Remembering Someone I’d Forgotten…

Where to begin? Well I guess it’s only natural to start with the band and their roots in music. According to Wikipedia, Linkin Park was originally founded by three high school friends: Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, and Brad Delson. under the name “Xero”. Chester Bennington wasn’t added until later on,

Chester Bennington from “One Step Closer” music video

originally hailing from Arizona, this former lead singer of a post-grunge band called “Grey Daze”, would go on to join the band in late 1999.  With this new duo of almost polar opposite vocalist, the band changed their name from “Xero” to

Cover art of Linkin Park’s Debut Breakout Album “Hybrid Theory”

“Hybrid Theory” (which would later go on to be the title of their breakout album).  They’d release a self-titled EP (Hybrid Theory) and would eventually go on to change their name once again to what we now know them as, “Linkin Park”, which is a variation on the actual Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, California.


It was then, the band focused on their explosive album (their best in my opinion) and the final version of Hybrid Theory, a chaotic blend of guitar power chords over DJ Hahn cuts, with two unique vocalists whose styles would meld an everlasting impression on me all through my high school years. The devastating combo of Mike’s rhythmic flow, and hard hitting in your face lyrics, blended melodically with Chester’s beautiful range of angry roars that we now know could almost

Linkin Park Photo I had taped on my wall from Guitar World Magazine

be viewed as a cry for help. I still remember the day I bought their CD for $8 at “The Wall” music store in Greenbrier Mall located in Chesapeake, Virginia, and the feeling of anticipation of getting to play it when I got home, as my father didn’t have a CD player in his truck.

Me and My Linkin Park Singing Cousin (Left: Cousin, Right: Me)

I’ll cherish the long nights of playing this album and singing it with my cousin, and arguing over who gets to be Chester/Mike for each song, or that one time we sang “One Step Closer” at a Karaoke bar in a Richmond Hotel, before getting kicked out for being underage, we were only 15 at the time.  I’ll never forget the countless days of coming home from school, putting this album on heavy rotation, while throwing darts in my room, or pretending I was Chester himself, belting out those bone chilling, goosebump giving lyrics that impacted my heart and soul, maybe those tears I sometimes cried while singing weren’t mine, but his all along.  As I’m listening to the album while writing this, I get a warmth of a better time, when the biggest worry in my life was, would Stephanie say “Yes” if I asked her to a high school dance. I mean how could she say no, I had beautiful bleached blonde hair at the time.

Me in High School with Beautiful Bleached Blonde Hair.

She divisively said “NO!” Back to this album I went to deal with the frustrations of having to grow up and the angst of a teen who’s been rejected by his High School crush, at least my crush for that semester.  I’d go on to live my life up until this point, a point where Linkin Park was almost an after thought to me, until I was rattled with the news today that Chester Bennington had hung himself, letting his demons finally get to him, but in a twisted way rekindling my love for an album that once was a big part of my life.  It’s unfortunate however that it happened under these terms, but I guess life works in mysterious ways.


Unfortunately over the years the band has been viewed in society with a, “Nickelback” like quality, and if I’m being truly honest, I viewed them in this same light, as I stopped following their music career after the Meteora album. I’m not sure what came over me to write about this incident, or why I feel so upset over someone taking their life that I honestly hadn’t thought of in a long time, but “There’s only one thing you should know. I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter.”  Rest in Peace Chester Bennington, 1976-2017.

 

 

Has The Internet Gone Too Far?

Has the internet gone too far, or is it just getting started? I venture to ask this question as I’ve seen a growing rate of internet fopaux’s circling the world wide web in the recent years. The downfall occurred right around 2010, I noticed that social media was becoming more and more geared to driving this country apart and pointing out our differences rather than our similarities. I’ve always felt like this was a turn for the worst as we started attacking people for scrupulous reasons, like a white knight in a suit of rusty armor, that’s not as shiny as we thought. The so-called “PC movement” has embarked a pitchfork yielding witch-hunt of dire proportions, while constantly pointing out everyone else’s flaws hoping that no one will see our own. Since 2010 it appears that eman-475559_640veryone has chinks in their armor, but try to fill those gaps of self-loathing by constantly gazing to find the error in others, and this cycle of demoralizing people around you has caused an epidemic of self entitlement and an “I’m holier than thou” type mentality that is crippling this country. The internet plays a major role in this perpetual downfall of society, specifically social media, as it has given a vessel for people to express their opinions on a wide range of topics with little to no research or knowledge on said subject. What happened to the good ol’days when the only time you had to worry about the crazy idiot spewing nonsense was located at your local watering hole, and everyone knew “Ah, that’s just Willy, he’s crazy.” It was a simpler time when you could keep an eye on the village idiot, just feed him drinks until he either passed out and you got him a cab, or he crashed his car on the way home. Twitter and more specifically Facebook has been a launching ground for proprietary idiom’s with moronic tones and a subconscious racial foundation for opinions to be laid upon, thus perpetfacebook-76536_640uating the differences that separate us and make us unique. I feel that being an individual is not accepted in most cultures anymore and we need to either fall in line or get out of the way, because there is a change coming and if we don’t recognize now how we’ve been getting programmed for the past half decade, well, we might as well just stay tuned in to our regular scheduled program of Social Media. The internet sparks much controversy as it should, I mean it’s literally a living, breathing organism that’s man made, often tried to be controlled by the gatekeepers, but as stories and lore would tell us, eventually the created becomes too big for the creators, leading to a shift in power over that control. The world wide web is much like the Declaration of Independence, in that the founders never had the foresight to see how enormous of a monster they were creating, they simply did what they thought was best for the country at the time, not fulling grasping the idea of what might be. We have no way of knowing what the future holds, but I’ll tell you this, Social Media and the Internet will play a major part in the years to come, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for you on our life away from our lives.

Tyrannical Tuesday 8/9

Tonight we embark on a wonderful journey to the Burg of St. Pete, where I will entice with laughter and rule like a Tyrant. Starting out at Coconuts Comedy Club slinging jokes, then we’ll relocate to Sly Bar to grill up some more bars. If you’re in the area, be sure to come out for a great night of laughs on this dreary Tuesday. I’ll add photos And possible video to capture this epic night of laughs, subscribe to avoid the hype of people saying”I subscribed before it was cool.” Thanks for reading and remember, “Tragedy without Comedy, is a Travesty”.

Fast Food, Fast Life….and Death.

mcdonalds-1340199_960_720Food, it makes the world go round, and sometimes people. Growing up with a love/hate relationship towards delicacies such as, hamburger helper and Stouffer’s lasagna, can drive a man to appreciate the finer things in life. Food has always weighed heavy on me, literally, from the Kings of Burger to the Mac’s of Big, I’ve always had a definitive love for fast food. This kinship of such developed at a young age, as me and my family tended to eat out a lot. We’d go out almost every weekend to restaurants varying from buffets like Golden Corral, to the more decadent and always fancy Outback (they bake their own croutons for crying out loud). In a world that’s constantly evolving and progressing, one thing stays true, that fast food is here to stay also. They contribute to the overwhelming population that craves those salty frozen beef patties and the golden fries tabstract-1238247_960_720hat appear to be covered in crack rocks disguised as salt. I’ve developed sort of an addiction to fast food and that has lead to me being the biggest I’ve ever been and it’s off-putting, but seems to be a quick and convenient fix to satisfy the dopamine levels in my brain. It’s like a constant battle of destroying serotonin in my blood, it’s like I love torturing myself at night with not getting a good nights sleep. These problems seem to arise, but for some reason I seem not to care, because that delicious processed frozen food that I know is literally killing me as I eat it, has taken control over french-fries-616115_960_720 my sense of rationality. With all the advancement in modern science, you’d think people wouldn’t keep subjecting themselves to these atrocities called “Fast Food”, but we seem to throw caution to the McGriddle and keep consuming these disease causing little biscuits of joy. I’m trying to learn to deal with my love for fast food, but It’s an uphill battle, and as history shows us, fat people don’t do hills well. Stay hungry my friends.

cropped-Caveman-Cropped.jpg

Making a Theorist, from Making a Murderer

making-a-murdererI’m not going to lie, I love a good conspiracy theory.  I feel this is what makes us different, the ability to think and look at something arbitrarily and to not always take it at face value, or our own “Checks and balances” if you will. The government conspiracy theories always seem to intrigue me more, probably due to the fact that I’m always paying them money, to make money, so to see the idea of them slipping up is like a mini “Win one for the home team” feeling. During the duration of this documentary I was constantly going back and forth between guilty, innocent, guilty innocent, to the point where I had to binge watch all episodes in one day. I’ll admit probably not the most proactive way to spend 10 hours, but albeit I was hooked!  I felt myself at times connecting with Stephen Avery and his family at what he has gone through and why he’s going through it again, I can’t imagine my family going through that even once, but they went through it twice.  I’d also feel bad for Teresa Halbach’s family and the fact that their daughter/friend/sibling had passed or at least was missing.  I was constantly torn and conflicted so a big shout out to the makers of the documentary, Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi, they may be scrutinized for presenting a one-sided case, but either way it definitely tugged at my heart strings on both sides.  With that being said I’d like to look at my two scenarios that I feel may have happened, at least from the theorist aspect, that shows Stephen Avery as an innocent man.

Theory #1maxresdefault

When I first watched it, I would pause episodes to gather my thoughts and form opinions about the information they just released in the episode.  A major turning point for me was with Sgt. Andrew Colburn testimony, as well as the audio recording of him with the dispatcher, about finding a “Toyota” that was abandoned.  This deemed the crucial point in the timeline of events that show Sgt. Colburn had found Teresa Halbach’s Rav-4 and at this point this is where the two “Theories” I have will differ.  In this scenario I believe that Sgt. Colburn found the Rav-4 with Teresa Halbach’s body in the back, she was already dead.  Sgt. Colburn saw this as an opportunity and made a call to his “partner in crime” if you will, Lt. James Lenk.  They were careful in removing the body not to get any of their own DNA in the trunk, but didn’t get all of Halbach’s blood out of the back. They then burned the body at the Quarry located on the map and in the days to come would then sprinkle the bones throughout the Avery property in the burn pit as well as behind the Dassey residence, in the fire barrels; giving us 3 locations of Teresa Halbach’s bones. This proves to me that the prosecution’s theory about how Stephen Avery tortured her in his house, then put her in the back of her own SUV, then drove about 5 feet to the burn pit and decided to burn her body, makes entirely no sense at all.  In this theory I believe that neither Sgt. Colburn or Lt. James Lenk killed Teresa Halbach, however they did find the body in the back of her own SUV and saw and opportunity to frame Stephen Avery; and during the process of them seizing the Avery property for 8 days(which is absurd in it’s own right) they planted the evidence needed seal the deal and put Avery away for life.

bones at quarry

Theory #2

This theory is more believable now to me after re-watching the documentary.  I’ll jump in on the same testimony as before with Sgt. Colburn and how he obviously found the Rav-4, but has a different turn of events unfolding this time in this theory. I believe that Sgt. Colburn found the Rav-4, but Teresa Halbach’s body was not in the back of the SUV, at this time Sgt. Colburn proceeded to call Lt. James Lenk and they seized the opportunity to frame Mr. Avery by planting the SUV on his property and Salvage yard.  The next day they tipped off the search party to look in a certain direction, knowing that they would locate the SUV, and Ryan Hillegas (Teresa Halbach’s Ex) was smart to not find the SUV himself as the proclaimed “Leader/Organizer” of the search party; so that he couldn’t be linked to the whereabouts even though he already knew where it was.  I believe that Ryan Hillegas knew more than he let on, he seemed awfully unsettling during his testimony and I got a vibe that something was “off”.  I also found it peculiar that they filmed Ryan Hillegas giving this speech at the search party like they wanted to document it for some reason that HE, was doing everything he could to find Teresa Halbach, thus painting him in a good light again and would later be used to, I’m assuming dismiss him as a suspect.  This theory also contjames-lenk-making-a-murderer-pictureains an important part, that I think even the documentary didn’t cover much on, and that is the testimonies of both Bobby Dassey (Brendan’s brother) and Scott Tadych who is Bobby and Brendan’s Stepfather.  These two gentleman had the most awkward vibes and seemed so stiff in the documentary, like they knew something was up, they were also each other’s own alibi’s, which is fine, but the way they acted in court, honestly seemed like an act altogether.  In this scenario I believe that either both Bobby and Scott killed Teresa, or one of them did and the other helped them dispose of the body by driving it to the quarry and burning it, while abandoning the SUV that would be later found by Sgt. Colburn. At this point both Sgt. Colburn and Lt. James Lenk would then make sure that it looks like Stephen Avery is guilty by planting the infamous key, and later the bullet fragments in his garage.Young Prison photo

 

Conclusion

In the end it’s hard to keep remembering that Teresa Halbach died and her family went through a loss, whether there involvement was direct or not. It’s easy to lose sight of that as the documentary was made about a supposed innocent man in jail, again which is thken-kratz-1024e key selling point to the whole thing.  It definitely paints a picture negatively on the Manitowoc Police department, as well as the Prosecutor Ken Kratz.  It’s odd, the entire time watching this I knew I didn’t like that Kratz guy, I didn’t know if it was his voice or that stereotypical “professional” mustache, but for some reason he seemed like this guy that I wanted to clothesline for no legitimate reason; than after getting to the last episode it all came together and made sense.  I feel we’ll never discover what really happened to Teresa Halbach, unless the parties that are involved one day confess on their deathbeds, or their guilty conscience weighs on them too much. I just wish that we could know the truth whether he’s innocent or guilty for both the Avery’s and the Halbach’s sake, to finally put their souls at ease.  Thank you for reading(if you made it this far), I don’t normally make them this lengthy, but this documentary is something special that I feel will be discussed for years to come.

Back to a “Timeless” Classic

Back to the Future (1985) Directed by Robert Zemeckis Shown from left: Christopher Lloyd (as Dr. Emmett Brown), Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly)
Back to the Future (1985)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Shown from left: Christopher Lloyd (as Dr. Emmett Brown), Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly)

This Christmas, in between everyone arguing over who gets the last piece of pie and which uncle gave the best gift to the young ones, SpikeTV was airing the greatest trilogy of all time.  I feel it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, the Back to the Future series is THEE, greatest trilogy of all time.  The ingredients are all there for the perfect movie; action, drama, sci-fi, comedy, and a dash of incest, what else is needed? Have you ever wondered what your parent’s were like in high school? I’d assume most feel that their parents were hip or cool and up with the times, not a science fiction nerd and a promiscuous girl.  My dad was your average school kid, got good grades and played sports, I think he would have gone to college, for what major though I don’t know.  It’s kind of my fault, well not technically but his senior year in school I was conceived/born.Marty

 

This brought on marrying my mother and getting a job.  My mother would drop out because of being pregnant and later get her G.E.D, where she is more successful now than I’ll ever be, so education is important but perseverance can be stronger.  This is similar to young Marty constantly pushing George to become a stronger person by not letting people walk all over him, thus getting the woman of his dreams(Lorraine) and keeping Marty and company in existence.  Remember fellas if she keeps saying “No”, just keep pushing the issue and in the end you’ll persevere.  Kidding aside, I feel that George not only learned about himself because of Marty, but also found the passion of writing that was lying dormant on the surface just screaming to get out; like a dog having to pee.  I’d like to say thank you to everyone that made the Back to the Future movies, for it will always resonate with me as one of the greatest movies of all time.  This movie always gives me hope in knowing that even though we can’t go back and change our past,we sure can change our future and follow our dreams this new year.  In the words of the great Emmett “Doc” Brown, “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one”

DocBrown-200x300

We must stand up to putting the seat down!

man-1372508546k0a Are you constantly seeking the answer to that long, antiquated, yet still formidable question? I know fellas, “It’s hard out here for a Pimp” but amidst all the in’s and out’s of a relationship there still lies that yearning to know.  Why are we as males, required by some 11th Commandment to fulfill the duties of securing the toilet seat in the downward position? I might be tugging at some deep seeded personal issues (thanks Dad), but I feel we need to nip this issue in the bud.  After years and years of just obliging to the notion that it was my “Male duty” (after doing my duty), to put the seat back down and flush, whilst making sure there weren’t any microscopic droplets of excess fluids, it hit me.  Why am I required in a society that has been constantly progressing towards an equal opportunistic world, still bound by an unforeseen premeditated agreement, that after I splash and shake, I must also shimmy the seat back down? The frustration that resonates in my mind with this issue of the smallest significance, boggles my mind even more, thus leading to a never ending spiral of chaos and turmoil that (like this entry) is repetitive and keeps me asking why. I can deal with real problems of the everyday life, but this little task has always rang trivial to me in the bells of relationships.you-know

I can appreciate that it must be difficult to come home after a long day of work and sitting in traffic, only to have it feel like your male companion installed a bidet as you plunge down into the yellowy deep.  The only solace is knowing that you’re at home and not in a public place, treading in foreign waters like it’s the Cold War.  Even though we both know that once you gather yourself out of that porcelain abyss, World War III is about to begin, once you find the infidel who decided to unknowingly attack you from the rear.  As you’re pummeling him with banter and fists, try to keep in mind that him snickering, is just our way of relating to the situation; believe it or not, we’ve all been there doing the “hurry scurry” to the bathroom.  A number of times I’ve believed that I had the upper had on my bladder and we were going to make it home, only to find myself again on the side of the road doing a “tire check” while warming my ankle up on a cold winter’s night.  The frustration is there for both parties when the seat is not where it should be in relation to the sex of the party occupying the bathroom.  I’m not saying that I will stop abiding by this false rule of engagement, but I feel that the duty falls (he said duty again) within both parties of any relationship.  Therefore next time ladies should you find yourself submerged in a murky depth of injustice, please consider the alternative to a fit of rage and ex-lax in his morning protein shake, by taking some long deep breaths, inhaling some wine, and blasting Alanis Morissette whilst taking a much needed bath to clean up.