Journalism is a stressful business. Allow me to punctuate that statement with a picture of J Jonah Jameson, aka Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man)’s editor at The Daily Bugle:
Spider-Man takes photos of himself fighting a genius mad scientist equipped with indesctructable talons, giant mutated lizards and his own clones, all to satisfy this man. He is never satisfied. He hates Spider-Man. He will do anything to destroy the life and career of his employee. He’s an arsehole.
Real life journalism isn’t that bad, but it can be pretty nerve-wracking sometimes. The internet has compounded this, as the news cycle now runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The biggest pressure by far is the pressure to generate content, and as you’d expect, this means that journalism now runs the gamut of cutting-edge investigation and a nous for finding the truth hidden behind him (John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight) to insane, rambling diatribes against the aliens who run our government/the Muslims who run our government/the government who runs the aliens (Fox News, obviously). You can access any of this information whenever you want, and we know that. That’s why it’s so easy for us to generate absolute bullshit in the interests of creating some kind of pseudo-controversy.
Enter: Tom Morello, the guitarist from Rage Against The Machine.
Tom Morello is predominantly known for two things: making his guitar sound like a mixing desk, and being annoyingly altruistic. Morello has long been a major voice for America’s working class (say what you will about a band that has made a buttload of money from an album with a self-immolating monk on the cover, but whatever) and still attends a pretty large swathe of fair-work shout-alongs all over the place. One of these just happened in Seattle, the 15Now rally, which aims to establish $15 as minimum wage throughout the US. After the gig, Morello, his brother, a manager and one of the guys from 15Now went to Five Point, a famously hipster restaurant in a city full of famously hipster restaurants.
This is where things get a little fuzzy, but judging by Morello’s tweet, he didn’t have the best time.
Strong words. A man who champions equal rights, telling people not to go to a popular night-spot because the doorman was a prick to him. As you can imagine, the internet music intelligensia has gone crazy with this one, with SPIN, Blabbermouth, Consequence Of Sound and a whole lot of other media sites crying loudly at the apparent hypocrisy of it all.
Now, there’s always more than one side to a good story. The above give you a pretty fair idea of what went on, with Morello’s own Facebook page explaining the other side.
Imagine you were Tom Morello. Not Famous Guitar Legend Champion Of The People Tom Morello, but just another person in that situation. That doorman tells you to fuck off, you consider punching him in the neck for a moment, but instead you go home and cry-wank yourself to sleep. You might Tweet about it, but no-one would really give a shit. No-one would really give a shit here, either, but Tome Morello is a famous person who wears controversial words on his clothing, so yes, you must pay attention to every word shared between a guy who plays guitar and some bar in Seattle.
Try and think of your own headline for the Tom Morello story. Is it ridiculous? Does it include enough useless, inane details? Is it something like, “BABY EATING MURDERER DOOR-SATAN MAKES TOM MORELLO CRY, EAT PANCAKES #pancakegate #RATMrulez”? Congratulations, you could be an online journalist.
Let’s change tack a bit. Mark Kozolek is the guy from Sun Kil Moon. Sun Kil Moon sounds like an ether addict transcribing his On The Road-esque memoir. He recently played a gig at the same time as The War On Drugs, who were playing a stage opposite. Being the waify, guitar-humping folk troubadour he is, Kozolek was none too happy with TWOD’s acid fiend-Springsteen wall of noise, and decided to let rip on stage. “Who the fuck is that?” Kozolek said to the crowd. “The War On Drugs? I hate that beer commercial guitar bullshit. The War On Drugs can suck my fucking dick.”
Ha ha. Everyone hear the squinty guitar man tell some other men to suck his dick. Ha ha.
To avoid linking more articles because I’m lazy, I refer you to the above link for the jist of the whole thing. Adam Granduciel responded the next day with basically, “Did he really say that? What the fuck?” Read: what any normal person would respond with, given the situation.
The point again is that neither Kozolek or TWOD really give two fucks about what was said. Kozolek has stated that it was simply stage banter, and has not apologised – a pretty smart move, if you were to hope that all this would just resolve itself.
But no. Can you see all those faces up against the glass? All those glaring eyes and salivating mouths, just waiting for some more cuss words, or a few more offers of fellatio? Some men are shouting at each other, and all we want to do is suck in all the needless tension.
Kozolek’s too smart for that, though. His solution? He’s written a song called War On Drugs: Suck My Cock/Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself, and he wants to play it with TWOD at an upcoming gig. Can’t we resolve all disputes like that? Imagine if we went to Syria and played a song called ISIS Can Suck My Dick, And Also Go Fuck Yourself America. It would at least be pretty funny.