But for holidays like the recent Labor Day, The Aquarian goes to press each Monday evening to hit stands and clubs and tattoo shops and wherever else is kind enough to still carry it (looking at you, Kelly’s Deli in Boonton!) on Wednesday. This column is the last piece of editorial to go in every issue.
Most of the time, it’s my habit to write Deleted Scenes on Sunday night, tweak it Monday morning as need be, and send it over pretty early. This week, as I sit here on Monday morning with a bit of an autumn chill in the air coming through my open window, I can’t do that, because last night I wrote the worst Deleted Scenes ever.
I was so tired. So tired. That’s not an excuse—well, fine, it is—but wow, it was bad. The whole thing was about how I recently started watching Trailer Park Boys on Netflix. Yup, that’s it. That was the whole column.
Look. Some weeks, Deleted Scenes writes itself, but others, there’s just nothing. And I mean nothing. I’ve written a few clunkers in my time and sent them to press, but this was different. I couldn’t in good conscience put my name under it and take responsibility for the words on the page. It was that fucking bad.
The angle I took was that I never want to do stuff recommended to me because I get so many lousy recommendations. Here’s a sample:
So what’s the problem? I’ll rarely do something just because other people are doing it. In fact, it’s usually a turnoff for me to have someone gush about a record, show, movie, whatever it might be. Not that I don’t appreciate their enjoyment, or that I don’t think anyone should be allowed to have fun, but in both my professional and personal life I’ve heard, “I really think you’ll love it,” so many goddamned times about things in which I have absolutely no interest that disdain has become a Pavlovian response. Call me a contrarian if you want. No, don’t.
Total filler. Just trying to eat up space on the page.
I’m not saying Deleted Scenes is usually James Joyce or anything, but god damn, I can certainly do better than that.
Truth is, I think like a lot of people, I’m just waiting for the U.S. to go bomb Syria and trying to find something other than that to kill time until it happens. I’m in a pre-outraged holding pattern. An anger simmer. But I can’t hold The Aquarian until the planes take off—it’s already been weeks of waiting—so that was what my over-exhausted ass came up with. I didn’t want to be writing at all. I wanted to go upstairs and watch tv. Go to bed.
And hey, we all get beat to the point where our brains don’t work right. I also sent next week’s cover story to Giorgio with the wrong date on it and then followed up with another email to correct myself and was even more off the second time. I told him it was for January! I guess we’ll be sitting on that one for a while.
Yeah, I could’ve gone to press with the worst Deleted Scenes I ever wrote and probably no one would’ve noticed—maybe I’d get an email from someone else who also enjoys Trailer Park Boys or something like that—but the way I look at it is like this: I do this job for less money than I did it for nine years ago. Most of the music we cover I’m utterly ambivalent about (next week’s cover aside, ha!). If I don’t take some pride in my work and at least put something out there I can be proud of each week, then what the hell am I doing with my time?
Other than waiting for World War III, that is.