Me and My Dog During Wartime; Reviews

Written by George Tabb on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts.

P.J. sneezed
as I first put a Red Cross dust and particle mask over my face, then one over
his. Within seconds, my 8-pound Yorkshire terrier tried violently to shake it
off his face.

But it wasn’t
going anywhere.

I made it real

Ever since
the morning of Sept. 11, every time he, Wendy or I ventured out of our apartment,
which is only a few blocks from "Ground Zero," we were sure to have
our masks, as well as water and sometimes goggles. Like the Talking Heads say,
it’s life during wartime.

But this morning,
and perhaps for many more mornings to come, I saw something that made me angry
and want to puke almost as bad as I did when Wendy, P.J. and I watched the towers
burn and collapse right outside our window. It wasn’t the pictures on the
fire station across the street. It wasn’t the National Guard parked on
all four corners of our block. It wasn’t even the stench of death that
hung so brazenly in the air, invading our nostrils with fierce abandon.


It was the
fucking tourists.

For some reason,
perhaps just to let people see for themselves and grieve, the City of New York
was now letting people into what they called "The Frozen Zone." "The
Forbidden Zone" is what I would have called it, just like in Planet
of the Apes
–the first one. The only one, as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, as
P.J. and I made our way out the door, the first things we noticed were people.
Not just a few, not even a lot. A shitload is the best way to describe it. Guys
with their shorts and black socks. Kids on their skateboards and scooters. Women
dressed in heels, wearing dresses, and even pushing baby strollers.

And their cameras.

Zillions of

Still and video.

And they’re
all shooting pictures of everything they see. The pictures of the missing firemen,
the guys in their military fatigues, the police riding around in golf carts,
and, of course, the twisted metal that was once the world’s twin monoliths.

It was weird
to see them, I thought to myself as I began to have an asthma attack, even with
the mask on. This once-quiet neighborhood had turned into a macabre Disneyland.
People were posing in front of wreckage, smiling, as cameras were clicking away.
But perhaps the worst thing P.J., myself and my neighbor Rachelle saw was what
they were doing to the car that had been parked on our corner since that

The car was
a small blue sedan-type thing and it was covered, I mean covered, with
crud. That dusty white crud that coated all the surfaces in our apartments even
though the windows were tightly closed. The crud that was made up of whatever
the World Trade Center had turned into once it went down. Chemicals I’m
sure we don’t even know about, as well as, well, people.

And here were
these tourists, scraping off piles of the stuff, putting it into whatever containers
they could find. Salad bar containers, envelopes, even Ziploc bags some lady
on the corner was selling for a dollar apiece.

As I watched,
I truly wondered what people would want with the crud as they high-fived each
other after scraping off ounces into their receptacles. Perhaps as a memory
of the worst day in American history? Maybe to show their friends they were
actually there? To sell on eBay?

Whatever the
reason, it made me want to vomit.

Until I saw
a middle-aged woman silently scraping just the tiniest little bit into a Altoids
tin. As she did so, a tear ran down her cheek.

Then I remembered
my mother, her cremated ashes still lost somewhere in Brooklyn.

And I understood.

And after P.J.
did his business, I went back to our home, maybe a little less furious.

The Mad Daddys’
new album, on my favorite current label, RAFR, is called The Age of Asparagus.
Not only are the title and cover art terrific parodies of the Cro-Mags’
Age of Quarrel, the music here rules as well. Much like their other albums,
the Mad Daddys have stayed in that Cramps sort of style, so much so that I can’t
tell the difference between their lead singer and Lux Interior. Good trashy
rockabilly here and great drinking music. Especially in these weird times.

Death Alley
is the title of Zeke’s new album on Aces & Eights Records. Zeke, for
those of you who don’t know, is the most fucking kickass band since Motörhead
and, well, Motörhead. This disc has 16 tracks, but only two songs. The
fast one, and the slow one. Actually, all the Zeke albums have these two songs,
and this one is no different. Which makes it great. My favorite song here is
"Night Rider" because I saw them play it at Knitting Factory last
time they were in town. I also love "Road Ahead" ’cause, well,
it just rocks. Zeke!

is a new video game for the PlayStation2 made by Sony, and you know, it ain’t
half bad. It’s a cross between Syphon Filter and Resident Evil, but you
play as a Marine/Special Op guy with a funny haircut who goes around killing
aliens and mutants on some army base in the north or south pole. What? It sounds
like a ripoff of John Carpenter’s The Thing? Well, yeah, it is.
If it wasn’t, I’m sure it would suck.

Another half-decent
game I got for the PlayStation2 is Rune: Viking Warlord made by Take 2 Interactive
and Human Head Studios. In it, you play a Viking dood named Ragnar, and you
kill lots of bad guys and beasts and shit. The graphics are okay, a little too
much slowdown for my taste, but the sound is great! There’s nothing
like hearing your massive battleax saw through someone’s neck.

If you are
tired of violence in video games–and who isn’t, after recent events–check
out Sega’s Sega Bass Fishing 2 for the almost defunct Dreamcast. Beautiful
graphics of fishies swimming around in the nice blue water. Then you cast your
rod, snag the little fucker and reel him in real good. He’ll put up a fight,
but don’t worry, after lots of practice you’ll be able to snag the
bastard, then catch him and have him die pointlessly.

Some chick
named Amy Fix sent me her self-released CD called Spoon up here at New
York Press
. In a cover letter she tells me that she does not rock. That
she is a chick. That she’s a chick that eats pussy. That she’s not
punk although her high school friends were. That she does not have a drummer.
That she has not finished becoming a bad girl. That her lyrics are funny. That
she also sings about being abused as a child, which is not funny, and that she
kicks her own special kind of ass. What else can I say?

God Hates
Us All
is the title of Slayer’s new album, released the Day After.
I don’t know about all of us, but perhaps he does hate Slayer. Their last
couple of albums have blown dog dick, with the exception of like one or two
songs. Not so here. This new one actually has almost as many good songs as it
does bad. Plus they brought back their dueling guitar leads, blood-curdling
screams and production that almost ranks up there with South of Heaven
and Reign In Blood. For a band that’s a bit too old to sing about
Satan seriously, these guys are in heavy rotation around here.

Finally, I
got the new Toilet Boys CD on Masterplan Records. The first song is called "The
Party Starts Now," so I put it on expecting to hear a great version of
my pal Dick Manitoba’s classic Wild Kingdom hit. Nope. But it didn’t
matter. The song was good, as was the rest of the album. Especially the songs
"Hollywood" and "Another Day in the Life." These guys look
like a cross between Mötley Crüe and the Misfits, but sound like a
cross between Ratt and the Cars, and I love it. But what I love more is their
live shows. They definitely put on the best show of any New York City band these
days. You go, Boys!