September 17th, 2008

What If?

If you were suddenly president with a congress and a supreme court that would let you get away with anything, which would you do first?

1. Lock up all the pharmacists that refuse to sell birth control/morning after pills?

2. Force Wal Mart middle and upper managers to live for five years with the wages and health care plans they offer their store employees?

3. Start guillotining the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on the National Mall until their companies started putting policies into place that were good for the long term economy?

4. Offer $500 bounties for the scalps of investment bankers?

5. Arrest the leaders of all the Mega Churches and have their members undergo anti-cult brainwashing?

6. Have CIA death squads take out everyone who has annoyed you in life up to this point?

7. Make birth control free and teach high school kids hot anal and oral sex tips in order to reduce the abortion rate?

8. Put out a hit on Bono?

9. Tell Willie Nelson he can smoke all the pot he wants and never has to pay taxes again?

10. Make Dita Von Tesse/Johnny Depp your personal sex slave?

Rats

Spent two hours going to every store in town that sells video games looking for something new for my Wii.

At every single place Lego Star Wars and The Godfather game were sold out. The told me that it could be five weeks before Lego Star Wars is back in stock and told me The Godfather Game is so old that they don't plan on getting new copies.

I can order The Godfather from the UK version of Amazon, but it would be from one of their sellers, not Amazon themselves and I don't know how trustworthy that is. I can order it direct from Amazon.fr, but it's unclear if it's the version that is in both French and English or just in French - and the idea of the Corleone family speaking French makes me want to gag.

Lego Star Wars on Amazon won't ship until November.

Also, ordering it online means that I'll have to answer the door when the mailman arrives and I hate fucking answering my doorbell during the day.

The stores tried to sell me on Lego Indiana Jones, but that just doesn't seem like it has as much potential as Lego Star Wars. In Star wars there are about 100 characters I'd like to play.

What characters other than Indy would you want to play in the Indiana Jones Trilogy? It feels like your options would be either his disposable girlfriends, random Nazis or his dad.

I'll probably bite the bullet and order The Godfather from the weird Amazon UK reseller. He does have a good rating, but I'm still on the fence.

All of the stores have the Scarface game, but the reviews on that are mixed, so I don't know if it's worth 35 euros ($50.)

Grumble. Grumble.

Bill Em All

In the recent Rolling Stone Lars Ulrich actually manages to say some rational things about the Napster/Metallica Controversy.

What was the lowest point for you, financially, in the band's early days?

I'll tell you exactly when it was. Kill 'Em All came out in August of '83. We did the tour. And the thing about being on tour back then was, you got your per diem, just enough money to scrape by. When we came off the Kill 'Em All tour, we had nothing. For the first time in a year, I had to call my mom up: "Listen, Mom, I need some help. Can you help me with the rent? Can you help me with some food money?"

It was all about hook up some dates, get us back on tour. Because on tour, you could go to people's houses. You could eat crap backstage. When you're on tour, you're surviving. When you were at home, fuck . . . It was tuna in cans.

People forget that to get to this level — the planes and champagne — you gotta start low.

That's the thing that was weird about the whole Napster thing. [In 2000, Metallica sued the file-sharing Website for sharing the band's copyrighted recordings online for free without the band's permission.] Nine out of 10 people go, "What was that about? It was about money." Fuck you — it wasn't about money. It was about control. We were eating off salad plates for $2.99 at Burger King in the fall of '83. Money did not matter. Money was a practical element. There was no attachment to it. In 2008, it's not something we sit around and have long conversations about. It's not like, "What's in the bank? How much are we making?" I have no emotional connection to money. And somehow I became the greedy Danish drummer, because of this Napster thing.

Give away stuff for free? Not a problem. The Internet? Not a problem. [Metallica sells complete downloads of recent shows at their Website and offers almost two dozen classic concerts from their soundboard archive for free.] Who makes the decision? We make the decision. I'll give away all my shit for free. But I'll decide when and where and how.