Sign of the Times

I can’t decide whether this news report is serious or not. God help me, I really can’t.

And if it is, so what? Do we take their Grammys away? Deny them entrance to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Considering who’s in there and what they’ve taken, that would be amusing, at least.

43 Comments on “Sign of the Times”

  1. At the very least, we should put an asterik by their name.

    Great. I’m not going to sleep tonight. Mary J. Blige will be out there rampaging because of her roid rage.

    Just great.

  2. You know, it’s a nit (and a total side issue), but I think it’s annoying that the LA Times tosses off the source “The Times Union of Albany” without specifying any further location…are we talking about New York? Georgia? Califorina (yes, there is one–“Gateway to Alameda County!” because apparently the world was lacking in this regard)? I worked in the media industry for many years, and I can’t say I ever heard of the Times Union. Maybe I’m wrong–maybe the Times Union is up there with the Wall Street Journal as a recognizable newspaper entity, and this rock I’m living under is hindering my access to their journalistic fabulousness.

  3. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in boots

    Yeah, I’d file this under “Big Whoop.”

    Rock stars do drugs? Seriously?

  4. I had pretty much the same reaction when I heard about this. Do steroids give some rappers an unfair advantage over the other rappers? WTF.

  5. I think now is a good time to cite Bill Hicks’ classic tirade about musicians who oppose drugs. Profanity follows. I believe the relevant section is:

    “Balless, soulless, corporate little bitches! Suckers of Satan’s cock, each and every one of ’em. ”

    I believe it gets better, and more profane, from there. I suggest no one gets IN to the R’n’R Hall of Fame without using drugs.

  6. Aw crap… do you think Nas really does intend to rule the world? (imagine that!)

  7. John,
    I know you run an adult blog here, but I probably should have asked before posting the full profanity. Please censor if you feel like it.

  8. I just hope Carrot Top isn’t on there. He’s been looking awfully ripped, and I’ve been suspicous. But I hold out hope.
    Where would I go for my Prop-Comic humor?
    To quote Anita Esterday: “You people are really nuts…”

  9. Uh… if it isn’t serious, well then it’s just another example of American Journalism gone Hollywood (IE ‘to crap’).

    If it IS serious however… uh, then it’s just another example of American Journalism gone Hollywood (IE ‘to crap’)…

    JIC you can’t tell, over the years my expectations from and of American Journalism have followed en suite.

    I watch the BBC news cause they still pander to those of us who want to be lied to about things that just might really matter.

    I blog cause I feel I just might get a dialog that is more honest (if not actually rational) here than from the media.

    And if any of those who stand accused are actually using these drugs and if they are using them in the hope of ‘enhancing’ thier performances… well…

    not so much.

  10. Kelly Naylor – I read. A lot. And I write, and do art, and sing (but don't dance), and contemplate the great questions of the ages.

    Yep, that would be the Times Union of Albany, NY. I live in Albany, NY. The TU is a big deal around here, which isn’t really saying much. Sure, Albany is the state capital, but it’s a pretty small city.

    I would venture to guess that our county DA is emulating former state attorney general and current governor Eliot Spitzer in his zealous pursuit of wrongdoers and bad people in general.

  11. I think the ridiculous thing about steroids is that some people seem to have forgotten that certain kinds are good for you.

    Ever had a severe allergic reaction, bordering on anaphylaxis? Take Prednisone.

    Ever had a bad arthritis flare, which wouldn’t go away? Take Prednisone.

    Ever had bronchitis and your lungs just wouldn’t stay functioning without some help? Take Prednisone.

    It’s not the world’s most-beloved steroid in the press, but in small doses, prednisone is one of the most effective ways of dealing with a number of health issues.

    (All examples cited from my own life. Yes, it helps.)

  12. What about Science Fiction writers? I think it is mighty suspicious the way some writers burst on the scene from out of nowhere. What about you, Mr. Scalzi? Can you assure us that you had no chemical assistance when you wrote “Old Man’s War”?

  13. Steve,

    I believe you’ll know that Scalzi’s doping when he complains that he has to hire someone to type for him because his fingers have grown too large to hit just one key at a time.

  14. Does photosynthesis count as performance enhancing? If so I think the Colonial Defense Force has some answering to do…

    The music thing is a smokescreen to get people away from ‘steroid using baseball players are evil’ and back to ‘lets worship steroid using baseball players’ in time for spring training.

  15. Roids? Huh. Whatever happened to the good old days, when rock stars were perfectly satisfied with booze, pot, coke and heroin?

    Kids these days…

    Apropos-of-nothing PS: “Suckers of Satan’s Cock” must be the best band name ever. It is a band name, I hope?

  16. @ Steve in 17.

    Writers do not use steroids for their enhancement. They use hallucinogenics to think up all the weird shit they do.

    Cumon. Arthur C Clarke. Pieces of metal circling the earth called Satellites? WTF man. He must of been smoking some good shit that day.

  17. Huge, hulking, knuckle dragging, muscle bound, oiled up, coked out, high, trippin rock (rap, jazz, blues, folk, country, alternative) stars …

    Don’tcha just love progress?

    #16 Jenny Rae…

    I’m there with ya. Been treating asthma with inhaled and oral Corticosteroids for YEARS!!

  18. Most likely entertainers are using steroids to control the symptoms of damage their other vices cause. It is fairly common for entertainers to have all kinds of symptom control drugs without the proper prescription for it since normally they ask their manager/assistant/groupie for something to take away that pain in their leg or splitting headache rather than go into the doctor for a proper evaluation.

  19. This could be another case of my fellow journalists looking at a current issue (i.e. steroid abuse among athletes) and trying to find any fresh, new angle (i.e. musicians abusing steroids), no matter how much it smacks of the absurd. Sometimes we try too hard to keep a story new and interesting, when we should be moving on to something new and actually noteworthy.

    And seriously, Mary J. Blige? WTF? I can’t even think of a reason she’d be juicing.

  20. It’s a strange list, isn’t it? I expected Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis — but Mary J. Blige and Tyler Perry?????

  21. I can (kinda) see the fuss about althletes and steroids. But unless you personally know the musician in question, who cares? It’s their life.

  22. What do you mean that didn’t work for Limbaugh? He’s a stupid jackass, drugs enhanced that. Kind of like Bill Cosby’s famous bit about assholes and cocaine.

  23. An Eric,

    I was assuming that Mike wanted us to give performance enhancing drugs to the politicians so we could make them ineligible.

    As we learned, being caught with “performance enhancing” drugs did nothing to raise or lower (ahem) Limbaugh’s popularity.

  24. Random Michelle: Ah, I see. Maybe we could paint all their doorknobs with a steroid-DMSO cocktail; wasn’t there an old Dead Kennedys song suggesting doing something similar with LSD?

  25. With the confrontational, tough guy attitude in the rap world, it’s probably a good idea to do a cycle or two here and there. Sometimes a brother can’t get to his G-Lock before the fight s-tarts.

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