Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I noticed that it's not appropriate to yell MOTHERFUCKER! after Barry Manilow sings a song,but I swear at Iron Maiden concerts it happens all the time

I've been feeling crappy ever since about Sunday when I went to see Cloverfield, but not that kind of crappy where you vomit because your eyes aren't connected to your brain right as has been the case for tons of young people bitching about the camera work in their online Cloverfield reviews. I'm talking about real sick, sick like you're congested and sneezing and totally miserable and you just want to see all the beautiful people who do wonderful things die horrible awful deaths. Thankfully Cloverfield delivered and for at least a few moments my headache subsided as imaginary New York was being eaten by an imaginary monster killing scores of imaginary people. It's the feel good movie of the year I suppose.

When the movie ended the headache came back and my other symptoms got worse as the day went on. After the movie I went to Wal-Mart and sneezed all over the Star Wars action figures, coughed on the Voltron DVDs and when I was playing the Guitar Hero in electronics I farted. Well, honestly those last two things never happened but I was in that sort of crappy mood.

Before I sneezed on the Star Wars I noticed that toynology is most impressive nowadays. I haven't bought any toy anything since before the year started so that was my first visit to the toy aisle in a while. For someone who wastes so much time on the internet looking at toy news sites I sure don't pay attention much because I was blown away like I'd never seen that stuff before. I guess when it comes to Star Wars I'm a last clapper, which is the lowest level on a scale by which I determine fan intensity based on weird fan behavior I noticed during a Barry Manilow concert.

Damnit, this post was supposed to be about ZOIDS
I think it was back in 2002 in Tucson Arizona when I took my wife to go see Barry Manilow. You gotta be pretty hardcore to go to a Barry Manilow concert because the last time I heard him on the radio was over 25 years ago. So a Barry Manilow concert is a pretty good thermometer by which to measure fan devotion because nobody ends up there accidentally. Everybody claps during concerts, but what I noticed that day is there were certain concentrated bursts of applause during certain points of a song that could be used to calculate just how big a fan the clappers were depending on when they clapped. Here's the breakdown:

End of song clapper-Claps at the end of song. These last clappers are usually people drug to the concert by someone else and they don't have any connection to the music, but at least they decided to stay so it's enjoyable to them on some level. Either that or they're just trying to get laid. Last clappers are usually just casual fans at most.

Chorus clapper-Recognizes song at chorus and claps. If it takes you until the chorus to recognize the song, you're probably someone who heard it on the radio or internet and you're most likely a bandwagon jumper. Chorus clappers are bigger fans than last clappers, but that's not saying much.

First word of song clapper-Sometimes artists play alternate versions of their songs in concert and the intros don't match what you have at home on your CD player. So people who recognize the song at the first word are relatively hardcore. They probably own much of the artist's discography and are most likely to buy the overpriced tour shirts and jackets and all that crap.

First note clapper-Holy crap these people recognize songs on the first note, regardless of the version. They've probably been following the artist all along the tour, which is either a sign of mega devotion or that they're looking to collect overdue child support. First note clappers run multiple fan websites or have over 5,000 posts on the official message board or do other OCD shit like that. Yet, first note clapper is not the most hardcore fan of all! That honor goes to the...

Doesn't clap at all clapper-The person who never claps at all but instead yells, "FUCK YOU MANILOW! YOU SOUND LIKE SHIT COMPARED TO WHEN I SAW YOU IN JAPAN BACK IN 79 YOU LOSER!" during the breaks between songs.

There are parallels between Barry Manilow fan behavior and other fandoms. Like for example the first note clapper would be equivalent of the toy collector guy who buys the prototype action figure from some chinese factory worker on eBay months before the mass released version ever hits Wal-Mart. The categories are general archetypes that have to be tweaked a bit to fit the genre. Actual clapping usually doesn't happen depending on what it is we're talking about. If the guy sitting behind me at the movies would have started clapping at the first word of Cloverfield that would have been weird, and anyone I see clapping in the action figure aisle is a total moron. But I tell you, I see people at Wal-Mart farting during Guitar Hero all the time.

Godzilla would have totally kicked this guy's ass back in '79


Anonymous said...

I almost clapped in the action figure aisle at Target today when I found new Star Wars goodness I've been looking for. Does that make me a first-word clapper or something else since I didn't actually clap. Also, does one clap count in the action figure aisle or does it have to be a certain number and decibel?

As an aside, I'm blogging here again. Pop on in and say, "Hey." or some other words.

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I used to have that Zoid in the picture. I accidentaly broke the neck piece and so had to glue the head and neck together. Since I used to pretend the heads doubled as escape pods, that pilot was fucked if his Zoid got damaged.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

You're definitely hardcore first note clapper, but it doesn't matter because you don't have to clap-when you post hauls like the one you had today I'm clapping for you. The way you write about Star Wars coupled with the Force Unleashed marketing ramping up is getting me really excited (about Star Wars) lately. I haven't felt like this since Shadows of the Empire.

Yeah I was going to do a write-up on Zoids memories because I just recently found out something about those first ones. But I always get sidetracked and I never get around to writing the posts I want to write. Instead it always turns into posts about Barry Manilow or poems about ATATs. For a blog about toy robots I sure don't write much about toy robots.

Heavyarms said...

He ain't the King of Monsters for nothin'.

What about people people like me who go to Tool concerts and know exactly how many times to bob their heads at the end of Forty Six & 2?

I don't know about clapping, but when I found a 25A Firefly figure after weeks of looking, I jumped up and clicked my heels together.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Hot damn I didn't know there was a requisite number of headbangs for certain Tool songs. You sir are a huger Toolman than I. What are Tool fans called anyways? Toolies? Toolers? Mechanics?

Heavyarms said...

Now that I think about it, I don't know what we call ourselves.

Based on the last time I saw them in concert we should be called "assholes." There was a whole lot of pushing and shoving and moshing and grabbing and crushing. Anytime a girl would come over "crowd surfing," people would be grabbing their personals, it wasn't cool. It got so bad that Maynard had to stop mid-concert and ask the crowd to step back and quit crushing people against the fence at the front.

I kept thinking "Dammit! I'm trying to watch a concert here, can't you kids settle down??!!" Then I realized I probably should be at a Barry Manilow concert.

Weasel said...

I don't clap in the toy aisle, but I do gasp if I see new stuff.

If there's a new Bumblebee on the pegs, I squeal. And grab it. And hug it.

.....stop snickering, dammit.

I loved Cloverfield, but damn did it make me sick as hell. I felt like puking about midway through. The man-bot got freaking vertigo while watching, and he never gets vertigo!

That helicopter scene will haunt my nightmares for the rest of my natural life. :small terrified sob:

I kinda thought Clover and Zilla would just get a case of beer, hang out, then decide what they could go off and destroy as a team. The amount of damage they could cause together would be quite epic. Think of how many squishies the two of them could stomp to death! XD

And I want the toy, but I don't think Prime will let me get it. (Not taking out those damn parasites; I hated those little shits.)


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.