today at the gym

My favorite part of going to the gym is the last half-hour. Thats when I get on the exercise bike and read whatever magazine or paper is lying around. Usually, its stuff I wouldnt read otherwise, like People Magazine, Womans Home Journal, or year-old copies of Rosie. Today, I chose a sweat-soaked copy of yesterdays USA Today. As it turns out, it was a gold mine of useful information. Here are a few highlights.

First, I came across a brief mention of a new film in development. The headline of the piece read, Stallone tackles Tupac, Biggie murders. The text of the three-sentence article ran as follows:

Sylvester Stallone will write, direct, and star in a movie about the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Stallone tells Variety he will play real-life ex-LAPD detective Russell Poole, who theorizes that rap mogul Suge Knight ordered Shakur murdered. Knight is in talks to play himself in the film.

Unless Im reading this wrong, it sounds to me as though Stallone is making a film that suggests that Suge Knight ordered the murder of Tupac. I understand that. Ive heard that theory before. The part that I dont understand is the last bit, the piece about Suge Knight being in negotiations to play himself. How fucked up is that? It would be like Nixon playing himself in All the Presidents Men, or OJ playing himself in a made for TV movie about his cutting the heads off of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman. How fucking surreal is that? I suppose it makes perfect sense in the context of the world today and the melding of reality and fiction, individual and image, but that doesnt make it any less bizarre.

The other thing to get my attention in the USA Today was the in-depth coverage of the Metallicas new album. As I was reading it, and all the asinine comments made by band members, I kept thinking, Wouldnt it be cool if we did a Monkey Power Trio interview where we only used Metallica quotes? Here are a few Metallica quotes that I tore out of the paper and brought home with me Youll notice that Ive already substituted my name for the members of Mettalica. Ive also substituted my bands name for theirs.

If nothing else, whether this (album) sells seven copies of 7 million, we proved its possible to make a fast, aggressive angry, dynamic album fueled by nothing but positive vibes.

All that heaviness had to happen for me to realize, You are Mark Maynard, the human, not that dude in Monkey Power.

There were other quotes too, but those were the two that I tore out of the paper and stuck into my sock. (Which is difficult to do while peddling, without attracting attention.)

Also in this issue of USA Today was a section on the new Monkeypox virus. On that subject, my friend, Jen, sent in the following explanation to me:

The first US cases, in Wisconsin I believe, jumped from pet prairie dogs. The prairie dogs apparently got it from a large Gambian rat that had been imported to a pet store. Prior to this, all cases had been in Africa I think. I can’t help but laugh, because it makes those cheese heads (Wisconsinites) sound even more stupid (we already call them cheese heads, right?) On the bright side, monkey pox doesn’t seem to have human-to-human transmission, only infected animal-to-infected animal and infected animal-to-human. Which makes me wonder about a) the freak of a pet store owner whos peddling giant Gambian rats and prairie dogs to children, and b) all the Wisconsinites wanting said animals as pets. Fortunately, it’s rarely fatal.

On the subject of Monekypox, when it first started breaking out a few days ago, I got a bunch of emails from people implying that it was some kind of evil Monkey Power Trio viral marketing campaign to push copies of our new record Im glad to see that the blame is now being placed squarely on the shoulders of a pet Gambian rat in Wisconsin, where it belongs.

I want to write more tonight, but I have to check email and go to bed.

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