i know i said i wasn't going to rant about terrorism, or people like yer man osama yo mamma who perpetuate it, and i'm not going to. nor am i going to rant about the events that unfolded the morning of 11 september, 2001, and i sure as hell am not going to get into the thousands of innocent people that perished as a result. no, talking about that would upset me too much, and despite what you may've been led to believe thus far, there is absolutely nothing amusing about me when i'm really rageing ; i'm usually saying things that could get me into a lot of trouble if it wasn't for the fact that i'm also usually totally incoherent (see blog for details ;)
okay...so now that i've established what i'm NOT talking about, let's get down to what i AM talking about, eh? well, today i wish to impose upon the load of ye my feelings toward people who capitalise on tragedy. now this goes for ALL tragedies, not just this latest one, but as the bigger the tragedy the bigger the possible revenue, being the most gi-normous terrorist attack in the history of the world, 9-11 might well be the most gi-normous moneymaker as well. and this just makes me fucking sick.

now, i don't know how it's going in YOUR little corner of the usa, but here in new york, ground zero as the news likes to call it, everyone's flying their american flags. flags in shop windows, flags on cars, flags all over the fuckin' place. and you know what? it actually looks kinda nice. i was always sorta partial to the colours of the usa, and the solidarity all these flags stand for is, in my humble opinion WAAAAAY overdue. so the problem then is...? hmmph. i'll tell you what the bloody problem is. god forbid you want to buy a NEW flag, one for your car or whatever, cos every fuckin' shop in the tri-state area has jacked up the price of them 2-4X the usual. one place not too far from where i live actually sent people out the morning of the 12th to buy all the miniature american flags from every 99-cent store in the neighbourhood (which number about 14) and sold them all out later in the day for 4 TIMES THE REGULAR PRICE. and they could get away with it cos people's feelings were raw and they couldn't find any flags anywhere else. down in the city where i work, while there's no shortage of places you can buy flags, the prices are even more ridiculous. so NO, i am NOT currently flying a flag on my fire escape, and i'm fairly sick and tired of people asking me WHY and then casting aspersions when they hear my response. i did not own an american flag before. i had no need to, i really have no place to hang one, and well, i'm not exactly american. (hell, half the AMERICANS didn't own one either so why are you all pointing fingers at ME?) i really did want to get one after the wtc attack went down, but i wasn't able to FIND one at first, and once i DID, they were, i'm sorry to say...no, wait...actually i'm NOT sorry at all...TOO FREAKIN' EXPENSIVE! i don't see any need to explain why i refuse to pay $5 for something the size and quality of a square of paper towel that nobody'll freakin' SEE anyway on a 6th-floor fire escape and that'll disintegrate after one good rain. if you ask me, these merchants are far more un-american than i or anyone else sans flag could EVER hope to be, and i refuse to give them one red cent. THINK about it, folks. it might be permissable what they're up to if the money they're making was going to...i dunno...HELP THE VICTIMS' FAMILIES? PAY FOR FUNERALS? RE-BUILD THE TOWERS? but no, it's just going into some bloke's pocket to be spent on something i can guarantee AIN'T red, white and bloody blue.
i'm not saying i'm totally NOT showing support, cos i sure's hell am. like everyone else in my place of employment, i wear my red, white, and blue ribbon (i've got a few of those plastered on various parts of my car as well) and ALL our ribbons were furnished for FREE by my big sister the crafts fiend. see, she had about 50 spools of red, white, and blue ribbon lying about after her suburban 4th of july pissfest and she began making ribbon thingies for her job, the hotel, her kids' school, and a few other random places so the load of us wouldn't have to be paying $5 a pop for them. when she first told me about that, i laughed in her face, saying nobody in their right mind would expect a person to pay $5 for 3 folded ribbons glued to a safety pin. hmm...well, i still don't think they're in their RIGHT MINDS, but they ARE on every solitary street-corner in the city with card-tables covered in those exact ribbons, and they're asking between 3 and 6 bucks for 'em. i have decided now, i truly have, at the ripe old age of 23, seen IT ALL...
but of course, when i say "it all" i can't very well leave out the t-shirts, now can i? now, if someone who survived the world trade centre hit told you, "been there, done that, got the t-shirt", you would surely think he was being figurative, wouldn't you? well, while he might be, he doesn't HAVE TO be. so don't be surprised when he shows you his "AMERICA UNDER ATTACK : I SURVIVED THE WORLD TRADE CENTRE MASSACRE"souvenir shirt, cos i could even tell you the exact street corner where you can pick one up too. and that's really what it says, folks...complete with the flaming towers, aeroplane and all, superimposed over old glory. talk about BAD FUCKIN' TASTE! i don't know who should be beaten first, the bloke selling 'em or the legions of goddamn MORONS buying them. i mean...DAMN! would YOU wear that? i sure's hell wouldn't...and i'm not exactly mr tasteful (first thing i acquired upon moving stateside...a shirt with a gun on it reading, "WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY...DUCK MOTHERFUCKER!") well, i might think those folks are amoral pigs, but i sure do have to admire their gall.

alright...enough about the wtc merchandise...the ghoulish t-shirts, the overpriced postcards and lithographs, the american flag dilemma and even the bloody ribbons. NOW i would like to discuss radio...the behaviour of the stations themselves and people like sarah mac lachlan and jewel who are the musical equivalents of the guys hocking "AMERICA UNDER ATTACK"-wear out the back of vans in times square.
i must give most of the credit for this portion of my rant to don & mike, (the lads who have their show on 102.7FM right before opie & anthony), as they brought up the memorial song bit before it even occurred to me at all. what i'm basically doing here is re-iterating what they said for those of ye who DIDN'T hear it, and then doing a bit of extra complaining about it cos...well...that's what i do.
now, again, i don't know how it's going in other parts of the country, but in new york, there's a whole helluva lot of quasi-patriotic, sucide-inducing tunes flooding the airwaves, most of them sung (or croaked as the case may be) by hairy-pitted, bellbottom-wearing, neo-hippie lilith-fair veterans, the queen and princess of whom are, respectively, sarah mac lachlan (sp?) and jewel. if i have heard "hands" and "i will remember you" ONCE in the past few weeks, i have heard them 100,000 times APIECE! i don't think i need to tel lyou how much i am beginning to fucking HATE those two songs. i didn't particularly like them before, but now...grr...let's just say mixing news coverage of the attacks, clips from dubya's speeches, and commentaries from sobbing, incoherent survivors and hokey streetcorner patriots DID NOT IMPROVE THEM ANY. i don't even know how anyone expected they WOULD...hell, we've already been through this once when jfk jnr. died...z100's remix no1 of "i will remember you" with the newsreaders' commentary and actual CLIPS FROM THE FUCKING FUNERAL was so godawful it made us all wish WE'd been in sean óg's plane when it went down. did they really forget so soon what a nightmare THAT was? obviously they did, along with the ever-so-simple fact that the song is depressing and horrible enough in and of itself WITHOUT having loads of disembodied voices thrown on top of it talking about death. but on the other hand, this IS how ol' sarah makes her living...from other people dying. after all, she also performed "angel", a song they played IN CHURCH at my grandmother's funeral (against MY will and that of most of the family, might i add...i actually wanted the saw doctors' "i'll be on my way", which sounded as if she herself'd written it and is a whole helluva lot better suited for the funeral of a person that died in her sleep at the age of 97) "angel", anyway, is so fucking depressing on SO many levels it makes me physically ill, and of course is ALL ABOUT death, with a bit of how much life sucks and drug abuse tossed in for good measure.
ack. but yet again, i'm off-topic here. what i'm trying to get at is how bloody TASTELESS it is that "stars" like these jump at the chance to capitalise on a tragedy even quicker than the lads selling ribbons on streetcorners do. at least them we can make excuses for. i mean, they have to feed themselves, right? jewel on the other hand does not exactly look like she's starving to death, and the only thing yer woman sarah needs more money to feed is her drug habit, and the radio station then? why on EARTH would THEY need more money? z100, which is so teeny-bopper poppy it'd make yer fucking ears bleed, is the station that mixed the jfk version of "i will remember you" AND the world trade centre version of "hands"...as well as, i believe the wtc version of "i will remember you". they also did a special remix of "missing you" by puff daddy or whateverdafeck he calls himself now, which was ALREADY about a dead lad, and of course a couple hundred remixes of that HORRENDOUS graduation song by vitamin c...for EVERY SECONDARY SCHOOL IN THE TRISTATE AREA, it seems. so they know their shit when it comes to making dinero off depression. (i'm surprised they haven't started advertising prozac yet) this is bad enough, but if you live in or near nyc, i don't even have to tell you z100 practically fuckin OWNS the place. they sponsor street fairs, concerts (their yearly "jingle ball" is no1 in the money making department when it comes to pop concerts in the area), and their STUPID "we spot our sticker on your car, we give you $100" contest has everyone and their friggin' GRANDMOTHER plastering these moronic prismic stickers on the back of their cars, even if i for one NEVER knew anyone who won...but anyway nobody needs to say z100 is tacky. that's just obvious. but the TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY LACKING IN MORALITY AND TASTE part i feel i must point out, as no-one but don & mike and myself seems to have picked up on it. WHY must they make up these songs, play them over and over and over and over and...AND THEN put them on cd's to sell for $25 alongside the jingle ball recordings? WHY must they invite jewel up to the studio to "sing" that STUPID FUCKING song of hers day after day for a week, bring in record numbers of listeners, and later no doubt sit about with herself and ms sarah and eat entenmanns cake and smoke crack bought with the cash they've made they were INSINUATING but never actually SAID was going to charity? it is WRONG> it's just WRONG, i tell you!

this is, i hear you saying, a capitalistic society. this is how we survive in the good ol' us of a, and if you don't like it, why don't you go move to the fuckin' jungle where they haven't GOT any radios or skyscrapers or flags and wear a completely logo-free loincloth and swing from the vines. to that i reply...HELL NO! i like capitalism as much as the next guy. but...and if you REALLY give this some thought, i'm sure you'll concur...there comes a time when capitalism should step aside and make room for conscience.

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