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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Like my brownhouse:
   testosterone and tough guys
Saturday, March 7 1998

eya was at work, and Bn was waking up slowly on the couch while Jessika and I watched teevee. Wilbur the Cockatiel was going, "Tweet! Tweet!" as usual. Premium teevee carried Ferris Bueller's Day Off which seems more stilted and dated every time I see it. When Matilda came on, that was too much, I had to do something else. I went out to the Dodge Dart and began repairing a rust problem over the left rear wheel, one of the rust problems that had factored into my failing inspection. I used Liquid Nails to attach the outside of the body to the underside bodywork as a preliminary before putting in fiberglass patches.


fter Bn went home, the plan gradually became one of going to K-Mart to get paint for Jessika's emerging new bicycle. She's decided to make it into a tussin theme bike, painted in sparkly tussin colours (red). This constitutes a big change from her usual tendency to paint everything blue.

But the Liquid Nails hadn't dried yet, and though we were eager to go, we had to deal with the fact that the various parts needed to stay pressed against one another until the glue dried. I decided to drill some homes and install screws. Jessika had never seen screws holding together a car's body before.

At the K-Mart, we did the usual sleepy walk around, looking at far more than we'd come for. For example, there's always the toy section, pronounced "tewoyz" by Jessika in reference to a bit of her own personal nostalgia.

I made the mistake of buying spark plug wires that didn't fit. Good thing I tried them out in the parking lot.

We drove around behind the K-Mart thinking maybe we could find where Monster Boy lives, but we were distracted by the dumpsters. We found lots of quality materials for building makeshift furniture as well as a working two-deck boom box.

Since we couldn't find red sparkly paint at the K-Mart, we were forced to go to MJD Designs, the large and somewhat irritating craft store at the Barrack's Road Shopping Center. While we were there, we witnessed a couple of people buying components for a fraternity paddle. Sometime I'd like someone to address the homoerotic S&M implications of that particular institution.

Deya was performing her duty as a cashier at Rebeccas, and of course we had to visit her, and like everywhere else, we couldn't simply be there for a moment and then leave. I took the "opportunity" to buy some ginger.

We also went to the ABC store to buy some Sambuca, Jessika's favourite booze these days.


ack at the house, darkness descended, Deya came home, and Bn returned. A hangover-related sleepiness seemed to be haunting us. Deya vanished for a long time to either read or take a nap. We drank some Sambuca and then wandered down to the Old Dominion Chicken place for french fries, onion rings, and even some pieces of chicken. On the way back, we walked behind the apartment complexes on the east side of Jefferson Park Avenue, looking in dumpsters for hidden treasure. We returned to Kappa Mutha Fucka through the grounds of an old mansion (the one with the treehouse). There's lots of ongoing construction of new apartments there, and we wandered through it all, taking note of things we could possibly use. Jessika found a foot-operated trash can which she decided to adopt. She spent much of the rest of the evening trying to fix it so the pedal would raise the lid.

Sarah Kleiner came by, the clock ticked on, and we prepared to go to a Councelor's CD release party at the Tokyo Rose. The Councelors, as you may recall, was the band that played at the Aquarius Party. I've helped them with digitizing their video clips and expected to be on the guest list.


'd prepared a small flask of vodka and was sipping vodkatea from a glass as we approached the Tokyo Rose from Deya's car (parked at the other end of the strip of storefronts which the Tokyo Rose shares. I saw a varied group of people, some of whom (including the boy Jesse and Monster Boy) I knew. Others, including a number of people with spiked leather jackets and mohawks, I did not. The first thing we learned talking to Monster Boy and Jesse was that Morgan Anarchy had already been kicked out, reportedly for punching a girl. He was in alcohol-induced blackout at the time of course.

I also noticed that they were milling around too, the bored, ignorant, prejudicious, clannish, insecure wanna-be skinhead tough guys, mostly led by their older and wiser mentor, Wingnut (recently married to Ray's sister Sentira on the stage of local nightspot Trax, but I won't get into that right now). One of these tough guys had undergone a massive transformation since I'd seen him last. Here was Chaz coming towards me, but (as Jessika put it later) he'd "gotten fat." The skinny rich-kid skinhead that he was in the summer had vanished and in its place a plump short-legged lunk had been substituted, complete with all the fashion accouterments of a redneck: acid-washed jeans, a baseball cap (covering a carpet of actual hair!) and teeshirt. All he needed was a mullet and a little accent coaching, and would have fit right in at a Fishersville tractor pull. He approached me with sarcastic friendliness, calling me his old buddy. Then he suggested that we go off around the corner and have it out "just you and me." He evidently couldn't bring himself to put any of the many bad things I'd written about him (in these musings) behind him.

I think Chaz has seen a few too many action adventure movies, where "issues" of this sort are often settled by honourable one-on-one fist fights. But the real world simply doesn't work that way. In the real world, people (skinheads being no exception) are scared and are forced to rely on their friends for backup. Or else they (as Chaz once did) rely on cruel weapons to bludgeon an enemy after he has been outnumbered and knocked down. I've never seen an honourable fight in the real world. I certainly had no intention of going around the corner to have a one-on-one man-to-bonehead fight. These guys have repeatedly shown that they don't fight fair, and besides, I have other ways of settling my arguments. I fully intended, for example, to contact authorities and press charges if Chaz had attacked me.

By the way, no one has invited me to a fight since 8th grade, when a maladjusted redneck used to invite me to the 7-11 to settle grievances I've subsequently forgotten.

Chaz evidently has delusions of grandeur, since he fancies that I talk about him all the time in these musings, as if his relatively uninteresting personality was worthy of volumes of literary output. He asked, "Have you been writing about me?" I was bored with the conversation already, and I turned to Jessika and Deya and shrugged. The tough guy continued to threaten and bluster and insult. He used to call me a "faggot" in an effort to diminish me, but he's learned that I take no offense at being called that particular word. Tonight he tried a different insult, calling me a "prep." Looking at the the well-scrubbed rich kid skinhead, I had to chuckle.

At a certain point Wingnut showed up. He's older and wiser, but many of his philosophies are the same ridiculous and unevolved ideas one hears expressed by Chaz. "Can't you see the tension in this guy?" he asked, "I think you should go and settle this right now." What could I do but congratulate Wingnut on his recent marriage on the stage of Trax?

Not getting any real satisfaction from me, Chaz questioned a few of my friends, including Monster Boy, who made the amusing observation that I'd written much worse things in the musings about him (Monster Boy), but that it was no big deal and he'd gotten over it. Harmony, Ana's occasional sidekick, witnessing Chaz's bluster, questioned him if perhaps he was having some sort of testosterone problem, a concept he loudly rejected. He then started shouting to everyone that we should all have one big massive fight, "my friends against yours." It was getting ridiculous. As I walked away I heard him listing my offenses, especially that I had called him a racist, a charge he feels it important to deny.

Downstairs in the Tokyo Rose, I found that I wasn't on the guest list but that Chaz was! Evidently he had connections with someone who had connections with one of the Counselor's opening bands. I tracked down a Counselor and was soon admitted free of charge.

I spent most of my time in and around the couches near the back of the room, hanging out with Bn, Jessika, Deya and Monster Boy. Matthew Hart was there, and we were getting along pretty well; We joked that "Encore!" sounded especially inappropriate at a punk rock concert.

We missed the first opening band. During the opening second band, a huge void opened up on the floor in front of the band. Only a few people dared venture into this void because a couple of testosterone-poisoned tough guys guarded it viciously and jealously. Most of the time Chaz and Wingnut stalked around in the void, showing off with how violently they could attack the people on the margin of the bubble. It wasn't dancing, it wasn't even having fun, it was something else, something sick. If testosterone had that sort of effect on me, I'd be looking for some kind of cure, castration perhaps. Jessika was especially disgusted with her behaviour. It actually made her long for the Philadelphia scene which she came here to get away from. At least the punks in Philadelphia have a sense of fun. Suddenly she understood what the famous Philly punk "Tony Pointless" (a guy who looks exactly like Dan Reitman) once said to Morgan Anarchy, "go fuck up someone else's scene." The only one who looked to be dancing with any sense of fun was the boy Jesse. His lanky frame was agile in avoiding most of the brutish violence of the tough guys pounding into each other.

The tough guys tainted the whole evening. Periodically one of the members of the Tokyo Rose staff would try to intervene to get the tough guys to settle down and be pleasant, and once one of the Japanese cooks even took Wingnut and Chaz out for a conference, but the fucked-up machismo continued. Jessika was dismayed. Back in the day, when Big Funsters used to sneak into the Tokyo Rose, we'd get kicked out for simply jumping up and down. Why, she wondered, had the rules been relaxed just for these awful people?

The Counselors came on, and while their vocalist spent most of his time rolling around on the floor in the audience void, Zachary picked up the slack. His participation in the band had increased since the Aquarius Party; now he was doing almost as much vocal work as the vocalist himself, along with his guitar.

Towards the end of the show, I was sitting with one of the Triplets, the one named Naomi. We were singing punk rock variations on classic folks tunes such as "She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain When She Comes." I was drinking a lot of vodka, but something about the evening's tension kept me from getting very drunk.

As I was going up the stairs to leave with the others at the end of the show, I saw the presence of several cops. Something bad had happened. Then I saw Matthew Hart. He was covered with blood and Angela was mopping his brow with a rag. An altercation had happened out in front. Evidently Matthew had gone to his car, one of Chaz's buddies (or Chaz himself), bored with the lack of gender-affirming violence, had heckled him, Matthew had made some rude remark, and they'd attacked him. One of the skinheads had punched him and another had seen fit to throw a bottle, which struck Matthew in the head and left a deep gash over his left eye. Notice, by the way, that there was no chivalrous one-on-one macho battle here; the skinheads had ganged up on one person and quickly resorted to weapons.

Matthew couldn't or else wouldn't say who had attacked him. This frustrated one of the Tokyo Rose bartenders, who told him, "don't be an asshole!" While the ambulance came to take Matthew away, the cops interviewed a number of people including someone who had witnessed the whole altercation and claimed he would be able to identify the aggressors. I told the cops that the tough guys have caused me problems and that they always hang out by the fountains on the Downtown Mall.

It's difficult to believe the idiocy of these tough guys. They're making a reputation for themselves with their cowardly brutality. They've used up the Tokyo Rose as a place to hang out (as far as I know, this was the first time they had ever gone there). Soon they'll have nowhere they can go. The deleterious effects of testosterone is wreaking havoc on their capacity to act as normal human beings.


ack at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I went almost directly to bed. After I went to bed, Bn, Harmony and Esther the Triplet dropped by and hung out for awhile. Later on, Morgan Anarchy came out of blackout and came over with Ray.

Some links to more tales of skinhead violence.

one year ago

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