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did someone say fuck?
i am outraged!!

OHMYGOD, a rock band said a bad, bad word on a television show! On a Saturday night - after midnight! On a show that barely anyone watches to begin with!


Ohhhh I can tell my System of a Down story again! Because no one read it over here.

In November of 98, my sister and I went to see System of a Down at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Or maybe it was Roseland. One of those places that is 99% mosh pit and 1% girls bathroom line. They were opening up for Incubus (insert promo for upcoming Incubus is dead to me rant here) and doing a good job of it. Lots of energy, lots of screaming and head banging and the mosh pit was aggressive yet friendly - when two slightly overaged women can mosh without getting hurt yet have enough fun to wipe out their energy level for the next two weeks - that's a good pit.

So, it just happens to be Columbus Day. As the band launches into Sugar, Serj - who is a little nuts but only about half as nuts as Shavo, who looks at the audience like a serial killer sizing up prey - goes off on a political rant. The crowd is kind of impatient. The band is playing the opening notes over and over while Serj carries on and these kids just want to get down to the part where they can shout the kombucha mushroom people! while jumping up and down, pumping their fists and wondering what the fuck a kombucha mushroom person is. Me, I always thought of this. But I don't think that's what they were going for.

Anyhow, Serj is just about winding up his rant. He pauses towards the end - the band stops. The crowd waits. And then Serj, full of passion, and most likely some heavy duty drugs, throws his head back and screams "CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WAS A COCK SUCKER!"

Was he expecting a rousing round of applause? I'm not saying that everyone in the crowd worshiped at the altar of Columbus, but no one really expected Serj to say that. So between the stunned silence of the crowd, the impatient look on Serj's face and Shavo's menacing glare, I came down with a case of the giggles. The song eventually started up, the mosh pit went into high gear and my sister and I backed out of the pit and towards the bar, giggling uncontrollably as the kids up front did their kombucha mushroom thing.

February rolls around and we decide to go see System of a Down again, this time with Fear Factory and Puya. We miss Puya, thanks to a downpour and a stalled car, but we get there in time for System. As the familiar opening notes to Sugar waft through the air and Serj opens his mouth for another political rant (something about fucking the system), my sister remarks that it just so happens to be President's Day. We were sure that at any moment, Serj was going to pump his arm the air, throw his head back and scream "Abraham Lincoln was a cocksucker!" But he didn't. He just growled about fucking the system and complained about the evil, tyrannical overlords that America has created.

Which, I suppose, could be construed in the same way.


What is it with bands and lead singers who have to rant about TEH SYSTEM? Serj did it, the chick from Otep did it last year on Ozzfest. If I wanted to hear a political rant, I'd go to an ANSWER rally. But if I go to concert, I expect music. Preferably loud.

I saw the Fear Factory/System/Puya tour in Massachusetts...first exposure to System of a Down and they were nuts. The best part was that I saw the whole thing in a Catholic High School gymnasium!

I always find it amusing that bands signed to commercial contracts to corporate record labels who make videos distributed by Viacom rant and rave against the system.

What-the fuck-ever, sellout. Call me when your self-produced and self-distributed album sells millions via a grassroots effort and you donate all your money to the homeless. Until then, shut up and sing. ;)

Regards SNL: To paraphrase a line from South Park, "Replacements did it!"

And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Microphone. Then, shalt thou swear thrice...no more, no less.

Three shalt be the number thou shalt swear, and the number of the swearing shalt be three.

Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.

Five is right out!

Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Swear Word of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'


So many T-shirt slogans, so little time.

We had that on, albeit with the sound down because it SUCKED. I'd just like to note for the record that those are four of the ugliest motherfuckers to ever grace a stage.

I like System of a Down as much as the next guy (especially Bounce, which goes near the top of the Songs People Look Really Stupid Trying To Sing Along With list), but WTF? Best Buy has been counting down the days to the release of the first half of their new record every week in the Sunday sales circular. Entertainment Weekly did a big spread hailing System and The Mars Volta as the "New Prog", heirs apparent to Yes, Pink Floyd and Rush. Wired did a long article about the technology behind the new album (i.e. they lined a studio with hundreds of acoustic guitars before recording a track because they like the sound; they have a double-necked guitar like Jimmy Page plays but with pickups in only one neck to get a cool sound). Have the record companies decided that they can't manufacture boy bands anymore, that the whole nü metal thing has run its course, so that System of a Down will be the Next Big Thing?

Entertainment Weekly did a big spread hailing System and The Mars Volta as the "New Prog", heirs apparent to Yes, Pink Floyd and Rush.
I know quite a few people who would object to that. It gives them something to do while waiting for the new Dream Theater album.

Wanna shout swear words?

Go on cable.

Otherwise a band should pass on appearing on BROADCAST tv unless they agree to its "TOS".

But then again, I guess one could then pose as a champion against The Man.


System of a Down as prog rock?? Hardly. At best, they are nu-metal poltical noise. And I really liked their first album. I think they just went further downhill with each subsequent outing - and that's musically speaking and nothing at all to do with their politics.

The Mars Volta I can see being labeled as prog rock, though it's a good dose of stoner rock, also. I like, very much.

feh - i can't take that band seriously one bit. most of those lyrics read like something I would have written on my jeans when I was 14 years old. then again, maybe that's why they're selling millions of records to millions of 14 year-old boys.