Friday, January 21, 2011

The Great Debate: Meat Versus Vegetarianism

By Brian Polk and Abe Brennan

Abe is the singer of my band, Joy Subtraction. He practices the Meat Man Diet (popularly known as the Cave Man Diet, Paleo Diet, and Grunting Shit-tossing Diet). I am a vegetarian (popularly known as the I Can’t Eat That Diet, Sickly Looking Pale Diet, and Is a Veggie Burger All You Have Diet). We’re both extremely self-righteous and just plain mean to each other regarding our choices of what we eat. What follows is an exchange about our diets that occurred over the internet.

Brian: Remember when we were talking about cancer and its link to diet? Here are the leading causes of death in America:
Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

· Heart disease: 616,067
· Cancer: 562,875
· Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
· Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,92

As you can see, the number one cause is heart disease, which usually comes from clogged arteries, which of course comes from high cholesterol intake, which of course comes from meat and dairy products (since cholesterol is ONLY found in animal products and not from vegetables or vegetable oils). So basically, when all that meat rotting in your colon eventually gives you cancer and clogs your arteries, you can switch to a vegetarian diet in order to extend the life of your meaty body for a few years. Let me know when that happens and we'll do lunch.

Abe: Regarding cancer and its causes: I don't eat dairy products, so there's that. I also only eat lean meats. Responsibly raised lean meats devoid of the hormone treatments and other chemical tinkering that has resulted in our bloated, breathless populace. The rest of my diet consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, some items you may be familiar with. The other thing, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, is that soy causes cancer and Alzheimer's. It's the biggest cover-up in American history, way beyond Roswell or the Kennedy assassination. In 1954, Richard Nixon, when vice president under Eisenhower, headed up a secret cabal that funded soy promotion and production as a long-term plan to kill liberals in as slow, painful, degrading, and confusing a way as possible. So enjoy, soy boy! Way to play right into the right wing's hands. Have fun with your dementia.

Brian: Oh poor Abe. Apparently the lean meat rotting in your intestines has backed up so far that it is now rotting away your brain. You mention that soy (a food I eat in moderation) gives you cancer (rather than protecting you from it) and causes Alzheimer’s (another lie perpetuated by the beef industry). Do you not remember CO-INTEL-BRO, the Reagan-era program designed to transform otherwise compassionate liberals into mouth-frothing, knuckle-dragging meat-heads? It was actually Alexander Haig’s idea (it obviously wasn't Reagan’s, a man who couldn't even hold his own wiener while peeing). “I am in control here,” Haig famously liked to say. Less famously, he also said, “And because I’m in control, we have to find a way to force-feed meat to these pinko-hippies... [I]f we fail in this endeavor, generations of free spirits will be eating tofu off of each other’s naked, pristine bodies as they commence communal orgies in the middle of our nation’s national forests. A good steak will force these soy-munchers into joyless, monogamous missionary positions in no time. Then we’ll start another secret war in Central America somewhere. Who wants bacon?” As you can see, you should probably do some more research.

Alex Haig was a puppet. Everyone (who isn’t an idiot) knows Caspar Weinberger, James Baker, and Ed Meese were the real power brokers — they picked on Haig all the time: knocked files out of his hands when he was walking down West Wing halls; made fart noises while he delivered briefings at cabinet meetings; formed a naked circle around him in the White House showers and shoved him back and forth until he cried (I imagine you know the feeling). CO-INTEL-BRO was a disinformation campaign that Meese instigated, and it was Weinberger who suggested linking Haig to the “program” and using him as a patsy. Meanwhile, Baker spearheaded the “scheme within a scheme” that became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Guns for Iranians and cash for Central American guerillas were a smokescreen for the truly sinister aims of the plot: the introduction of cancer-laced soy and Ebola bean sprouts into food co-ops and health food markets around the United States. These disease strains were genetically designed to manifest in second and third generations, so it’s probably a good thing you and Vanessa have no plans to reproduce. I, on the other hand, by strictly eating lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, am merely following millions of years of evolutionary protocols. So put that in your bong and smoke it.

Brian: First of all, I have much better things to smoke that this drivel. Second, your theory of the Iran-Contra scandal is laughable by any interpretation of history. Reagan hated the Sandinistas because of their penchant for tofu. In fact before he began funding the Contras, he famously asked Daniel Ortega, “Where’s the beef?” Third, you’re playing into the hands of the right wing, man. Bush the Younger’s tax breaks—that is, the larger the waistband, the larger the cut (or “Operation Morbid Obesity” as he liked to call it)—benefited the meat and dairy industries for the great fattening of America. You’re not following millions of years of evolutionary protocol, you’re gorging yourself on the carcasses of a morally bankrupt industry. So put that in your colon and rot it.

Vegan Definition

Paleo Diet Wiki Page

veg • an

[n. vej-uhn or esp. British vee-guhn; v. vej-uhn]

By Abe Brennan

1. a strict vegetarian who consumes no animal or dairy products; a person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

2. a miserable person.

3. a dietary practice first adopted by twelfth-century European serfs because life didn’t suck hard enough for them back then. The clergymen and knights—with turkey drumsticks clutched in fat hands, mouths full of meat, grease dribbling down their chins—had a good laugh when one of them recounted seeing a couple of vegan peasants fighting over a rutabaga on the Yorkshire high road.

4. a communist, socialist, anarchist or other non-capitalist, non-God-fearing enemy of the United States of America and her business interests. The congregation was dismayed when the vegan snatched the Bible from the pastor, ripped it to shreds, and defecated on the remains while tearing a twenty-dollar bill in half and reciting the Communist Manifesto.

—verb (used with or without object)
1. to inundate a person (or group of people) with guilt. Eat dinner with Brian and Vanessa? Yeah, if I’m dying for a grade-A veganning all night. I may as well hang out at a mega-church wearing a “Got Abortion?” T-shirt.

2. to hector, annoy. She veganned me until I had to punch her in the face.

Trivia: The word is sometimes pronounced “veh jen” with a soft “g,” which sounds even dumber than the way people normally pronounce it.

The Paleolithic Diet

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

By Brian Polk

The Paleolithic Diet, also popularly referred to as the “caveman diet” or the “preferred cuisine of the macho macho man,” is a nutritional plan based on the notion that optimal human health is achieved by consuming the animal flesh that practitioners of the diet imagine their pre-agricultural, hunter/gatherer ancestors might have eaten if they had access to grocery stores where free-range meats were sold.

The diet originated in the 1970s as a backlash to the rise of 1960s vegetarianism. Since it was popularized by Dick “Professor Sausage” Ater, who wrote the 1972 book, Meat: Transforming Your Diet so You Don’t Feel Like Such an Emasculated Pussy all the Time, the Paleolithic Diet has grown in popularity among duders who attempt make up for their sexual frustration by perpetuating violence toward animals that they would never have the balls to hunt in the wild. Today scientists estimate that over 10,000 manly men — who have been psychologically castrated by their wives — practice the diet.

The Formation of Unified Carnivorous Knockwurst Eating Rabble-rousers organizes Paleolithic-themed cookouts on a bi-annual basis, with festivities occurring throughout the United States and Great Britain. Although specific observance differs according to region, the FUCKER Festivals generally include the following events: (1) Cow Shit Smear Welcome Hour, in which participants disrobe, smear cow shit on their faces, and howl incoherently at various pagan gods. (2) Territory Marking Contest, where contestants piss on one another in order to protect the territory of their meat. (3) Meat Deep Throat Extravaganza, which, surprisingly does not include blowjobs. (4) Blow Job Meet and Greet, which does. (5) Nap Time, which is pretty self-explanatory. And (6) Goodbyes and Man Cries, where everyone gets hugs and kisses and cries a little.

In 2006, Dick Ater died minutes after trying to pass an entire cow through his colon. Critics of the diet quickly capitalized on Ater’s death by pointing out the obvious connection to consuming an over-abundance of meat and dying from trying to shit it out. Ater’s wife, Anita Ater, vehemently denied any connection all the way up until her own death in 2009, when her attempt to crap out a flock of chickens took a fatal turn. The remaining Ater children, two of which have become steadfast vegans, declined to comment on their parents’ respective deaths or the absolute messes their corpses made of the master bathroom.

The “Free-Range” “Secret”
While most adherents of the Cave Man Meat-Fest claim to eat free-range meat, this is only something they say to get vegans and vegetarians to shut up while they gnaw on the salted remains of factory-farmed pig intestines.

Scratching the Surface: Why I’m still playing in punk bands after all these years

By Brian Polk

· I don’t like it when more than four paying customers show up to watch my band play.

· I’m still impressed by the punk credo: “Learn another chord, start another band.”

· When old friends ask me what I’m doing with my life, I don’t have to come up with anything new to say.

· By playing in two different bands—and subsequently saturating the market by ignoring the concept of supply and demand—I’m staying true to my anti-capitalist roots. (Never making more than $20 a gig also contributes to this end.)

· Since I never bothered learning to play guitar solos, I’m totally against them.

· I accepted a long time ago that “making it” on any kind of level isn’t going to happen, so I might as well play good music.

· Since no one else plays punk anymore, I like to think of myself as unique.

· If I don’t demonstrate that the 20-minute set is not only attainable, but desirable, opening bands might get the idea that it’s okay to go on for an hour.

· I’ve been to shows where the audience just stood around and “appreciated” the band. I couldn’t believe how lame this was.

· I don’t ever want to have too much in common with my parents.

· I never sold out (mainly because no one ever offered me anything to sell out to, but it’s still an accomplishment nonetheless).

· Even though punk is unpopular and everything, it’s still more relevant than anything the hipsters have come up with.

· Since most punks I know are either married, twice divorced, or otherwise undateable, we don’t have to care that punk isn’t attractive to members of the opposite sex.

· Since I’ve amassed an embarrassing amount of knowledge about a single genre of music, I might as well stick with what I know.

· I need something to show for my unyielding commitment to bitterness.

· Yelling out of key doesn’t go well with alt-country, electro, or valium rock, and I’m okay with that.

· Punk is the only music that sounds good through the deafening roar of my tinnitus.

Review: Lion Sized / Accordion Crimes split 7”

In order for traditional 7-inches to work, they have to be really good. That’s because the tiny records require more participation from the listener — instead of flipping the record after five or six songs as you would with an LP, you have to change sides after one song. Consequently, the two songs on the two sides better fucking blow you out of the water if the record has a shot at not getting filed away with the other lesser seven-inches that only graced the turntable once. Fortunately for this split 7-inch, Accordion Crimes and Lion Sized arrange two captivating — and complementing — songs that prevent the single from entering the nether regions of your record collection.

Lion Sized: “Three Bed / Two Bath”
On “Three Bed / Two Bath,” Lion Sized meld elements of Fugazi and early-Milemarker with its own interpretation of tom-pounding, bass-heavy, emotionally-charged zeal. It’s fine-tuned post-hardcore perfection, replete an intricate rhythm section and vocals that aren’t so much sung as they are yelled in key.

Accordion Crimes: “Academy”
“I would kill for an original thought,” singer Brian Parker shouts over Accordion Crimes’ latest effort, “Academy.” Much darker and less melodic than a majority of the band’s previous material, the song is driven by a relentless bass and drum intensity, and adorned with lyrics that are hollered with a sense of urgency and vigor. It’s a welcomed new direction for Accordion Crimes, who continually seem content to pen songs that aren’t as easy to digest as, say, “Planes Over Milwaukee,” but are nonetheless exceptional.

Pins&needles: An interview with a zine

By Brian Polk

Pins&needles could just as easily be called Mulling It All Over with the Nineties Guy, (though I must admit that its current handle is much catchier). It’s what happens when ‘90s punks still believe all the things they used to believe (like zines and records are the pinnacle of punk print and audio), only now they have to do things like work and pay a mortgage. Its author manages to keep a sense of humor about himself while contemplating the finer points of life, like "Seinfeld," sports radio, crappy record stores, dogs, and various existential crises. His prose is engaging, humorous, and above all, relatable, which is the ultimate goal of any good zine. And as a fellow zinester, it’s always nice to know that there are others who, despite all the advantages of going digital, still bend over backwards to create something that can be read in the tub. As you can see below, The Yellow Rake was so impressed with Pins&needles that the zines felt compelled to exchange a few words…

The Yellow Rake: Why would you even think of starting a zine now? Haven't you heard of blogs?
Pins&needles: Two reasons: (1) I am an album guy not a digital download-type guy. I love the whole package, so a print zine makes sense to me. (2) I don’t ever want to be referred to as a “Blogger.”

What do you want people to take away from your zine?
Plain and simple: to be entertained. Pins&needles is more of a sitcom than it is a film. There’s nothing overly deep or controversial, but hopefully there’s a little something for everyone. The best thing that I take away from it is when people relate to some of my neuroses and share theirs with me.

I think every zinester has been the recipient of unflattering criticism from Maximum Rock 'N' Roll. What did you think of yours?
In short, it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The reviewer did comment that Pins&needles is really “Just some guy musing on life,” which I believe they meant as an insult but I loved it and used it for the homepage of my website. On the cover of this particular issue of MRR there’s a guy wearing a “New Order Fact. 50 1981 Movement” shirt. I’m either not punk enough or not intelligent enough to understand what that means—or both, which is why I expected a worse review.

Which do you prefer, early Fugazi (Margin Walker, Repeater) or later Fugazi (Red Medicine, The Argument)?
This answer is not going to gain me many readers. I am actually not a fan of Fugazi’s music, but it’s certainly not for a lack of trying. The only album of theirs that I own is 13 Songs and it’s because I love the song “Waiting Room.” Because I respect Ian Mackaye immensely and I love that Fugazi had a code of ethics that could not be compromised, it truly pains me that I do not enjoy their music more than I do so about once I year I revisit their catalog to see if I “get it” yet. So far…no dice. But I have read the chapter of Our Band Could Be Your Life that is devoted to them upwards of four times if that helps at all. (I think it helps. —ed.)