Picture it: I was hideously scene, incredibly sweaty, and at my first Warped Tour in 2009. We were waiting to watch Versaemerge, a female-fronted pop-punk band who were very catchy and talented but never amounted to much, likely because Paramore already existed and were prospering. (Had they had a male vocalist and sounded identical to, I don’t know, All Time Low or some shit, they probably would be still around and just as big as All Time Low are today. That is how it goes for women in rock music; they don’t really want a lot of us; one is fine, if not more than enough.) We were waiting for the band playing before them to finish so we could rush up and snag good spots in the crowd; the band playing before them was Aiden, and Aiden really suck. Aiden suck so bad that their vocalist wasted approximately ten minutes of Warped’s very strict 27-minute set time allotted for each band going on a rant about how he has been playing music for a decade and still cannot even afford to feed his child, I assume to shine a light upon how unfair the industry is to those who do not make conventional, marketable music — a disheartening, albeit undeniable fact — but I was confused, even as a 14-year-old moron with pink hair at Warped Tour.
Was he genuinely unaware that he did not make enough money off of music to feed his child because his music… Sucked? I thought everyone knew that Aiden’s music sucks… Did no one tell him? Rude: If my breath stinks, please offer me a mint. Had he never Googled himself?
Well, that’s probably for the best.
The rant was entertaining, though, and teeming with valid points regarding the industry, and I was mostly relieved that I only had to listen to him talk, not sing, because this man cannot sing, which is a big contributing factor to why his music sucks. I didn’t feel bad for him or his band; maybe a little pity solely because their lives and careers were an embarrassment. Anyway, they exited stage left (into oblivion, disbanding shortly after), Versaemerge killed their set, and I forgot about Aiden until years later, when my friend Courtney mentioned that their singer — the broke, disenchanted sadsack who cannot actually sing — called her sexy on Instagram. Like Aiden, my friend Courtney’s taste in music, and men, sucks. She was very flattered by his compliment.
Bewildered, I asked, “… He’s still relevant? Like, he didn’t resign to working at an Amazon warehouse like the rest of his fallen comrades? Damn.”
“He has a solo project now! People seem to like it.”
(It’s bad ambient techno pop about, uh, BDSM, I think. I only made it through about 45 seconds of one song, but the overall vibe was clear: HORNY. It reeked of horny, and I have a Deftones tattoo. I know about horny music.)
Their brief encounter via Instagram DMs amounted to nothing (it probably never even happened; she lied a lot, though I wished she respected herself more to lie about someone… better), he somehow finagled his way on to another summer of Warped Tour and thankfully was not playing before or even remotely near Every Time I Die so I was able to avoid him and his shitty dance music, and I, once again, blissfully forgot he ever existed until his next career setback, obligatory for all washed-up men who are dead and don’t know well enough to lie down (because they doggedly believe they are above being a full-time Uber driver): He got accused of sexual violence.
I’m a masochist, you see, but not in a horny way, because I take too much Adderall to ever be horny: I love to torture myself with shitty things, with music being the only exception. The shitty horny old goth overstayer who cannot sing was not singing in his 20-minute-long video defending himself against these numerous, grotesque allegations, so I said, “Heh. This is probably gonna be funny,” and I watched it.
Was it… funny? Not quite. He was smoking a cigarette indoors, which is pretty funny, all the while reading off disgustingly lascivious sexts printed from a generic off-brand Android phone in a flat tone that never wavered, and I mean really vile — I am not going to go into detail because I’d have to slap a mile-long trigger warning on this, but this man is into some WEIRD, VIOLENT FUCKERY. I alternated between blushing and wanting to vomit (and we all know I am a notorious kink-shamer, but I really think everyone involved in his disastrous sexcapades needs therapy), but I somehow, by The Grace Of God, made it through the video without tapping out, which could probably be placed under the “special interests/skills” section of my resume, because it was a feat. The charges against him were apparently dropped for being “legally insufficient,” likely because the violent nature of their sexual acts made what was consensual and what was not blurry, which I find to be frightening and discouraging for anyone who share similar fetishes and seeks to practice them with someone safely and properly, and of course, heartbreaking for these women and all women who have been let down by the justice system.
I am not going to comment on whether I believe he is innocent or guilty because all I have been able to find from the recounts of his alleged victims are tidbits of quotes in articles (I believe a couple of them made detailed posts that were taken down before I could read them), but I am sure that he, though the extent is aleatory, treated them like garbage, and for that, I, once again, forgot about Aiden and Their Creepy Oldass Vocalist Who Smokes In The House And Is Guilty Of [AT THE VERY LEAST] Excessive Horniness And Treating Women Like Absolute Doodoo In The First Degree, hopefully for the final time because it baffled me that anyone could continue to support this man after this. He had repeatedly failed in his career, he was an asshole, and it was time to let him drown in the flood with the rest — in fact, it had been time.
I was wrong: He is a fucking cockroach of Hot Topic music, and currently in a polyamorous engagement with three live-in fiancees. I shouldn’t have dived in; I should have plugged my ears and screamed “LA LA LA I CANNOT HEAR YOU” as my friend Courtney (goddamnit, Courtney) was telling me about it, but I love to torture myself with shitty things. A break was necessary from my bit of reading notoriously trashy novels and reviewing them on Twitter to attempt to occlude the rotting of my brain, and I thought, hey, this week I will explore their nasty fucking love quadrangle instead, as if that would be gentler on my soul. AS IF THERE WAS AN OUNCE OF LOGIC BEHIND THAT IDEA.
(A disclosure that may or may not keep me from getting in trouble with horny Twitter: I don’t really believe in polyamory — mostly because I think it stems from a horniness that I could never fathom, but I have only witnessed examples where it was done wrong and failed horribly, which, naturally, damaged my perception. Of course, this is not the game’s fault, but the players’, so if you want to be in a relationship with a man and two other women and you claim it is healthy and that you are happy, I don’t give a fuck, for it is not my life and not business… As long as it is not The Man We Are Discussing, because this man really sucks. I don’t know how he manages to still pull three bitches… Probably because they suck, too.)
One of his fiancee’s is an alt-model and pretty enough to book the same five gigs that every alt-model books, which doesn’t amount to much and requires you to be photographed wearing terribly embarrassing graphic tees of broken hearted panda skeletons or some shit well into your thirties (or however long your looks hold out), but is far more than I will ever get with my face, so I respect it. Her Instagram is, I’d say, the most “professional” and “inoffensive” of the three; she’s about her business! She doesn’t want to be broke in case another allegation comes out against her dumbass man and she gotta pack her bags and BEAT IT! Smart! I like that.
The second is extremely underweight and that concerns me because it is a cry for help. I do not like to admit this because I hate being honest about my feelings or writing about serious things, but I suppose I am RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER, and for that, I feel as if I am the liberty to state that most people are not extremely skinny for no reason. It may be due to a legitimate medical condition, in which case, they are still unwell, though perhaps not mentally, but I am aware of every excuse they will give you because I have given those same excuses to you, and it is their right just as it was mine to give them because they do not feel comfortable discussing their weight or their struggles with you, but trust me: They are suffering. I was never starving to death, but I was starving, and I was suffering; most who are undergoing the same tribulations do not even get to the point where it is noticeable, and it concerns me that she has. (I am better now, but I am still suffering, and every day is hard, and if you ever feel the same and would like to talk about it, let me know; I’ll be happy to give being honest a shot with you.)
The third is very pretty in the rockabilly-wife-who-is-an-elementary-school-music-teacher-way, but I am simply so perplexed by her, for she is one of the rare breeds who will willingly post a picture where her face looks like absolute shit, and I don’t mean she constantly looks like shit — she’s gorgeous — it is just an unflattering photo, a total derp moment at the risk of outing myself for being old enough to remember derp, as long as her butt/titties looks good, and I don’t understand that! I am a little ugly, and I used to take sexy photos back when I cared: It does require some effort, but it’s not fuckin’ strenuous, back-breaking, manual labor to get a pic where everything is at equilibrium; most of the time it meant cropping your face out entirely, which takes no more than seven seconds. I usually associate those who resign to taking unflattering-ugly-face-for-juicy-focused-pic-of-butt pictures with those who have simply… Given up. They’re sending the butt pic to get it over with; they feel as if they have to; they don’t think anyone cares about their face, anyway, but this ain’t just sexting a man who never gave much of a fuck about you at 3am so you’re impetuously snapping some nudes and hoping one hides that you haven’t shaved in 2 weeks and your feet are dirty: This is your INSTAGRAM. Some peoples’ whole lives revolve around social media!
I don’t know, man. Am I being narrow-minded in worrying about these girls? Am I reading too far into it when they are simply just… Very Horny And At Peace With Their Horniness? Probably.
Now, the three of them appear (at least for the Internet) to be the best of friends: This is a good thing! Sisterhood is very important, especially when you are (all) dating an abuser, nevermind that it is the same one… They go on vacations together, group dates to places like the gun range because they are “beautiful babes who love to exercise our second amendment rights!”, he proposed to them all at the same time: Truly a happy family with no one left behind! They leave comments on his photos like “You’re the king of my world, Boss Daddy!” [“Boss Daddy”? Can he finally afford to feed his child?] “I love you! You’re my number one bunny wrangler!” [What?] “Make out with me until our tongues fall off!” [Does that mean he will be forced to finally stop singing? Ok, I support this one.]
I had been sharing my stages of disgust with Twitter and eventually had to take a break and breathe a little after finding myself exhaustingly overwhelmed by the horniness of others. I checked my notifications to see if I had ruined anyone else’s day (or appetite) with this foursome other than my own, and saw that my best friend’s boyfriend pointed out that in a photo captured on one of their date nights, he was sporting a shirt with a Proud Boys logo on it. It’s tiny — no larger than the emblem on a polo — and, like most fascist symbolism, appears innocuous enough to the untrained eye who associates only swastikas with fascist propaganda, or to an idiot like me who was too busy trying to hold down her (mom’s, of course) spaghetti after she read the sappy caption on the photo to take a closer look at it.
I went back to his profile and scrolled through the countless photos of him toting guns, celebrating “our glorious country and all its freedoms!”, the numerous times he is sporting bright, multi-colored Hawaiian shirts which is out-of-character for a goth, but the preferred fashion of the Boogaloo boys…
“Courtney,” I started typing, my fingers slamming my phone screen at such a rate that the dried-on snot and spaghetti sauce was cracking off. “This man is a fucking WOMEN-ABUSING NAZI, and I actually felt sorry for his fucking concubines for about a half an hour, assuming they were victims of EXCESSIVE HORNINESS and not receiving an adequete amount of LOVE and ATTENTION as children, until I realized that they are NAZI FUCKERS. I hate all four of them. Don’t talk to me about these hellacious morons again.”
As if it was Courtney’s fault that my new marketing strategy to increase book sales is subjecting myself to everything horrible in the world for a few laughs on Twitter, and I foolishly thought that writing a dissertation on a washed-up-emo-man’s-sex-cult would be a palette cleanser after barrelling through Ben Shapiro’s novel True Allegiance.
(True Allegiance did not get its own separate essay because I did not understand True Allegiance, but in the following paragraph, I will summarize the plot in a run-on-sentence to help you understand why I did not understand True Allegiance without you ever having to read True Allegiance. Please do not read True Allegiance.)
An average old lady farmer was prohibited from watering her crops because of a drought that affected some sort of fish population so she had to close down her farm and lay off her workers and one of them was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who moved to LA since he lost his job and his son was killed by a gang and I think they included his character because while this was going on the fucking Texas governor named BUBBA was waging a war against the border and Ben Shapiro doesn’t want to appear RACIST because SOME MEXICANS I ASSUME ARE GOOD PEOPLE and his death enraged the farm lady so much that she decided to bomb government buildings but so that she does not appear ANTIFA she took it upon herself to save a George-Zimmerman-type cop who killed an unarmed black child and was acquitted of all charages from a mob of rioters who were led by a black man who ran a barbershop as a front for his crack operation that the novel ended up turning into a MLK-JR-type dude except in Ben Shapiro’s world the entire murder of said black child was planned by the black community to incite an uprising and for some goddamn reason this resulted in the old farmer lady deciding to DO AWAY WITH THE PRESIDENT (if you know what I mean I don’t want the government after me over a fucking Ben Shapiro novel) and while this is going on brown people are committing countless acts of terror and the wife of our HERO the IDEAL SOLDIER the MAGA (WHOOPS I MEANT MEGA) WARRIOR BRET HAWTHORNE sacrifices herself before the plane could crash into NYC by blowing it up beforehand but it *literally* still blows up and crashes into an entire area of NYC but it is ironically one Ben described earlier in the novel as being highly unsafe which probably just means it is populated mostly by poorer black people who are just trying to live and I think that was his way of saying that though this was a small victory because minimal whities were killed women still shouldn’t try to be heroes because they can’t do anything right because if you remember he recently admitted to Twitter that his wife has a DRY ASS PUSSY so I assume he has some underlying acrimony towards women and no one ever explains who was manning the leader of the civil uprising’s crack operation while he was busy leading the riots which is a big plothole and really makes you wonder WHY BEN EVEN BOTHERED MENTIONING THAT A BLACK MAN STANDING UP TO CENTURIES OF INJUSTICE IS A CRACK DEALER and the whole novel has an underlying theme that bad things happen to our country because people are too afraid to be racist anymore except our HERO the IDEAL SOLDIER the MAGA (WHOOPS I MEANT MEGA) WARRIOR BRET HAWTHORNE had no qualms against being racist and his dumbass wife still got blown to smithereens.
The entire novel was written.
Ben Shapiro loves slapping a period at the end of a fragment and slamming that enter key so much that I changed his name.
That’s what I call him.
Occasionally, SUBENSE Shapiro.
Because I think that was the vibe he was going for? I don’t fucking know. I don’t fucking know what was going on with that book… In that book…. Just, that book. I don’t fucking know.
Rose, this is incredible as always. Also I did not realise that shithead from Aiden got away with everything??? What an asshole.