I like how people keep lamenting about how there’s only a week of summer left.  It gets real annoying, real fast.  Just shut up and enjoy the rest of your summer.  I rarely use optimistic advice, but instead of looking at the situation in a negative sense, try looking at things on a more positive note.  School sucks, and I’m not looking forward to going back (even if it is for the last time), but I’m not going to let that interfere with my enjoyment of summer.  Stop complaining, and go do something productive…like read a book.  After all, there’s only a week left.  Use it wisely.

Speaking of senior year, I’m convinced it’ll just be another year of high school.  The only difference is that its the last year.  Back to School Night is this Sunday, and I don’t plan on going.  I just remember walking around the school with people I hadn’t seen all summer.  That’s something I can do on my first day back.

And I’m going to stop ranting about school and go enjoy what’s left of my last summer.

Pain can be controlled, you just disconnect it.

Ozzfest ’06: Ten Thousand Fists In The Air

Who: System of a Down, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, DragonForce, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society, Atreyu, Unearth, Bleeding Through, Norma Jean, A Life Once Lost, Bad Acid Trip, Full Blown Chaos, Walls of Jericho, Between the Buried and Me, Strapping Young Lad, The Red Chord, All That Remains
Where: Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA.
When: August 6, 2006

I originally planned on selling my ticket because this year looked really disappointing.  Especially compared to last year, where main stage was graced by two legends.  Not that I’m knocking System of a Down or Disturbed, but they were the only two bands I was interested in seeing.  I’d already seen Black Label Society, and seeing Ozzy solo isn’t as special as seeing him with the original Black Sabbath.  Besides, Ozzy’s voice probably wouldn’t hold out for it to be truly memorable.

I ended up going, anyway, for lots of reasons.  I never did sell my ticket (which was a better seat than last year), although I really should’ve expected that.  After all, I had a helluva time finding someone to go with me last year when I had a free ticket…  Then I found out my uncle was going.  He lives in Charlottesville, so I’d drive there, and he’d drive the rest of the way.  He was going a bit later in the morning, but that was fine by me.  Less time in the sun means less time getting sunburned!

Full Blown Chaos

I don’t feel like recapping every single band or thing that happened (like I did last year), so only the stuff I find interesting.

We got there around 11 AM and decided to check out some of the bands.  The crew was setting up for Full Blown Chaos, and when they came on, the crowd was just that.  Full, blown, chaos.  People weren’t just moshing and generally beating the hell out of each other, they were having chicken fights too!  I thought crowdsurfing would hurt, but damn, losing a chicken fight!?  It’d be a helluva fall…  Anyway, some black guy kept winning all the fights, and people kept trying to take him down.  Sweetness.

Bad Acid Trip sucked (no one seemed to like them), but A Life Once Lost made up for it.  A Life Once Lost was my favorite performance on Second Stage.  They had two walls of death in one song!  I think Brett showed me Slipknot doing something like that, but the wall of death is a spectacle to see in person.  Fucking insane…  My uncle got involved, where he kicked ass and got his ass kicked (he got mauled by this fat guy, who in turn mauled over a woman…which was all kinds of awesome).  Life Once Lost put on a good show.  See a little bit of the awesomity for yourself!

After that, my uncle and me did a bit of browsing and we made fun of how everything is overpriced.  And made fun of the fact that you can’t bring your own camera in the Pavilion, but can buy a camera from one of the shops, then take pictures.  And the belief that the money Second Stage bands pay doesn’t go towards the tour, but Sharon Osbourne’s pocket.  We also picked on Sharon Osbourne in general.  …That bitch.

Black Label Society:  Fire It Up

We eventually made our way back to Second Stage, waded through the crowd as they listened to the rest of Atreyu’s set and got as close as possible to the front.  Just in time for the speed demon, Zakk Wylde.

Set list:
The Beginning…At Last
Suffering Overdue
Bleed For Me
Suicide Messiah
Fire It Up (Solo)
Been A Long Time
Say What You Will

Overall, I enjoyed Black Label Society.  Zakk is, arguably, a guitar god and he has some crazy ass fans.  People were climbing over each other, quite literally, just so they could get to the front.  We moved with them, if only so we wouldn’t get trampled ourselves.  The performance itself wasn’t too bad, but I wouldn’t put BLS over Rob Zombie.  Vocals were lacking, Zakk’s voice sounded muffled, but I guess that’s the price to pay when you’re playing guitar wicked fast like he was.  I’m even more impressed he could play that fast for his own band, then later for Ozzy, when it felt like it was 100 degrees out.  Even when it felt like BLS had been “demoted” (they were a Main Stage band last year), they were still a good show.

Ozzy Osbourne:  Hellraiser

Set list:
I Don’t Know
Mr. Crowley
Bark at the Moon
Suicide Solution
Into the Void (solo)
I Don’t Want to Change the World
Road to Nowhere
Crazy Train
Mama, I’m Coming Home

As much as I love Ozzy, and as much as I enjoyed the set, Ozzy really needs to hang it up.  His voice was failing him, and by the time Suicide Solution rolled around, his energy had waned too.  He blamed it on the heat, and told us how fucking hot it was, but that just leads me to my second quip…  Why was Ozzy closing out Second Stage?  I see the reasons, such as his voice not being what it used to be and his age, but if that’s so, he should just retire now.

Negative remarks aside, I enjoyed Ozzy, though I prefer him with Sabbath.  Mainly for the fact it was Ozzy, and its the first (and hopefully, last) time I’ve seen him solo.  Zakk was, again, a beast and it was awesome to see them live.  The crowd seemed to agree, and they were literally stampeding over each other to get to the front.  It got really dusty and hard to breathe, but we survived.  I did take a few bruises from getting knocked around.  Eventually, I got sick of it and tripped one dude, who fell face-first into the gravel.  I saw him get up, holding his nose with blood seeping through his fingers, and continue walking towards the front.  What a trooper.

DragonForce:  Through the Fire and Flames

My uncle and me backtracked through the crowd as Ozzy was doing the encore (I had already heard Paranoid by the original Sabbath).  We split up here, since we had tickets in different sections (he was in the pit, I was section 102).  I decided to go to my section, sit down, and take a breather from Ozzy and BLS kicking my ass.  Didn’t turn out as I’d planned, because I got my ass kicked again by my favorite Ozzfest performance.

I’ve heard a lot of bands at Ozzfest, which is pretty much the purpose of Ozzfest.  That purpose is to promote new music, with a bit of older, established music thrown in for good measure.  But none of the “new bands” have really caught my interest like DragonForce did.  I’m at a loss for words to describe the awesomity of their performance.  Let’s just say it was epic.  Too bad I feel like a complete idiot, since few people seemed into them.  May have had something to do with the sound quality (which wasn’t too great until Hatebreed came on later), but still, DragonForce rocked, kicked ass, and I plan on listening to them in the future.

I decided to stay for a little longer, but got bored of Lacuna Coil so I took a bit of walk.  Came back in time for Hatebreed, and a brilliant rant by their lead vocalist.  He said something along the lines of “hoping everyone goes out and buys our new record so we can get all this emo, pop, and rap shit off the Top 10”.  He got a huge reaction, as if the entire Pavilion was in agreement.  Hatebreed also had pits everywhere, which was pretty neat.  Avenged Sevenfold was up afterwards, and people only cared when they covered Pantera’s Walk, which everyone seemed to sing along to (as they rightfully should, Pantera kicks ass).  After that, we were finally on to the two Main Stage attractions…

Disturbed:  10,000 Fists

Set list:
10,000 Fists
Just Stop
Land of Confusion
The Game
Down with the Sickness

…Wow.  All I can really say is that Disturbed ruled Nissan.  Everyone in the Pavilion was into them.  The set list was enjoyable too.  I knew some of their goods were from their latest release, but they played some stuff from their old albums, which sounded fantastic (oh, and while I’m on the subject, I don’t memorize every song.  The only one I really memorized was Ozzy’s, but that’s because I listen to him so damn much.  I knew a few of Disturbed’s and BLS’s songs too, but for the rest, I find the lists from other reviews online).  The only negative thing I have to say about Disturbed was their singer started ranting about politics after Land of Confusion.  I respect his view is fine and all, but really, let the music do the talking.

System of a Down:  Stealing Society

Set list:
Solider Side – Intro
Deer Dance
Chop Suey!
Lonely Day
Kill Rock & Roll
Old School Hollywood
Violent Pornography
Lost in Hollywood

System of a Down played a lot of songs (I’m counting 22, great for a 90 minute set), some of which I wasn’t there for.  Quite a few people were walking out on their set, but not because SOAD sucks.  Most people were leaving early so they could beat the traffic.  When I was leaving, System seemed to be on a roll.  People were happy, and they were giving a good performance (though I liked Disturbed’s better).

Anyway, I enjoyed the set for the time I was there.  Good show, and I still think it sucks that SOAD is going on hiatus (though I still say they’re disbanding…just temporarily).  I’m fine with them wanting to do their own fine.  I just wonder why they’d “stop” after releasing two critically acclaimed CDs?  Ah well…

All in all, a good show, contrary to my original prediction (hell, even my own thoughts before I wrote all this).  While I enjoyed last year’s Ozzfest much more, this year wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.  Mainly because the bands played their asses off (Dragonforce, Disturbed, System of a Down were my favorites).  Oh, and I didn’t get sunburned as bad as I did last year!  I give my stamp of approval, thumbs up!

I don’t smile much.  Don’t smile ever.  But if I did, this would be one.

Ozzfest was…meh.  Short version:  BLS was okay, Ozzy on 2nd stage = o_O, Ozzy needs to hang it up, Dragonforce was all kinds of awesome, Disturbed was great, and System of a Down was good, and it sucks they’re disbanding.

Long version pending.

Time marches on

Peace Is A Lie, There Is Only Passion

And so begins Year Three.

Anyway, I like how the majority of the world wants a ceasefire in Israel after they declared war on Lebanon/Hezbollah.  Sure, a ceasefire would also call for Hezbollah to end its attacks on Israel, but ceasing hostilities now would end all pressure Israel has on the terrorists now.  Besides, a ceasefire won’t do any good.  Hezbollah will just start attacks again, and we’ll have the same scenario a few months (days?) later.  The world should be smart enough to know that.  My guess is they just don’t care.

Condoleeza Rice’s response was gold.  She said something along the lines of,” We need a ceasefire that everyone can agree on, as soon as possible.”  Simple, honest, and logical.  Means we’ll get a longer-lasting peace.  Most of the world, on the other hand, want a ceasefire now, regardless of the terms.  That’s not very smart.  Doing that would be no different than pulling two people, who are in a fight, away from each other.  The fight may be over, but the bad blood between those two people remains.  And if those two people really hate each other, than they’ll just fight again until the conflict is resolved.

So, I sat and thought about how easy it was for a peacemaker to praise their own virtues, yet call other people “war hawks”.  Yet, people forget that most peace treaties haven’t accomplished much, unless military action proceeded them.  Take all the times people have proposed peace plans for the Middle-East.  Now, how many of them have worked?  The only one I can think of is the 1978 Camp David Accords, and that result was only made possible after Israel defeated Egypt in two, consecutive wars (Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973).

Of course, no one really learns from history.  No one really learns from their past mistakes.  Take the majority of the world’s stance on Israel’s “war” now.  This ceasefire may stop the fighting for now, but Hezbollah will still exist and remain a formidable foe for years to come.

People can try and forget their past all they want, but unless they try to make a better future for themselves, they’re bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.  The same goes for world leaders and history.

“Sic vis pacem, para bellum”. Latin. The boot camp sergeant made us recite it like a prayer. “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Year Two

I have come full circle…again.  A little older, a little wiser, and two years of posting crap people occasionally read.  Well, here’s to another 365 days of postage…and so begins Year Three.  Usually, I’d reflect on the past year but when I think of something notable, there’s really not that much to say.  Driving?  Sucks.  EMHS?  Not the great school I once thought.  Junior year?  Not as hard as people say.  Banquet?  Overrated.  Summer?  Its been the same as any other.

Not much to say, at all.

In spite of everything you have done for them, eventually they will hate you.