A lifetime ago, when I’d just turned twenty one years old, I felt my mind’s anxiety twist under the grasp of welcomed possession, a sporadic vomited wisdom a la Austin Spare poured from me every night as I began to write aphorisms out of thin air, construct elaborate lyric poetry, and feverishly draw surrealistic fauna. Spurned on by the writings of Mencius, Dion Fortune, and feeling a bit preachy due to a rampant 80’s hardcore punk obsession, the first aphorism was one I’d found myself living too long under, never letting go of — The gist of it was “Never waste your time explaining yourself to anyone, act without hesitation and act alone.” With the purity of isolation as a key point of personality I’d achieve some impressive things in my twenties, mostly academic, yet without collaboration a fixation upon perfectionism turned me into a wretched sort of person who’d (in theory) care for others but never lift a finger for them; This sort of person gets divorced in their mid-30’s, spends far too much time learning their own lessons and losing sight of what other perspectives bring in symposium. GrizzlyButts.com kicked off back in the late summer of 2017 as a most recent branch of outreach on my part, I was no longer happy with the online communities I had been a part of since roughly 2011 and the freedom to prattle on about music as I pleased was intoxicating — The Mahayana Buddhist within sees this as self-serving imbalance, the Atheist within sees this as the ultimate chance for absolution, and the Epicurean within is laughing so hard that green grapes and bile are spilling from his hairy nose.
Last year on the second anniversary for GrizzlyButts.com I focused all of my energy on Gratitude, sending psychic love to inspiration and support. By naming appreciation for the people who had helped me get there I soon found many of them shrinking away in fear of being directly associated with the site. I am grateful for this lesson: “We are not friends, don’t talk to me in front of the other kids.” I am not worthy as a foil to amplify the egotistical behavior of young men and their childish bridge-burning lifestyles. Departures, conflict, dismissal, and death all hold massive potential for new growth and bigger realities for all involved — From all rotten bodies sprout the healthiest flowers, the most viable saplings. So, before I can celebrate a third year of GrizzlyButts.com with a number of new announcements and projects in motion, I must unfortunately perform a much needed salt-tossing funeral rite for my long-running presence in an online community: Skip the next paragraph if you don’t know me as terraasymmetry from RateYourMusic.
Fuck RateYourMusic/Sonemic. Back in 2011 when I joined the shoddy, dated database for music and movies it was a godawful morass ruled over by populists, chart-chasing sycophants, and an embarrassing independent electronic music community was the only thing bringing in paid memberships. Nobody took the metal spectrum of releases seriously there at the time and the site resisted featuring metal content/releases for years. I engaged with the community by way of entertaining lists, an ‘old school’ heavy + extreme metal obsession and thousands of reviews… none of which were studious or serious until maybe 2014-2015 at best. I’ll get right to the point: Some careless comments I made back in 2011 were scoured over by the moderation team mid-2019 when they put me through a moralistic tribunal. At the heart of the furor? I made fun of a death metal “girl group”, made pretty off-color jokes about fellatio, and really gave a raw deal to Morbid Angel’s ‘Illud Divinum Insanus’ in a very inappropriate way… Just the sort of stuff that came from a college student who watched Comedy Central back in 2011. I wasn’t reprimanded for not complying with the site standards (which have changed since 2011) though, this was a moderator-incited trial simply for the sake of accusing me of being a bad person, eight years later. One moderator had scolded me to the point that others began to agree: This was not only unfair but an abuse of power. Why did I put up with it? 500 friends, something like 5000+ reviews, and a lifetime of music cataloged. I complied, I was shamed to their satisfaction, and they reactivated my account. The team accepted my request to have this interaction reviewed by the site management, but this did not happen. It has been one year since. I am not a bigoted garbage person today and I wasn’t one back in 2011 either, for the record. Someone in power wanted me “cancelled” and went for it best he could.
So what? I agree, fuckin’ none of it matters. The skies opened up by way of firebrand and hissing, shrieking clouds as I simply deleted the account a little over a month ago. It was time to move on years ago and if this moment must serve as some petty ego-death over a cheesy online database presence, Good. I no longer willingly serve that feckless master and my contributions can burn away from their grimy fucking fingers. I completely understand that this sort of thing is trite, petty, etc. but the point I’ve attempted to make is that all things are impermanent and excising yourself from a caustic community, or even just the daily grind of social media, could bring happiness and meaning to your life tenfold. You can do whatever you’d like with that information. The experience has helped me refocus on a way of life that no longer places value or pays mind to online commune. Beyond that, I figure you might have seen an inherent contradiction of thematic statements thus far. On one hand I’d learned a lesson about carelessly distancing myself from others, on the other hand I’ve learned a lesson about not needing to belong to anything. What is the point? Balancing the perfectionist away from self-derision toward instinct for the sake of a stronger being. To paraphrase me, circa 2004: “Do not pay your own self-esteem [self-worth] into anything you cannot control, else it may control you.”
All nine years of my involvement with the site (RateYourMusic) is gone, for good? All the lists and reviews? No, per the request of several folks everything has been backed up as if June 30th, 2020 (see above image). All lists will be repurposed for “retro” features published throughout 2021 or, as my schedule sees fit.
As I have been hinting for a couple years now, two new entities will soon sprout from GrizzlyButts.com but they will hold no online presence beyond store pages: The first is SPIRIT COFFIN PUBLISHING, an imprint offering distribution of independent physical media including but not limited to: Zines, newsletters, catalogs, books, demo tapes, rehearsals, and music compilations. The business will also be a venue for publishing physical copies of books, zines, and music written by me: The first being a ‘historical fiction’ novel inspired by the life of Welsh natural philosopher/alchemist Thomas Vaughan (1621-1666) entitled Thalassophobia, written between 2011-2014. Distro interest, demo submissions are welcomed but the launch won’t be live until roughly January 2nd, 2021.
The second entity is an A5-sized print magazine entitled MYSTIFICATION. This is a hybrid form in conception for the last three years where 80’s and 90’s underground zine style music coverage (black, death, thrash, doom, etc.) is interlaced with short stories (sci-fi, fantasy, and historic fiction) and presented much in the style of classic hobbyist periodicals/pulp magazines. Issues will be 75-100 pages, will contain no advertisements, and short stories will have a requisite number of full page illustrations. The first issue features one story in five short chapters: “A young man who believes he has been possessed by a daimon his entire life discovers the hand of this entity stretches through time and unfathomable outer space, setting him upon five tasks of honor, community, identity, indulgence, and vengeance with the promise of enlightenment. Sapere aude! Know happiness, cultivate reason, worship nature, celebrate progress, and achieve liberty from all ills within the pages of Mystification.” The story itself is written and the format of the issue is set but the interviews, features, artwork and running order are yet incomplete.
- If you are an accomplished graphic artist or illustrator willing to contribute at least 6-8 panels fitting the A5 format, get in touch.
- Payment is in ‘profit sharing’, a percentage or royalty on sales until your regular commission fees are met.
- Terms can/will be renegotiated before any reprints take place.
- If there is no interest, I will simply illustrate the entire thing myself. It won’t be great!
- If you are an accomplished writer attuned to science fiction works, this first issue has space for one sci-fi themed piece. Larger stories can be split among issues, issues won’t adhere to a regular release schedule.
- The short story will simply be licensed for a single print run use.
- Terms can/will be renegotiated before any reprints take place.
Oh, and Thank you. If you have followed this site over the years I am insistent on complete transparency about money, donations, and where it all goes. For 2020 [January 2nd through July 28th] a total of $345.82 USD has been donated and $109.99 USD of that went directly to site hosting. The rest was set aside (as in, saved) for a site redesign fund and I have planned a new logo with a new artist soon. Your donations to the site will not be used for Spirit Coffin Productions or Mystification unless specifically intended, those are businesses that will be risks made at my own personal expense, which is separate from GrizzlyButts.com. I do not spend donations personally unless directly related to the site. Thank you donors: R.L., L.L.(X2), D.B.(X2), J.C., K.A., M.A., A.K., M.C., L.McD., D.J., DaJ, W.D., Aur, M.E., S.P., Z.N., F.S., M.T.!, J.D., P.O.(X2), W.C., G.D., R.I., R.T., A.S. I am humbled and inspired by your support on a daily basis.
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