Fuck The World For The Win

When I was a kid the initials F.T.W. meant “Fuck The World”.  I first saw them written on a bloody Nikki Sixx’s arm:

NikkiBloodFU

Once I found out what it meant I kind of took it on as my life’s motto. Fuck The World! It has a simple beauty to it. It served me well in my younger years, realizing early that you can’t change the world or the ways of those who walk it gives you a certain relief and freedom. But as you get older it get’s harder to just say fuck everybody. Now I know this may not be the way it works for everyone, after all there are no absolutes. For some, I’m guessing, it get’s easier to say “fuck the world” the older you get.

Yes, the older you get, the closer you feel to being done with it all. You’ve seen how people can be and experienced the cruel ways of the world… so as each year passes you become a little more cynical and less able to fake that smile as the people around you do their best to screw you. I can totally get that. But as I said it worked in reverse for me.

At a young age I realized the world was full of shit. They all pretended they had answers, and as a child you believe it. But teachers, preachers, and politicians are the great pretenders. Every adult, right up to and including your parents are winging it, not much different as we all do as children. Going with what is told to you, following what everyone else is doing. The idea that adults have any answers or real understanding to what all this is about, like Santa Claus is a nice lie told to children to sooth and reassure them… but it’s still a lie.

No need to get too deep in all this… but for me, I saw through the lie early and with that knowledge I ran with it.

“Fuck the world!” You can’t please everyone, and why would you try when we are all in the same boat, right? No one is better than the next, just a world of people playing pretend from birth to death.

Simply put (is anything ever “simply put” here?), instead of growing more cynical as I grew older I started to realize it was a little more complicated than the simple way I had been looking at it (see, simple, right?).

Having children is definitely part of it. When you have kids (for most at least) you have to give a fuck about something more than yourself. You have to start caring about the future and the way the world is, even if it seems so unworthy of your cares.

Children are only part of it though. For good or bad everyone you come in contact with is a part of your world.  All those around you shape and mold you and are essentially, your life. And in return we are the lives of those around us. We all fit in like puzzle pieces, affecting and being affected.

So from my earliest childhood friends to those of you I have met here on the blog. From my parents to my siblings. From my wife to my children. The people I’ve worked with and those who worked against me. You are my life and make all this what it is… so you can’t just say fuck all that… you might as well be saying fuck your life, and though some may feel just that… I do not.

Heavy, I know. But we can’t get stuck in the depth, we could drown. So let’s just leave it at this:

As I got older, “Fuck The World” became less of a motto and more of just a mood I sometimes was in. If you have read here long enough, you’ve seen me in that mood a few times for sure.

The world, whether you say fuck it or not moves on and so shall this post.

When I first started blogging on WordPress, I had used the initials F.T.W. a few times and there seemed to be a confusion about what I meant (this also happened more recently with the initials S.S.D.D. Which I promise will be dealt with in the next post). So I did some Googling and sure enough the meaning of F.T.W. had changed as the world moved on:

FTW for the win.jpg

At first this kind of upset me. My motto turned mood had become something else. I blame the internet. LMFAO! But really, as I have said over and over again, the internet changed a lot of things. I worked at a video rental store, was actually a manager for a place called The Video Studio in Covina, California (I am mainly mentioning it so I can put it in the tags. I loved working there and who knows, someone might Google it and find this post. That would be cool, right?). I also worked at a few record stores, Sam Goody, The Warehouse,  and of course Tower Records. I really thought Tower Records would be the job I kept for ever. But just like F.T.W. the internet has changed things.

I know… poor zero. My love/hate relationship with the internet is a moot point though really. It too is part of my life (it’s up there in the title, RL and IL… the L stands for life). The internet is much a part of my life as everything else that has been a part of it over these last four decades (has it really been that long?) as it has been for most of us working are way through it. So I just had to accept, that while F.T.W. will always mean “Fuck The World” to me, for others it now meant “For The Win”!

If you think about it, it makes sense. And it actually seems to be a positive move, right? “For The Win” seems much more positive than “Fuck The World”, right?

If you say so. It does fit right into the world in which we find ourselves in now. Helping pave the way for  Donald Trump to become President. It seems to become all about winning now. Which of course, it’s become that way because we had tried to pretend for a while that winning didn’t matter. It obviously does. Participation trophies are great, but we want the win.

Let’s not start drowning in the depth again. This post is not gonna debate winners and losers, but I will say it sucks to lose, we all know that, still… “the devil loves the winner just as much as he loves the sinner”. That’s from a lyric I once wrote. Perceive at your own risk.

Winners, losers, we all get a taste of both from time to time, it’s no mystery why people prefer to win. Shall we move on?

When I first learned of “For The Win” and I mourned the loss of “Fuck The World”, I saw a third phrase (of course there was a third one, everything comes in threes). It was something I had known of since those early days of understanding, something out there like a sickness… growing, infecting. I just now had a name for it, and all I had to do was put it together. Literally.

F.T.W.F.T.W

Fuck The World For The Win.

Go ahead, say it out loud. Think about what it implies. Some of you probably don’t even have to continue reading… but please do.

From the first time I read Book of Revelation at the age of 13, I understood it, or at least how people perceived it.  I now had a name for it.

Fuck The World For The Win.

I guess the best way to explain it for those of you who don’t yet get where I’m going, is to take a look at the terrorism spreading the past 4 decades (my entire life!) from the ideas of Radical Islam. The word Jihad is just a short way of saying, “Fuck the world for the win”. But it isn’t just in the Islamic religion. It’s an idea that flows through many of our worlds religious teachings. The idea that one day the world will end and judgment and salvation will be dealt out respectfully. Everyone has their own version of an Apocalypse awaiting all of us.

See where I’m going yet?

We all have beliefs. We all have philosophies and religious convictions. Traditions passed down from a time we can only read about. Necessary, but dangerous. Necessary because we build our lives upon these beliefs and convictions. Dangerous because people want to be right. They want to win.

So think about it, where does it leave us. I know you can figure it out, you don’t need me to make it clear… just in case though…

There are so many out there who have been taught and believe their way is right and that some day it will all come to an end to punish and reward, again, dealt out respectfully  to each persons own perspective. How do we expect any real self thinking individual to know which way to turn or react. Yes, so many out there who believe the end is coming and see no reason to try to prevent it. In fact, those who truly believe find ways to try to get to that end and prove they were right all along.

Now you see what I’m getting at, yes?

People will destroy it all to be right. Fuck The World For The Win!

I should point out that from the beginning of time people though the end was near. When the Book Of Revelation was written the early Christians believed the end of the world would come in their life time. In fact everyone generation thinks there’s will be the last. The end is always near. To me that proves just how wrong of an idea it is. If you keep expecting the end to come and it doesn’t, when do you finally give up on that idea?

Just in our recent history we can discuss the lunacy of Y2K or 12-21-2012. But people believed it. Shit, we wanted it. People believe the end has to come, so we race for it. After all, the end will prove who is right and who is wrong. and that’s what we really need… to be right, at any cost.

Like most things, it’s all backwards to me. The end of the world seems to be something we’d be happy to be wrong about. And yet so many say, “Fuck The World For The Win”.

And here we are, destroying everything for the sake of an argument that doesn’t really involve us.

Do ya feel me? Can you dig? Or am I the one who’s crazy?

Maybe I am. Because so much of this seems so easy to see and yet we close our eyes and march on towards a destiny we believe was already decided for us.

Damn, I was trying to keep this under 2,000 words, but don’t know if that’s gonna happen. Let’s try to bring this to a conclusion leading into another post (get ready, because from here on out they are gonna fall like dominoes).

I never got a Father’s Day post out this month, lately it’s just been hard to find a reason to come here and write. So that leaves this blog with no Father’s Day post in the 4 years I wrote here. That kind of sucks. After all I’m a father. There is plenty of material for me to write about on the subject. Did it seem like we just took a sharp turn and are heading a different direction? What does Father’s Day have to do with this post? How about a Spiderman reference about paying for the “sins of our fathers”.  Or how many think of that father figure up their in the heavens watching and judging us.  Or how most of us grow up with out our fathers.  I could blog about my own dad. Talk about how untill the 3rd grade my dad was a huge part of my life. Then he was just not there anymore and that’s just how it was. After all I was just a child and the adults knew what they were doing, ha! I could also write about how I’d later go to live with my dad when I was 15 years old and how odd the whole thing was, and get into the different kind of relationship I had with my dad then. Because in between the time I had last seen my dad at age 8 and the time he was back in my life at 15 I had figured out that truth about adults: they didn’t have a clue.

There we go, getting back on topic. Forgive me though, because I’m gonna jump right back off.

Last year around this time I wrote this post:

https://zerodinh.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/when-will-it-be-enough/

As you can read in the post, I had started out wanting to write a post about how no matter how bad the world seemed, that it was up to us to paint our lives with the colors we wanted in them. How what seemed like an upcoming Summer of Fear could easily be turned into a Summer of Love if we wanted to. But the tragedy of Pulse Nightclub rocked us all and the post ended up being a confusional attempt at the realization that it wasn’t so easy to do any more.

A year later and the only difference is I’m not confused. From the moment I hit the “Publish” button on that post to the time I hit “Publish” on this post it has been made all to clear to me the fear has won out.  The Summer of 2016 continued to show that path leading us here. One tragedy after the next backing us all into a corner. Need a personal example to demonstrate exactly what I mean? Of course you do:

Last week I woke up to this song on the news:

This song was new to me… I had just heard it for the first time a few days earlier… I’ll get to that in a moment. The reason it was being played on the news was because Rachel Platten had released an acoustic version of the track to benefit the victims of the nightclub shootings:

Rachel Platten releases new version of ‘Fight Song’ to benefit Orlando victims

So here I was coming out of sleep to this song that was recently familiar to me. It’s a beautiful song and it is easy to see why it would be used as an anthem for standing up against the forces in the world waiting to strike out against us. An uplifting tribute to the human spirit and our choice to stand and face our obstacles. Yes, from bullies to terrorist, the song fits into the narrative we all find ourselves trapped in. A cry out that we will fight.

So it may not come to a surprise that the place I had first heard the song a few days earlier was at my 5th graders graduation ceremony. I had seen and heard a group of children sing it loud and proud as they looked to the uncertainty of middle school.

A couple of quick side notes on all this:

First, my granddaughter (who is still a few years off from her own 5th grade graduation) was with us that day and was reading over the program with me. She saw the name Rachel Platten written in it next to the song title and her eyes lit up. She of course knew the song and liked it quite a bit. She easily sang along once the 5th graders began singing it. As I have said, I had not heard of the song before… I am getting old.

Second, right now, as I copied the song to post it above, it began to play on my laptop. My soon to be 6th grader came running in and sang a duet with Rachel Platten… it was very adorable.

As I said, it’s understandable why this song would be chosen for the 5th grade graduation ceremony, but the song chosen to accompany it is where all this starts messing with my head a little:

I know, right?

Yes, it was very cute. Watching those up and coming adults belt out, “I’m proud to be an American”, was very inspirational…. but in context, well my context at least, it all seemed to be pushing and pulling. Not to mention there was a representative there from both the Republicans and Democrats pointing out how important it was to vote. A message for the parents I’m guessing, since these graduates wouldn’t be voting for quite a few years yet. The whole thing seemed to be getting us all ready for the fight, though that may be a little bit much. But it definitely was sending the message that we will stand strong and proud against all that tries to defeat us. Which again, fits into the narrative we all find ourselves trapped in.

If it seems like I’m getting side tracked, that’s partially because this is 3 posts wrapped up into one. The Father’s Day post I didn’t get to, bled in a little. A post that developed in my head the morning I woke up to “Fight Song” on the news, which I did actually start writing but didn’t get very far. And a 3rd post which is long over due, the one titled “Fuck The World For The Win”.  It’s been in my head for a while now and I had to get it out to move on. The funny thing is, it was meant to be like this… the reason I couldn’t write the “Fight Song” post a few days ago was because it belonged here. These two ideas were locked together in a deadly embrace.

You see, as I said in the Summer post a year ago, the choice between a Summer of love or a Summer of fear may just as well have been made for us. I defiantly believe so as a new summer is here. And it’s not our fault. We have to stand up to these fears in order to get past them. We have to fight for what is right. Corny but true.

Here’s the rub though… and it’s a dangerous one. When we all feel backed into a corner and everyone feels the time has come to say enough is enough. Those out there waiting for the end get a twinkle in their eyes. This is a sign that they are right. And they see the way to victory. They see a way to fuck the world for the win.

Hell, I ain’t saying nothing most of you don’t feel deep inside. You get how it all works. And like I said, the world keeps going on no mater how many try to bring on the end. Still if we keep trying and that lovable, dreadful internet keeps fueling the FTWFTW, who knows.

LOL, now I’m right there with every other generation who thinks that Armageddon is for their generation. And maybe it will be.

To be honest, it don’t matter. Because that’s not the point of this post.

As I have said many times before, the longer I stay away from writing here the easier it is to not write here. And as we all know, I plan on ending the blog at the end of the year. Which is why sometimes with all that’s going on in the world, I wonder why bother even finishing.

But I can’t do that. That wouldn’t be fair to any of us. We’ve come a long way and we can’t stop now. We’ve got a graduation to get to.

So buckle up once again as we head down one last bumpy road together. The whole fucking world can come crashing down along the side of us, this blog is marching right on down to the end. Whether you say Fuck The World or For The Win… even you sick fucks that say Fuck The World For The Win (I know there’s a few of you out there reading) it don’t matter…

 

“Fa shizzel, my wizzel, this is the plot, listen up
You bizzels forgot, Slizzel does not give a fuck”

Live Without Vince

Exactly wo years after I sat in the hospital holding my daughter after one of the best concerts I would ever see in my life,  tragedy struck

February 14, 1992 Vince Neil was kicked out of Motley Crue. I was devastated.

I was still working as a manager of a video store in Covina, when I heard Vince Neil on a local radio station (Pirate Radio). I was at work and a customer came in while I was listening to it and a tear fell from my eye. The customer kidded me about it, but only a little, my customers knew how big of a Motley fan I was.  In fact working at a video store in Covina meant  a lot of my customers went to school with Vince and/or Tommy. And in the 3 years I spent at The Video Studio in Covina, California, I met all sorts of people who had opinions of Vince Neil and Tommy Lee, I met ex girlfriends, class mates, and even Tommy Lee’s sister and mother once. My brother actually went to school with Vince Neil’s daughter. Most people didn’t have nice things about Vince, a lot of guys claiming they kicked his ass, blah blah, blah. Everyone loved Tommy though, a classmate of his told me he was always banging on the desk like drums and saying he was gonna be a rock star one day.

So yes, my customers knew I was a Crue Junkie and they fed me well. One of Vince Neil’s ex girlfriends sold me a bunch of stuff from those early days including an autographed copy of Leathur Records version of Too Fast For Love. For those who aren’t die-hard fans I’ll explain. Motley Crue couldn’t get signed at first, so they started their own record label called Lethur Records and released an early version of Too Fast For Love. The album sold over like 20, 000 copies and Electra Records snatched them up, dropped the song Stick To Your Guns, and touched up the rest, and released it under Electra. The copy I have is even before what The Crue sold. The one I have is an original before art work was changed (Vince Neil didn’t like the way his hair looked in it, from what the ex girlfriend says. And in the one I have the hair is real puffy and funny looking against the white background of the album. The ex girlfriend told me Nikki called him tampon head, that tells you what it looks like. So they cropped Vince’s hair in the copies they sold and on the version Electra put out.) My copy was Vince’s personal copy from what I’m told. And that was just some of the cool things I got from Vince’s ex. Thanks to her being a member at the video store I worked at, my Motley collection is huge!

So there I was at work, tears running down my cheek while Vince Neil announced on the radio that he was no longer part of Motley Crue. Yes, I was devastated!

Nikki and the rest of the band would later come out and say Vince quit the band, something still disputed to this day. Regardless the result was Vince going solo and Motley getting a new lead singer.

There were lots of rumors about who might replace Vince but the guy who got the gig was John Corabi, lead singer of a band called The Scream who had a small hit not to long before he left his band and joined up with The Crue:

I was desperately waiting to see and hear what this would do to Motley, and like usual it came from a video. I was visiting my dad when this video came on MTV:

I was ecstatic. It was like when I first heard Dr. Feelgood or the first time I saw the Too Young To Fall In Love Video. It was so new, so different, and yet it was Motley Crue. And the video has major “Clockwork Orange” references, easily one of my top 3 favorite movies. I couldn’t wait for the new album to come out.

Since the last time I had seen them live we had another child. Our first boy. We had moved to Oakland for a while, back to Lake Elsinore before returning to Covina. I was working at Tower Records in West Covina (The Video Studio sadly closed down) when the new album would come out, simply titled Motley Crue. Working there I got to hear what people thought and most people didn’t like it. I don’t think people were ready for it, but to this day it is still one of my favorites.

With songs like Misunderstood, Drift Away, and Loveshine:

This was a more mature Motley Crue and maybe some of the fans weren’t ready for it (like they weren’t ready for Theater of Pain, or how they wouldn’t be ready for Generation Swine in the near future, but we’ll get to that in the next post). I get people don’t like change, but that’s one of the reasons I stuck with the Crue so long, they grew with me… not that there aren’t some great rockers on the album:

The album was great, fuck all the haters, and when I saw tickets were going on sale for the “Anywhere There’s Electricity” show I was there to get them.

Since there was a Ticket Master right in Tower Records I went while I was at work and got 4 tickets for August, 1994 at the Palladium. I was going to see the Crue for the third time! Well most of them. Three of them and a new guy. This would be the only time I see them live without all 4 of the original Crue.

My then wife of course went to the show, it was only fair that she get to see the band without the contractions. I took my brother Michael, I believe some of you know him, (it was his very first concert) and my then wife’s brother (is that a confusing sentence? I took my ex-wife (though she was my wife at the time), her brother, and my brother.

This was just a few days before I would move to Las Vegas and it was quite different then the shows I was used to.

I was used to big arena shows, Palladium is tiny. Which for me made the night very personal.

Highlights: Nikki Sixx doing a bass solo and jumped into the crowd, body surfing while playing his bass. The new album was way heavier on the bass than the previous albums and Nikki’s bass was like the heartbeat of the show.

I also crowd surfed. It was my first time doing it and it was fucking awesome. If you have never been floating on top of the crowd as your favorite band rocks out, you haven’t lived. When you come down from the crowd you end up in that area between the crowd and the stage where a big security guard rushes you out and back into the show. One of the times I came down into this area I found myself staring right up at Nikki and he was looking at me. He held out his hand reaching down at me from the stage, I held mine out and shook his hand, mumbling “I love you”. I know, what a corny fruitcake. But I was starstruck.  And at that moment I was a teen age girl, I know it and accept it.

Tommy’s extravagant drum solo was stripped way down, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t bad ass! Fit into the pounding solo was some of Tommy’s song Planet Boom:

The song is from the EP Quarternary, a special CD you could order where each member of Motley did their own song. I have a couple of copies of it including the Japanese import with several extra songs. What a “fan boy”.

Although the drum solo was simple, it hit the mark. It was the first time, and maybe the only time, I saw people form a mosh pit to a drum solo.

I should point out my brother had a great time at his first concert, though my ex wife’s brother did not enjoy it as much. He said he had a hard time figuring out what songs were playing. He didn’t know the new stuff too well and the old stuff did sound different with John singing, but that’s what I liked about it. It was so different. My ex had a good time too, after all there was no one in her tummy banging to get out and enjoy the show. Though she did have a little one in her tummy. We didn’t know it at the time, but she was a few weeks pregnant with out fourth and last child together (next post).

Well fuck my ex’s brother, the show was awesome! Though since it was so different, it was the only time Live Wire was not the song of the night. For me it wasn’t really one song but a group of them that stands out.

Towards the end of the show, some couches were put out on stage and a bunch of people were picked from the audience and went up and sat in them. It was set up like a living room and the band did an acoustic session, with about 10 fans sitting around on stage with them. I wasn’t one of them, but I still enjoyed watching it.

They did Home Sweet Home. a cover of The Beatles’ Revolution, Loveshine, and Don’t go Away Mad (Just Go Away). All acoustic. Definitely the highlight of the night for me.

It was an end of an era for me.

Shortly afterwards, I said good bye to Southern California where I had lived for most of my 23 years at that point and headed to the lights of Las Vegas. And by the time Motley would come back around life once again had changed drastically while staying quite the same.

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day Five

Speaking of  Santa, I’ve had this CD for years, back from my Tower Records days, but had never seen the video. Very Funny! And it also makes me think way, way back,  when Santa was kind of scary. Yes, at first Santa can be a very scary story, he can come across as a little creepy at first. (SPOILER ALERT!) If Santa was real I’d bet Dorothy could connect him to her ex husband, Brewer, and Hackett. Just kidding, you don’t have to be real to be apart of Dorothy’s connections.

Hope I didn’t spoil Santa for any one… I love the guy, but, there is problems in a story of a man who brings good kids presents, when it’s usually the kid’s whose parents have the most money that get the better gifts, not necessarily the best behaved kids… just saying, there are some issues there… but like I said… I love Santa!

Sing Along:

        I am Santa Claus

I am Santa Claus
Ho ho ho ho ho
Flying Through the snow
Can you hear him ho ho ho
He’s so full of cheer
Only has to work one day a year
Children in their beds
Visions of sugar plums fill their heads
So many kids out there
Santa must be a billionaire
Red suit, boots of black
Big sack of toys hanging off his back
How much does he weigh
How do the reindeer pull his sleigh
Nobody sees him
As he travels the world
Leaving his presents
For the good boys and girls
Ho ho ho ho ho
Sees every move you make
Better be good for goodness sake
Leave him cookies and beer
He’ll be back to your house first next year
I am Santa Claus
Ho ho ho ho ho