Sunday Morning Coming Down News Report: 08.22.10
Posted by Michael Melchor on 08.22.2010
A special guest joins us to discuss an important ruling from the UK High Court, plus the only. Time. You will EVER. See. Tila Tequila. Discussed. In this column.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those solely of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the rest of the human race.
I can make anything alright, but what do you know about sacrifice? Hey there, gang, and thanks for checking back in. We have a lot to get to this week - despite the fact that we only have two items on the agenda. But there's a lot to be said about both, so let's get right to it...
Oh, You Were Finished! Well, Allow Me To Retort!
I should known somebody was gonna get bent outta shape at me throwing off on Bullet For My Valentine last week...
Bullet an Atreyu ripoff? Nah. They're more like a Trivium ripoff with some Iron Maiden riffs thrown in because Bullet is British which means their number one influence has to be Maiden. It's all metal though, so it doesn't matter. Very few metal bands can be considered original, but if they sound good, they who cares? I'm not defending Matt Tuck's comments because they were pretty stupid, but I come to this site regularly and still question if anyone here actually likes metal (except for maybe a few major label releases) so be careful in criticizing the sound considering all the shit you people do like on this site.
Posted By: Guest#4771
Okay, I can't speak for "everyone here" or all of "us people on this site", because I'm only one dude. That having been said, I like my metal--hell, for that matter, I like all music not to sound exactly something else, at the very least. There are only so many notes on the scale and only so many combination of drum beats that things are bound to sound alike. Things are going to be somewhat derivative in any genre. I get that. But it's up to the individual act to at least put in enough creativity to at least attempt to avoid that.
Bullet For My Valentine, when they started, sounded interested in sounding different, but not anymore. Never said they weren't talented or good at what they do; I just find the fact they've settled in to sounding entirely commercial and then claiming to be some sort of saviour for metal (Like it needed saving in the first place?) rather offensive. They're the ones that people are coming out in droves and paying attention to metal over? Because Lamb Of God, Dimmu Borgir, God Forbid, Nightwish (see what I did there?), Avenged Sevenfold, Underoath, As I Lay Dying, Cradle Of Filth, Mastodon, Old Man's Child, Moonspell, or KillSwitch Engage (to name only a few) don't even exist? And that's not even counting well-established acts like Fear Factory, Cradle Of Filth, Sepultura, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Madball, Hatebreed, Iced Earth, or Pantera (again, to name only a few). Give me a break.
Case in point:
Posted By: Luke (Guest)
Exactly. They so do.
Last but not least:
I like Nightwish and think that they're pretty good. Where's Dan Haggerty with the mosh pit btw ?
That was painful. I'm not talking about what they did to her, either - I'd never heard Tila Tequila's "music" before, and I hope and pray to God above that I never have to again. And besides, if I had to sit through that abomination to cover all of this, then so do you.
With that out of the way and before we get in to this, it's better off to lay out the info we have about this (so far) first and be done with it. I'll try and do this as close to chronological order as I can manage, but that's not as important as just having everything put together. If I happen to have something skewed slightly out of order, so be it.
First, Tila's after-the-fact statement:
"I went onstage and immediately, before I even got on stage, DUDES were throwing HUGE STONE ROCKS in my face, beer bottles that slit my eye open, almost burnt my hair on fire cuz they threw fire crackers on stage, and they even took the sh*t out of the port-0-potty and threw sh*t and piss at me when I was onstage.
"These people were trying to kill me. So then after the last blow to my head with the firecracker they threw at me exploded, my bodygaurd and the other security grabbed me and ran as fast as they could to the shitty trailor. Since their security SUCKS, the 2 thousand people ran after us, trying to kill me. They almost got me so they finally reach the trailor, blood all over myself, cant stop bleeding, then all of a sudden, all 2 thousand people surround the trailor and busts the windows!!! Even the guys INSIDE with me were shaking! Their hands were shaking cuz they were so scared! So 3 guys inside the trailor had to grab a table and push it over the broken windows and grabbed all the chairs they could find so hold the people from outside back. It was scary as hell!"
As you could imagine, she's planning on suing event organizers - and Hardin County, IL Sheriff Tom Seiner is behind Tila 110%. Not only that, but his department is already scouting YouTube to see if they can pick out anyone(s) in particular to incarcerate over this. Deputies were already on the scene when Tila's ordeal happened as they were there in response to reports of someone being stabbed.
Ring of Honor wrestler (and one of my favorites, "Classic") Colt Cabana talked to TMZ, saying he saw the whole thing go down.. Cabana said the whole thing lasted about 15 minutes and that he heard from a security guard that someone had a watermelon that had been fermenting in urine and feces for 48 hours that they were saving just to throw at Tila. Now that's dedication to a bit!
Another...well, not an eyewitness but someone who had firsthand knowledge of what happened - and that it was going to happen - was wrestler Dutch Mantell. Below are very telling excerpts from his Blog about the Gathering, specifically what would pertain to the incident (because there's a lot of it and there's too much to sift through and summarize, although pertinent pieces will be in bold):
THE GATHERING was marred by the following incidents:
A robbery at gunpoint that my group just missed by 5 minutes...on the way inside the compound...
A wrestler arrested for possession...
More arrests by the county sheriff whose department set up shop right outside the Gathering's entrance...
An attack on InterNet sensation Tila Tequila that happened while she performed which left her a bloody mess and is the topic of the INTERNET TODAY
and all of that happened within a 6 hour period Saturday night.
To say the least, it was an interesting night.
...I'll describe the story floating backstage at the GATHERING about the Tila Tequila incident. From what I was told, by several eyewitnesses to the incident, Tila apparently had prior 'heat' with several groups of Juggalos prior to her performance on the main stage of the festival. Word that I got was that, apparently, on her InterNet site or on a Twitter post, she made some disparaging and derogatory remarks about the Insane Clown Posse fan base. If you know the fan base, I don't know how anything could be construed as derogatory or condescending since they consider themselves to be completely under the radar and off the screen and anti establishment to begin with. But, some of them did. But whatever Tila did or did not do...when it came time for her to perform Saturday night, there were groups of Juggalos in the crowd who were already pissed at her.
Tila was contracted to do a 6 song set...and as soon as she hit the Main Stage, the boo birds came out. In wrestling circles...thats a great thing to hear. But in Tila's case, that's not what she expected. And not only was she getting boos, she was attracting the debris as well as fans began to throw half filled plastic water bottles and rocks at her on stage. One report even has it that a fermented watermelon full of urine and feces were even thrown at her but I cannot confirm that.
...The Tila Tequila incident happened about 9PM on a Saturday night several hours before I arrived on the festival grounds. According to some eyewitnesses, if the Tila 'heat' was true, the appearance wasn't safe to begin with. But I don't know how Tila's people or even the Gathering people could even consider that Tila's appearance would turn out to be as viscious as it turned into.
Tila encountered a hostile crowd and, in my opinion, did not know how to handle a unruly crowd...because quite frankly, she had never run into a situation like she faced Saturday night. Any wrestler in that building or site would have told her to abort her performance in lieu of her personal safety. But she didn't. She continued her performance despite the danger that it presented.
...When we first arrived at the event, I took a few photos...and then headed backstage to see a few friends. I met up with Terry Funk, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kamala, Sabu, Ron Garwin, PG 13, Brian Christopher who were all working the 4AM show with me. That's when I first heard of the Tila Tequila incident.
...In the back, I started hearing the story about the Tila Tequila incident from several of the guys. I'll sum it up like this. She got the dog shit beat out of her. It started with her trying to perform her set but ended with her a bloody mess and having to be literally ushered off the stage. It was a wild scene complete with cursing and a lot of F bombs directed by Tila to the crowd which, if you really think about it...wasn't a very smart move on her part.
The one question I have is didn't her management people explain to her what a f'n Juggalo Festival consisted of? Did her management people know the type of environment and the type of fans she would encounter? Obviously, not and judging from the way the videos that have been posted, she didn't know she was in so much danger. Damn!!! Is it possible to be so naive?
Wrestlers have encountered this countless times...and if she had contracted wrestlers to be her security..I guarantee you she would not have been injured on stage. Wrestlers recognize and can even sense danger in a crowd way before it ever rears its head. Wrestlers have to be able to do that to survive.
To me..and now this is just me talking...if people are throwing things at your head...like hard objects like bottles and rocks..wouldn't you rationally think that it would be a good idea to leave? Or get behind something that would take you out of the line of sight? Now, that may be just a little too complicated but to me, that would be what I would do.
...Since I wasn't scheduled to go on that morning until 4AM..which is a strange time to start wrestling...I had several hours to speak to eyewitnesses to the incident. According to several wrestlers personally watching the Tila performance that night, she tried to calm the crowd about halfway through her act by saying, "I love you Juggalos" but instead was met with more boos and debris.
The crowd that night was definitely a 'hostile crowd' but nobody understood why in the beginning. Later, it emerged why some 'individual pockets' of Juggalos were highly upset with Tila and there were reports that the attack was coordinated via text messaging from one group to the others.
At one point, the 90% male crowd began shouting SHOW YOUR T*TS to which Tila, in her quest to dispel their displeasure with her appearance, suddenly thought would be a good idea. The crowd popped intitially for the sight of Tila's naked breasts but, in true Juggalo fashion, then suddenly turned on her again by chanting WE HATE YOUR T*TS!! and the debris started sailing again. You could say the Juggalos are the equivalent of the ECW fans of yesteryear.
At this point, security was ushered onto the stage to retrieve her but she refused to vacate the stage by telling them that she had not completed her 6 song set. To her credit, she tried to fulfill her obligation to the Gathering but the situation grew steadily worse as the amount of bottles and rocks increased as Tila stood behind the security personnel as they attempted to block the debris coming Tila's way.
Then, Tila agitated the already rowdy crowd by responding that she didn't give a F and basically fueled their desire to continue their barrage. In the videos that have emerged, you can easily tell that she should have left without finishing her set regardless of what she had been contracted to do. But in the end, a rock finally found its mark and richocheted off a security guard's chest and caught Tila in the head and face which resulted in Tila leaving the stage in a bloody mess.
A personal sidenote..for those who have followed my blog for awhile. I have talked about being pelted with rocks and bottles and other hard objects during wrestling matches...but at least, in a wrestling context, that was the reaction I wanted. But I always left the scene as soon as I could possible escape. But if I were a singer...with fans booing and pelting me with bottles, that would not be the reaction I would envision as a great performance. The fans weren't right in pelting Tila as they jeopardized not only Tila's safety but also whomever might be in Tila's immediate vicinity at the time. Regardless...Tila made the situation worse by not leaving the stage. But nobody ever compared Tila to a Mensa candidate but how much sense does one need to get the hell out of the line of fire. Damn!!
...I've been reading today that Tila is filing a lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse promoters and that the suit will bankrupt them. Good luck with that Tila.
Exactly. Good luck with that.
I'm far from someone who advocates throwing anything at any performer. I think it's ridiculous, childish, and far too dangerous to be tolerated by anyone who gets on a stage (or anywhere else) and gives of themselves to a crowd that came to be a part of that experience. At best, you're ruining the experience for those that are there to actually enjoy it by being a douchelord. At worst, someone could be seriously hurt (or, in this particular case, killed) by actions that stupid. If you don't like the performer that much, then don't go to the fucking show. It's that simple. Risking their life and having yourself thrown in jail is idiotic.
In the furor that arose over reactions to this, that sentiment has been shared by damn near everyone (save for Sam Ronson, of course). I've seen and heard almost nothing but, "no matter what you may think of Tila Tequila, she's a human being and she didn't deserve what happened to her."
I may be staunchly against throwing objects at performers and the damage it could do, but in this case I'm making an exception to the rule.
Let's set aside my hatred of fame whores. Admittedly, very few things in life drive me up the wall faster than useless bitches with no talent other than that of being constantly in the camera's eye so people will constantly talk about them. All of this is done to hide their insecurity at just how useless they are in the first place. Once they have that fame and think they matter, they do anything they can to hang on to it including recording music, which not only keeps people talking about them, but gets them talked about much more than those that spend their lives on the craft and have talent that should be heard. Hundreds of acts are out there that should have a shot at making a living at what they love to do, but they don't - and, in some cases, it's because some idiotic corporate record label would rather give the time of day to a cumdumpster like Tila Tequila just because she's "famous" rather than to someone who actually deserves it.
Putting that ill will aside, if she's dumb enough to create a hostile situation and then knowingly put herself in jeopardy, then it becomes her problem. First, she apparently made disparaging remarks about the crowd she was going to play for. A crowd that already has a history or pelting people they don't like with stuff on stage (see: WK, Andrew) because they're not the sharpest peanuts in the turd to begin with. Second, when that crowd planned to counter-attack during her performance, she was warned of what was going to happen and didn't do a damn thing to stop it. Third, after it was already happening, she told them she "didn't give a fuck" and effectively egged them on with her own safety in danger?
You can lay responsibility of safety of the performer(s) on the promoters all you want, but let's boil down the facts, here. Tila Tequila created the hostile situation, and then, when she was warned of just how hostile it was getting, set her own safety aside to fly in the face of it because it meant more publicity for her. The idea of "performer safety" and political correctness, at that point, gives way to Darwinism.
Tila Tequila's not only a sloppy-looking, vapid fame whore, but apparently she's a moron, to boot. She might have caught flak for backing out of the performance, but A) at least then her face wouldn't have been scarred for life, and B) once the story came out they the attack on her was planned, no one would have blamed her for putting her own safety first and not taking a barrage from this particular crowd. Instead, because she's "not a bitch like that," she idiotically faced a hostile crowd having already been warned that they were planning to injure her. That they did, but it seems that, aside from a few minor scars, she will come out of this okay.
I will say this and stand by it no matter who likes and and who doesn't: Tila Tequila deserved what happened to her. If she's too stupid to stay out of harm's way...if she was warned of an attack and then walked in to the lion's den anyway...if whatever publicity she could gleam from an incident overshadowed her own personal safety...if being famous was more important to her than being alive...then you're damn right she deserved it. And if it means that she removes herself from the public once and for all...hell, even for a long while to think about whether or not this is really the path she wants to travel on...then it will have all been worth it.
Now, the Juggalos. No matter how I may feel about Tila Tequila and what happened to her, the fact remains that quite a few of them conspired to put a performer in harm's way. That shouldn't be overlooked, excused, or condoned. I hope Sheriff Seiner is able to even find a few of them and lock their dumb asses up for a while. Hell, I have video above you can use!
Awesome. I hope he finds them and sues their inbred asses out of existence. Why this continues to happen when, as stated before, there's a pattern of this happening at this particular festival, is beyond me. If they can't learn to behave like human beings then to hell with it. Shut it all down. Or at least limit to ICP, the Psychopathic Crew, and the wrestlers since it's pretty safe to say they won't hurt any of them. Otherwise, if they can't leave the performers or find another way to show their hatred rather than attempting to hurt someone, then just do away with it altogether and let them go back to sitting in their trailer visiting Rotten.com or whatever these idiots do. To quote one of ICP's own lyrics, "Fuck ‘em all."
In a perfect world, Tila Tequila would disappear, so many Juggalos would be either sued or thrown in jail that there wouldn't be enough left to support the festival next year, and Method Man would be hailed as a hero for shutting it all down. Instead, it'll probably all blow over, Tila will go back to poisoning pop culture as we know it, and the festival will go on (and this will happen again next year). At least Method Man has a chance at some sort of positive resolution out of this. I'm glad someone does.
In the middle of all this madness, there was a much more important story taking place overseas that could have much more serious - and much worse - implications for performers both abroad as well as here in the US. And hardly anyone seemed to notice it.
"Z" of Hipster Please / Radio Free Hipster fame revealed on Wired.com's GeekDad section that the UK High Court (with Nintendo's blessing) handed down a decision outlawing any hardware that enables people to circumvent Nintendo's piracy protection. This also includes the R4, a device used by many of the UK's Chiptunes artists.
Okay, so what the hell's a "chiptune"?
Well, if you noticed that not being able to use a piece of hardware associated with a Nintendo system stops it, you might have a good idea. If you still don't get it, I'll pull the definition from Wikipedia:
A chiptune, or chip music is music written in sound formats where many of the sound textures are synthesized or sequenced in real time by a computer or video game console sound chip, sometimes including sample-based synthesis and low bit sample playback.
To put it simpler: if you're familiar at all with the bands I Fight Dragons or HORSE The Band, they could be considered Chiptunes, though not all - hell, not even most Chiptunes artists sound quite like they do.
Okay, so these "chiptunes" people can't use Nintendo copying software overseas. A few geek musicians playing a niche genre have to start from scratch. Big deal.
Well, therein lies the problem. On the surface, no, it doesn't look like a big deal. Hell, even I wasn't aware of the implications this could have until I talked to my friend (and hopefully yours, too), Marc (with a C) clued me in.
As we were discussing the UK High Court decision, I asked him permission to record the conversation we were having to document it. He was agreeable because 1) this is a cause very close to his heart (being a musician and all), and 2) our conversation could explain what this could lead to better than I could by myself.
Without further adieu, that conversation went as follows:
MM: Explain, if you could, the decision that was handed down in the UK that bans – is it a specific hardware used to get around [Nintendo's] piracy protection or, what's – what exactly is the decision that they handed down?
Marc: The decision that has been handed down by the UK High Court shouldn't being misconstrued as a hard-and-fast law that says, "if you make Chiptunes, you are now an outlaw." That's not how it went. To circumvent piracy, the UK High Court handed down a decision that favored Nintento in outlawing the use of the R4 – a replicator that can used to basically copy games and to create your own ROMs. And gaming piracy is a problem. It would seem that, instead of outlawing BitTorrent, in the way that the files are actually traded, they decided to go with outlawing the hardware. Unfortunately, that hardware is what quite a few Chiptunes artists use in their performance. Let's say I Fight Dragons, the US group who uses the R4 for, I think, the DS, if they were to were to be booked for a show in the UK, [the R4] almost becomes contraband.
MM: So they've outlawed the hardware that enables the copying of games and making ROMs, but what they've also done in that is take away from a good sect of UK musicians the primary instrument they use to compose and perform their music.
Marc: Absolutely. It's no different then, if there was a Supreme Court ruling in the US all of the sudden that said you could still use guitars on stage, but you can't use Schecter brand guitars, then I would have to instantly become comfortable with another instrument instead of one that, frankly, I'm photographed with every time I'm on stage. I would have to change my act and perform with another instrument entirely. It might not seem like much to the average person, but once you get comfortable with a piece of gear, it becomes an extension of yourself on stage.
MM: Right. Now, seeing as how that happened in the UK, whom the US is allies with and, in many cases, what they tend to do as far as policy we normally follow suit with, what do you think that could mean for composers and performers of that same genre – or even outside of that – over here in the US?
Marc: The US, not 100% of the time but very often, has a habit of following in the UK's footsteps on big rulings. When you take in to account that every nation in the world is having a problem with piracy and is trying to come up with some loophole law to stop it and hasn't had much success in knocking BitTorrent down yet, there's a chance we could copy this. I don't know that we are trying to copy that ruling specifically but I wouldn't be surprised, considering our history. And if it's meant to circumvent piracy, what it could mean is that, first, we outlaw the hardware. They could basically say, "You, sir, can no longer use your instrument to create. Sound art is no longer your craft." The second one, if we're trying to stamp out piracy, this could mean that, technically, using samplers could be the next step. That would be huge in making Hip-Hop artists stop making their craft. The next step past that, in the US there are certain bars you can't go in to and play cover songs because they're not paying dues to ASCAP and BMI. The third step could lead to them saying, "Well, if you're not paying dues to ASCAP and BMI every time you perform, this has become such a problem that, now, you can't play someone else's material that you don't own the copyright to." It's a really dangerous decision that has only affected a few now, and Nintendo is apparently not terribly concerned with stomping creativity that does nothing but further peoples' love for Nintendo, frankly.
MM: Despite the fact that they've had relationships with people like Pixelh8 that have used this sort of thing and have actually partnered with in the past, now they've even cut that out.
Marc: Sure. If this is successful in the UK and it holds fast, it's not unheard of that the RIAA is going to catch wind of it and modify it to their satisfaction in the US and take it a whole lot further. Right now, what we need to be concerned about is that there are performers such as Pixelh8 and SuperPowerless (SP?) who make an extension of sound art that the UK High Court has turned in to criminals because they wanted to make a song. This is unacceptable. I'm in no place to protest what the UK has done, as an American citizen, but I am in a place to say, "This is a dangerous precedent and we should have as many people as possible looking at it to make sure it never happens here." And also to extend an invitation and open arms to any UK Chiptunes artist that is affected by this ruling and say, "We're behind you and you can still do it here."
Marc: Correct. Once I explained the implications to anyone that would listen to me for five minutes, initially I heard reactions like, "Why don't they just sample the tones and play them on the keyboard?" I think these people are missing the point - who is [the UK High Court] to tell someone how they can create? As far as I'm concerned, music is the last safe place you can make something and as long as someone's not getting hurt, I don't care how you make it. But to start taking away instruments is dangerous and, quite frankly, it makes Rush's 2112 prophetic, and we can't have that, can we?
MM: [Laughs] Right. it's like you said - they're taking away a means of creation. Some of the reactions have been, "why not just use a MIDI keyboard?" or what-have-you, but the point is they're still having to learn another instrument, even if it is a MIDI keyboard or a sampler. That kind of time and frustration at having to start over is, at the very least, going to slow their career down - if they don't get frustrated and dejected by the whole thing and just give up!
Marc: To my knowledge, all Pixelh8 does is music. This is his day job. And it almost seems as if Nintendo's lack of caring in how this might affect Pixelh8 is,in effect, Nintendo saying, "We don't care that we just robbed you of your livelihood." That might be the biggest crime of all.
If you're still worried about why Marc and I care so much about Chiptunes, then you've completely missed the entire point of what's happened here. This isn't so much about the genre as it is about musical freedom.
Seriously, I can see the RIAA totally taking this and running for the end zone like their life depended on it. They've already pulled some pretty nefarious shit to stop piracy. They've sued children and old people who don't even know what "file-sharing" is and "settled out of court" for exorbitant amounts. There was the infamous Sony spyware issue with all of their CDs. Those are only a couple examples.
So, exactly how far away are we again from seeing that very scenario happen in the US?
There is something you can do to learn more and help out. If you live in the UK, you can protest the decision outright and see what you can do to get it overturned. If you don't live over there, best suggestion I can make is visit Fight The Power! (It's even on Facebook, as well.) More info can be had there about supporting these artists who, without being very well-known, may well have become the harbingers for a dangerous time.
I know Marc and others are planning a show of on-air solidarity. As mentioned above, you can go to Marc's show page, The Real Congregation, or to the WPRK sites for more details as they become available.
Hate to say, but I Like It, I Love It is gonna have to take a break this week after all that. Maybe I'll double-up next week. Feel free to tune in and find out then.
L8. Thanks again for reading.
For more interesting reading, click here. And/or here, for that matter.