going in the only rappers I was familiar with were MC Chris and MC Larz but everyone put on such an amazing show that after the show was over I went and talked to the performers and explained about my blog and asked if they would agree to an interview.

All have agreed however I’m still waiting for answers back from MC Chris.  I hope he finds time to reply to me but if not I will do a write up for his newest album instead.

The first up in the series is Mega-Ran.

20161127_231633

Mega Ran and me

Here’s a few of his songs I particularly like:

Miniboss

Megaman Forever

Suck it Trebek this is my favourite because it’s a under publicized story that Alex Trebek of Jepordy said with regard to nerdcore “doesn’t sound like fun” and with regard to nerds “losers, in other words”.  So yea, Trebek: you’re the looser.

Interview:

1. Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally?
anyone creating, living their dreams, hustling. it’s so inspiring to see creators making a living on their art, and working hard to get it out there.
2. Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?
I didn’t… I wanted to be a dentist. Music was a hobby or passion project until one day I put songs on the internet that got a lot of attention and led to more and more gigs which led to me quitting my teaching job to do this full time. Every day is like a dream.
3. What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)
I think my greatest achievement is surviving, as crazy as that sounds…so many people from my old neighborhood let their dreams and passions die, as that’s what we’re told to do.. Somehow I held on and it’s working out. I’m a living testament.
4. What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)
I’d like to be able to fly. I’d just use it to get to gigs, because I really despise flying on planes, haha. So if i could get to my shows without worrying about lines, checks and small seats, I’d be great.
5. If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?
there would be a super NES with every game on it in there. I’d sit down and drink Ecto-Cooler and play Super Metroid all night.

A big thanks goes out to Mega Ran for being so awesome and playing along!!

 

Andreas Beats interview and Exclusive Track

Happy Wednesday!

I have something new this week for my music bit.  As I mentioned last week I reached out to Andreas Beats and he accepted to do an interview and also sent me an unreleased single which he gave me permission to share with my readers.  So without further ado:

Since I don’t have a premium plan for wordpress I had to upload the track to soundcloud but here is a link: C – Strings

Questions:
1) how long have you been making music? did you always want to make a career out of it or did it just happen?
Andreas: I started making hip hop beats back in 96 with a friend of mine. We kept at it for a few years, but I eventually got solo with no real aim or plan. I just kept doing the music that I like without the intention of anybody else beeing interested in it. I wanted to make a living from music for a while but it’s such a shaky business. I make a track for some company’s clip or something like that once in a while. But it’s not anything I pursue. When I’m asked I’ll do it. But nowadays I mostly make music for climbing movies, which is my passion besides music. But I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon.
2) It seems like you do more than just make music, what are your other professional projects or hobbies?
Andreas: My passion and my job is climbing. I work as a routesetter. And when I have a minute to spare I climb. Can’t get enough of it!
3) Who inspires you? In anyway, like musical influences or personal heros or whatever?
Andreas: Who inspires me? Tricky one. I don’t know if I have a person that inspires me. Nature does. And sounds.
4) What advice would you give aspiring artists/musicians/producers etc?
Andreas: I’d say, just have fun and do what you like. Don’t try to emulate or follow trends. Just make the tunes you yourself would want to listen to. And put in the time. Music comes from inspiration, but inspiration isn’t present all that often. And in between the nuggets of inspiration you just have to work, work and work. Let it take the time it takes.
5) What sort of change would you like to see in your community (anything like the music scene, your country, the world at large, whatever you work towards personally that you’d like to see happen at large)?
Andreas: I cannot say all that much about the music scene and what needs changing since I am positioned on the very fringe of it. I sit at home and make stuff for the joy of it and don’t circulate in the “music scene” and that is in a way by choice. I’m quite happy beeing an outsider of the music industry.
But as for the community in general I would like to see a step in the other direction from where it’s going now. Towards compassion and not towards racism and hate. Seems like in all countries now there is a racist party on the rise. And it needs to be turned around if it’s not going to end ugly.
Thanks goes out to Andreas Beats for being so generous with his time and content.
I have more interviews lined up for the nerdcore rappers I saw in Manchester in November.  I intended to get it out sooner but I was trying to wait on everyone to get back to me however, I have 3 of 4 and I will proceed with out the last guy if need be.

Happy New Years Eve…eve! (comic)

Happy Friday Folks!

Oh boy it’s here guys, the long awaited end of 2016 and what a fucking strange year it’s been.  There are already plenty of articles talking about how many people we lost year, the implications of a Trump presidency and how relations between the US and Cuba will change with the death of Castro, and if the Cubs can take the World Series is that a good omen for the Blues in the Stanley Cup? (like did you even SEE the hat trick the other night?!)

However here I want to just reflect a little bit about my personal year (don’t worry, there is a comic this week) because as you can probably guess it has been a big year for me.

  • I got accepted into Lancaster as an exchange student in March
  • I got sober 25 April 2016
  • I started Offbeat On point in May
  • I got to live in one of my “Dream Neighborhoods” over the summer(1) (June – September)
  • I ran my first half marathon (110 minutes) in July
  • I moved to a new country (October)
  • I got to meet my musical hero MC Chris (November)
  • I got accepted into Lancaster as a degree seeking student (December)
  • I celebrated my first Xmas away from home

Overall it’s been a good year but it hasn’t been with out struggle.  Most of this year I’ve spent in one form or another of extreme isolation.

Before getting sober, this was my life:

Monday – Thrusday: School (12 credit hours), work (30 hours), drink alone at home until I couldn’t remember passing out(2).

Friday – Sunday: Friday I would work then go home and drink.  Saturday and Sunday I would do 12 hours of homework each day then come home and drink.

I had no friends left and I sort of tried to make friends at work and school fell kinda flat for numerous reasons. After getting sober, school was out and I started working a lot more, got promoted to manager at the sandwich shop and got back an old job I had in light construction. Between the two jobs I was working 80-100 hour weeks, which has never never really been a problem for me because ever since high school I’ve kept a kinda manic schedule where I would be “on” for a few months to a year and “off” for a few months to a year (“on” = working and/or in school; “off” = unemployed and not in school or unemployed and in school) which is partly why I’m 28 and still working towards a bachelor’s degree. All of this considered, you can probably start to see why I didn’t have friends.

When I got here, I knew from pretty early on that I was going to spend winter holiday alone on campus and that isolation kind of scared me a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  The week before xmas was my first week alone here and I might have been alone but I felt so so loved because every single day I would wake up to a phone full of messages from friends who lived in my block and others from school (and the odd person from the states) texting me “Hey how’s Lancaster?” “How are you doing?” “What’s the weather like there?” and it would literally take me about an hour every day to respond to everyone(3).  I’ve mentioned before that I feel the warmth of community here and that sense of community has really changed me.  Not dramatically but it’s helped me heal quite a bit.  It’s been a hard year for everyone but let’s not forget to take stock of the beautiful little moments that we’ve enjoyed this year.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve, folks.

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Footnotes:

  1. I mentioned in a previous article about the Webster Groves area but basically it’s one giant botanical neighborhood just on the county/city line where people who make much more money than I ever hope to live but what gives me (a little) hope is the guy I was living with was the original editor and chief of a few small local news papers and he had a nice place. If that writer could make a good living, I can too (maybe).
  2. I could hold my own when in company, as in I could drink upwards of 30 drinks in a night and not vomit, but when you develop a long term drinking habit you start to experiment and see if you can get that nail that precise amount of alcohol to time ratio for the “daily ritual”.  Mine was a 6 pack of beer, 3 nips (this is what we called airplane bottle shots, usually 1.5 floz/50mL), in the space of 3 hours.  I had it down to a science because when you’re a functional alcoholic, having “leftovers” is a really bad idea because when you wake up: you already have booze and because of that I found it very very hard to get my day started.  I needed to not have booze in the house so I could be motivated to get some work done and then walk to the shop for my “reward”.  Also if you don’t have enough booze, woah that is like seriously the worst.  Like you drink and drink then if you’re still awake and booze free then you’re at a conundrum: walk to the store and pray it’s not too late to buy booze (legal limit was 3am in St Louis but frequently grocery stores, they had the best prices, would shut down their booze isle by 1 or 1.30am) or try to tough it out.  Guess what won most times.  This set amount played deeply into the psychology of being in control. See I knew even if I ate, I’d pass out; I knew if I got this much, it would be enough and if I wanted leftovers I knew that I would need more; I also knew when to start drinking to be in bed by a certain time, I could even tell by texts and other time stamps precisely when I would black out and just about how long I was conscious before I actually fell asleep.  All these things are important in the addict’s mind when trying to maintain the illusion of control because as long as you’re in control, you don’t have a problem.
  3. Taking so long is probably mostly my fault because I like to talk and my average text is probably 160-300 characters.

MC Chris is Legit

mc chris

Who wouldn’t want to see a cartoon staring this guy?

MC Chris is great. He’s a nerdcore rapper which basically means he writes songs about star wars, becoming a zombie, and robo-tripping on prom night.  He has been trying to put out a cartoon for a really long time now, The MC Chris Cartoon, but it keeps getting shut down and that’s deeply frustrating.  Check out the pitch ^^^ it looks really really funny.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite songs by MC.

Fett’s Vette – The first rap song I memorized.

I Want Candy – who doesn’t?

Reese – I’ve tried memorizing this song but I can’t even keep up with printed lyrics.  Dude looses me towards the end of the history of chocolate/peanut butter riff.  He’s just so fast.

MC Chris is Dead – Don’t let him vomit on you.

Pizza Butt – “Is it delivery? No it’s Digiorno, microwave it and put it in a porno!”

DQ Blizzard – I don’t even know where to start..

WiiD – He’s a big fan of the green stuff.

Older Crowd – “PLEASE PARK IT MARGARET, I MUST DANCE”

Kill It – MC Chris you are my hero

I realize there is probably at least one person who reads my tag line “A literary blog…kinda” and think “Carbs! This toon(1) leans heavily on the ‘…kinda’ bit.” and sure I’ll give you that, but you want literature? Look at some of these lyrics. They’re poetry.

I’m a devious degenerate
Defender of the devil
Shut down all the trash compactors
On the detention level

Take this stanza from Fett’s Vette.  Look at the alterations of “devious degenerate” and “defender…devil”.  Notice the rhyme between “devil” and “level”.

World’s Fair, Chicago in the year of 1893,
a man named Milton, a disaster outta Lancaster, P.
Inspired by the Germans and their chocolate making machinery
he invented milk chocolate or stole it from the Swiss, that’s history.

So Milton built a factory, and a town and a park and a school for orphans,
made bars and kisses and chips real cheap so poor peeps could afford them.What a great depression – Nine-Twenty, not funny, no money in the pocket,
‘cept Pennsylvania where Milton kept on cranking out chocolate.

The Mr. Goodbar and then a World War and Milton did his part.
Made anti-aircraft guns and sent the soldiers chocolate bars.
Meanwhile they had a ship in, was secretly dipped in peanut butter
in his Pennsylvania basement. It was so exciting, cue the lightning/thunder.

Name’s Harry Burnett, you can bet my ass didn’t go to Harvard.
Be hold up in a cup, couldn’t have done it without George Washington Carver.
“I was living the high life – champagne, limousine, it was a trip,
then I died of a heart attack – all for naught, I was bought in fifty-six.”

Now please fast-forward to the seventies, scientists discover Penuche.
Peanut Butter’s too oily, Pieces takes their part in the food chain,
and their name is commonplace in the latest interview with a lady named Witherspoon.

Or take the history rift from Reese.  Notice the rhyme scheme in the first four lines, shortening brilliantly shortening “Pennsylvania” to “P.” to fit the rhyme.  Notice the slant rhyme in the next stanza between “pocket” and “chocolate” and more so notice the use of the “f” sound tying the entire stanza together from “factory”, “orphans”, “afford” and “funny”.

It goes on and on and it’s not only extremely entertaining but a sign of his linguistic talent.  MC Chris is not only a rapper but also a voice actor and a generally creative mind. My intent with this post is not only to raise awareness of this underrated sub-genre of hip-hop and this artist but also to hopefully bring to attention the cartoon pitch that MC Chris has been trying to make a reality for over 3 years now, a pitch I am invested in being a fan of his work.  I know I don’t have the money to back his cartoon but I hope that in raising more awareness about the pitch that maybe someone of influence will notice the potential.  Besides, aside from Rick and Morty there aren’t many genuinely creative, funny, and intelligent western adult cartoons.

If you watched the pitch and liked it, share it (don’t worry about sharing this specific post, the pitch would get lost in the word vomit).  If you liked any of his songs or all of them MC just began his Ten Year Tour with MC Larz and Mega Ran and is coming to St Louis on the 10th of November at the Fubar off Locust and the tickets are really cheap (like 15$ cheap). If you’re not a St Louisian, no worries: here’s a list of his tour stops.

mc chris tour

Anyway I know most of my audience are aspiring artists or writers so if nothing else, take a bit of advice from MC Chris: Never give up, Never surrender, Keep fighting the good fight until the end of the night. And don’t forget to check the ring, yo.

Footnotes:

  1. The proper gender neutral pronoun for cartoon or otherwise creatively created beings inc stick figures, animatronics, mascots etc.