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One of the risks of stating your opinions is that someone is going to disagree with you. Actually, that's not really the risk -- it is kind of a given: eventually someone will disagree with you. The risk comes from people taking their opinions or yours as something worthy of violence.

Take this message that was left us in our Guest Book. There is a bug in accessing the durned thing now (you have to click the link, close the window that it spawns, then click it again to actually see the Guest Book....) so I am going to reproduce the whole thing here, so that you can see it in all of it's glory.



Left By: vince dooley
Date: 2003-5-5
Comments: hey evil sponge. i was looking at an article from a couple of months ago and it's safe to say that you guys really hate hip hop. your perception of it as a culture and as an artform is completely off base, but i guess in the realm of indie rock there is no mediocrity and everything that's done is of the highest quality. bullshit!!! to watch a band with a singer that is usually off key and watch guys play instruments that they got for christmas and just learned how to play badly is not my idea of the best presentation you can offer. the evil sponge is the worst online publication ever created and i think that you guys should be shot dead. reading some of the reviews that you've put on this site are just not correct. especially being at most of the shows myself and knowing that the show sucked and you guys rave about how good it was. your taste in music is questionable and i think that you're not qualified to review shows or music or even the smell of a piece of dog shit, which you would probably say smelled great. you guys really suck to put it plainly. thank you for having a clue



Well, that wasn't very polite now was it? We get messages like these every so often. As I said earlier, people are going to disagree with us. And we are cool with that. We understand that there are different opinions, and in fact we try and make a point of saying "this works for people like me". So we try and let you know that what you see here is an opinion composed by one individual. You may disagree.

The problem with have with this message is the line "the evil sponge is the worst online publication ever created and i think that you guys should be shot dead." Hey, Vince, if you don't like EvilSponge then don't read it. We are sorry that you dislike our writing, but that's fine with us if you don't read it. Really.

But saying that we should be shot, and not just shot but "shot dead"? Really, over a disagreement about a music review? Don't you think that's a bit extreme? And we wonder why there is so much violence in our society, when people are willing to become threatening over something as silly and, cosmically insignificant, as a music review.

So I felt it was necessary to reply to this. It's not like we are going to take out a restraining order against Mr. Dooley, but we are shocked at the threatening tone of his commentary. Some of My Minions have suggested that I am over-reacting a bit. But need I remind everyone that if Mr. Dooley had made the same comments about our President, he would be answering some serious questions from The Secret Service. So yes, it is a threat. And yes, I do believe that Mr. Dooley was most likely "joking". But then again, maybe he is a sociapath. We don't know. Personally, I am not worried: bullets have no effect on my water-logged, spongiferous body. I do, however, worry for the safety of My Minions.

As to hating hip-hop, I spoke with PostLibyan, who has reviewed hip-hop shows. He had this to say.



It's not that i hate hip-hop per se, it's just that i don't get it. In fact, i try to mention that in reviews. However, searching back through the site i can only find one explicit statement to that effect, namely:

"But then again, it's not my thing really. Who knows: if you are into the hip-hop scene you might really like them."
(from the review of Psyche Origami, opening for DJ Spooky on Fri.17.Jan.03)

At any rate, anyone who reads more than one review here will know that i don't get hip-hop. I hope.

To Mr. Dooley i have to ask: what part of "i am a middle-aged honky from Ohio" don't you get? Hip-hop is a foreign world to me, and i do not feel comfortable there. All of my reviews are written from my perspective: which starts with punk rock and corn fields and goes from there.

I really felt like i had said my "i don't get it" thing more often. But maybe i am just mis-remembering that. At any rate, i will try to be more explicit in mentioning that i do not understand the art and thus my persepective is somewhat skewed.



Well, there you have it.

Mr. Dooley -- there are many more productive things you could do with your time rather than threatening to kill someone over a music review. First of all, you could start your own on-line music zine. Then you can give the "correct" reviews of music. We, on the other hand, are just going to keep on giving out our "incorrect" reviews. Take it or leave it.

Brendan Sponge


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