Album Haul, November 2018 Edition

A smörgåsbord of bands and artists this time around.

Finally picked up a Butthole Surfers icon-external-link-12x12 album—I’ve been meaning to do that since I saw them on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head icon-external-link-12x12 some time back.

Protest the Hero icon-external-link-12x12 seems to be a pretty solid heavy metal band. On first listen, I was actually reminded of the sonic characteristics of Avenged Sevenfold icon-external-link-12x12, with the major difference being that the music is actually enjoyable to listen to. Too bad the Hot Topic icon-external-link-12x12 era of heavy metal doesn’t have clue what constitutes quality music—just give them lots of skull-imagery, and songs with contrived Halloween-style lyrics and redundant chugging guitar riffs.

Also, major props to Haken icon-external-link-12x12 for working plenty of Gentle Giant icon-external-link-12x12 worship into their songs. The latter is such a criminally overlooked and underappreciated band; the former probably is too.

→ Restoration
→ The Mountain

Haken's "The Mountain" album art. [Formatted]

Animals as Leaders
→ The Joy of Motion

Animals as Leaders' "The Joy of Motion" album art. [Formatted]

Butthole Surfers
→ Independent Worm Saloon

→ Kensington Heights

Protest the Hero
→ Fortress

Protest the Hero's "Fortress" album art. [Formatted]

→ Bullhead

Skinny Puppy
→ VIVIsectIV

Skinny Puppy's "VIVIsectVI" album art. [Formatted]

Michael Manring
→ Thonk

Angel Witch
→ Angel Witch

Steven Wilson
→ To the Bone

Steven Wilson's "To the Bone" album art. [Formatted]

Definition of the Word “Sport”

Golf is a very peculiar sport. A person hits a ball across wide expanses of land to try to put it into a tiny little hole that is far, far away. In between, there is water, short grass, tall grass, and sand traps in random configurations to make this task more varied. This is done 18 times over many hours and, at the end, the person with the lowest score wins.

It is a game that can be played by only one person, unlike most other sports where two or more people are required. Strangest of all, there is no running in golf. This seems contradictory—how can a sport not have any running in it? That’s like a sandwich without bread, a dog that doesn’t bark, or an ice cream parlor that doesn’t have ice cream cones.

Golf is most certainly a game, but is it a sport? I would say it has more in common with video games than it does with baseball, soccer, football, or hockey. With video games there are eSports icon-external-link-12x12, but are video games really sports? I think if golf is a sport then so are video games; and by that same measure, if video games are not a sport then neither is golf.

Cover art to the video game "Beavis and Butt-head Bunghole in One". [Formatted]

Regardless, there are a number of things about golf that are really lame. Firstly, no running, as mentioned above—this makes it very attractive to people who only do things that don’t require any physical activity. Secondly, the average 18 hole golf course requires somewhere around 150 acres of land—this is enough space to build about 50 [!] baseball fields (~3 acre requirement), or build 750 homes (~5 homes per acre). And what is the upkeep like for so much land? I can only imagine the irrigation and gardening bills to maintain 150 acres… and some of these fancier golf courses are pristine. Thirdly, golf is strongly associated with higher living. This means that it attracts a lot of rich assholes, and wannabe rich assholes. Apparently, the more money you have, the more free time you have to spend at the golf course and so the better your game gets. This makes sense—what else would you do with your free time other than devise clever and subtle ways to flaunt your success in front of others? “Hey Charlie, I scored another birdie on the third hole. That’s the second time this week!” “Hey, that’s great, Ralph. (Way to go, you fucking piece of shit..!)”

There are aspects of golf that I definitely appreciate, such as the extreme physical control that is necessary to land a ball on the green from 250 yards out, and to sink a putt from 8 yards across uneven ground. The mental aspect of the game is very high, and it is perhaps the only “sport” that bests baseball in this area. Still, I think the world would be better off if there were more baseball fields and less golf courses. From an economic and health-conscious point of view, it makes too much sense: more people would be serviced by the land, there would be less cost in maintaining the grounds, and people’s sports interests would shift more toward playing baseball which is actually physically demanding and thus promotes exercise and a good diet.

I have played a little golf in the past, and probably will again in the future, but it will most likely be with my baseball buddies. Truth be told, there is a good chance we will be drinking a little beer and making inappropriate remarks at other golfers, particularly the ones who have been spending too much time on the putting green. In other words, we will be drawing attention to the bad behavior that already exists around us and doing so for our own personal delight.