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I guess everything IS connected!

I was actively not working at work today, as I often do, by reading funny things from funny sites. Today was spent mostly at Your Band Sucks at Something Awful. The funniest parts of the site, as usual, were the pieces with hate mail.

I remember a time when I was so ardent in my love for some bands that I might have sent mail condemning a bad review. But I can't imagine bothering to write an email to a stranger complaining about their lack of enthusiasm for a song or singer now (I prefer to write journal entries, of course).

I am reminded of one of my first exercises in email, back in 1993. My roommate was a bass player in a band (it's OK-- he's still cool). At one of their gigs, the crowd was told to check out their web page at "http colon forward slash forward slash double-you double-you double-you dot..."

This was before URLs were part of everyday language. I can't direct you to the band now, since they broke up in the mid nineties and at last count there were at least 3 bands who have taken over their name.

Anyway, I had just gotten an AOL account at work, because I was friends with the IT guy. I had a 9600 baud modem, and I was SO cool. Anyway, I stopped by their website and sent an email that said something like "Dood, your band sux so much. that bass player especially. what a looooser." It was an email that, too me, seemed so silly that no one would take it seriously, especially the webmaster/drummer, whom I had gotten drunk with the night before. I was so sure he'd see the joke, I even signed my own name.

Well, how na´ve was that? Because it was AOL, he looked up my profile (which I had stupidly filled out, because this was the early nineties and it wasn't patently obvious that anything you put in there would be seen by the creeps who inhabit AOL. Look, I was young, ok? I know better now) and wrote back a three page, stunningly rude and violent email to me. It consisted, mostly, of incredibly detailed stories of how he'd break into my house, rape me and my cats, kill me and them in various ways, and ending up with him raping my decapitated head while the bass player (my roommate, remember) filmed it.

This surprised me on many levels. First of all, this guy was super free-love hippie guy. We had discussed our reasons for being vegetarians over pizza the night before. He had been at our house several times and seemed to like my cats. He reminded me of a skinnier Neil from The Young Ones. The man was all zen and beauty and, apparently, murder and rape fantasy enthusiast.

As you can imagine, I wasn't quite sure what to do next. After some thought, I responded with something along the lines of "This is a great story. I think I'll print it out for my roommate, the bass player in your band. I think he'll really enjoy knowing you've got his back when people send in joke emails about him. I'm so glad I made such an impression on you when I bought you that second beer last night. Ass."

Later on he apologized, of course, but I never bought him another drink. Not even at his wedding (yes, I went to his hippie drum circle wedding on Mt. Tamalpais about a year later).

But see, here's how everything is related: As I was thinking about this vignette on the bus ride home, I noticed a guy who looked exactly like Mike. Weird, huh?

This entry was supposed to be more about how my musical tastes have changed, but you know what? I like this story better.

7:53 p.m. - 2006-04-17


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