Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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28 Responses

  1. Rufus F says:

    Oh this genre is one of my most and least favorites! One that comes to mind is Get in the Ring, where Axl Rose threatens to fight anyone who’s written anything negative about him. Nirvana’s Rape Me, I believe compares press attacks to rape, which certainly seems in line with the lack of perspective.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Rufus F says:

      We had Axl’s monologue memorized. We’d sing along to it like no other song on that album.

      Ah, memories.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Rufus F says:

      Com e to think of it, my favorite along these lines is a fake, a National Lampoon parody of Plastic Ono Band-era John Lennon. Very NSFW.


    • Glyph in reply to Rufus F says:

      Hey, despite all their rage, they are still just a rat in a cage.Report

      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        Hipsters unite!Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        It’s amazing how much of what fueled Billy’s ambition was knowing he’d never be a hipster – that line is a venomous and dismissive putdown of an underground scene he knew would never accept them, and announcing his intention sonically (and in short order, financially) to bypass and obliterate it.

        *That* is ego done right.

        Too bad about where it all led (never go full double-album!)

        (Fun fact – I have friends who played gigs with Billy when he was in The Marked, his pre-Pumpkins goth band).Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Glyph says:

        You have anothing to lose but your artisinal cheese and skinny jeans.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        You know, in keeping with the theme of the post, it seems to me what saves some artists when they reach this level of fame from a big backlash is just being really, really obviously eccentric (which, probably most are: but some still pretend to be “regular people” and this is where the trouble begins.)

        I mean, let’s face it, almost anybody batting at this level has probably outsize talent, and outsize ego. But the more they pretend to be “just like us”, the more we resent them.

        Whereas someone like Prince hasn’t made a really good record in YEARS, and has publicly made, um….questionable comments (no politics or religion!) and yet we still kinda love him: because he’s “Prince, Unrepentant Total Nutty Weirdo”.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Of course, your Spectors can take this too far.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Glyph says:


        There is something about a star who can admit they only did total trash for the money. Michael Caine was good at this. Once a reporter asked him if he saw Jaws III and he said no and added by all means he heard the movie was atrocious. Then he added “But I did see the swimming pool that they movie made and let me tell you, that pool is fantastic.”

        A reporter asked Jeremy Irons why he did the Dungeons and Dragons movie and Jeremy Irons allegedly said he needed the money to renovate his castle.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Glyph says:


        I would also argue that the Internet is making it harder for artists to be total oddballs. Jeremy Irons got in trouble a while ago for letting his mind wander and think out loud in very strange ways about sex and sexuality.

        Maybe I should do a post about artists and madness?Report

      • ScarletNumbers in reply to Glyph says:


        Jeremy Irons

        Well the man did play Humbert Humbert.

        I feel that making an anagram of someone’s name tells you a lot about them. For example: Alec Guinness = Genuine Class. However, Jeremy Irons only gets you Jeremy’s Iron.

        As an aside, do you ever tell people that they better call Saul?Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        Yeah, Michael Caine is kind of the go-to example of a guy who will take any gig, so long as it pays. He grew up poor and decided he’d never be poor again.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

        Of course, your Spectors can take this too far.

        Your Michael Jacksons too. Though we loved him for being weird when we thought it was harmless.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

        “Remember when we were young, everybody used to have these arguments about who’s better, Michael Jackson or Prince?

        Prince won!” – Chris RockReport

      • Chris in reply to Glyph says:

        I remember seeing the video for “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” on MTV a few days before that double album came out, and thinking, “It’s a double album, it’s going to have a few clunkers, though lord knows why they used one as the lead single.” Then I bought the album the day it was released, listened to it, listened to it again, and then wanted to cry.

        “1979” is awesome, though.Report

      • ScarletNumbers in reply to Glyph says:


        I always felt that “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” should have been the theme song to Pinky and the Brain.Report

      • EB in reply to Glyph says:

        I just happened across this Michael Caine quote a few days ago, probably old news to everyone but me: [on Jaws: The Revenge (1987)] “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”Report

  2. James Hanley says:

    Great theme. You could have taken the easy way out and just randomly chosen a set of songs by the Smiths, but you went the extra mile for us.

    I will give the Beatles some slack, though, given UK tax rates at that time (no politics! just sayin’ he had an actual basis for his beef).Report

    • Glyph in reply to James Hanley says:

      Heh. Just for that, here’s one for you (though I’m not sure it EXACTLY fits – as famous as the band got at home, it’s less a “rich sod complaining” song, than an “sensitive artiste forced to work for a living” song.)

      (Hmmm. I shoulda done it at the Work Symposium).

      I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour, but heaven knows I’m miserable now
      I was looking for a job and then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now
      In my life, why do I smile
      At people who I’d much rather
      Kick in the eye?

      I will give the Beatles some slack, though, given UK tax rates at that time (no politics! just sayin’ he had an actual basis for his beef).

      George should have spent a year dead for tax purposes.Report

    • ScarletNumbers in reply to James Hanley says:

      “There’s one for you, nineteen for me” wasn’t just a mellifluous lyric; it implied a 95% tax rate.

      I have seen other sources that say the tax rate was 98%. But, I guess “one for you, forty nine for me” doesn’t roll trippingly off the tongue.Report

  3. Chris says:

    Plastic Ono Band is definitely the perfect example. “I don’t believe in Beatles!”Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Chris says:

      One the one hand, that song is pretty great. On the other, it’s about his finally waking from the nightmare that was being in the richest, most famous, most popular band in the history of the world.

      Also (and I may be reading too much into this), a few lines before that comes “I don’t believe in Zimmerman”. Which is a great putdown: not only are you not all that, you’re not even using your real name. What a phony! Playing drums on that track was, of course, Lennon’s dear and loyal friend, Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey.Report

  4. Pinky says:

    Shame on artists for writing about what they’re going through! How much better it is to hear someone like Bruce Springsteen singing about mining conditions in 1912 then get carried on pillows back to the helipad.


  5. Patrick says:

    Here’s John Lennon, complaining that if you make yourself a public spectacle, people will look at you like you’re some kind of public spectacle.

    Best line of the post, fwiw.Report