Scam #5

Damn, as a long time reader and big time fan, what a thrill to be asked to contribute to SCAM Magazine! I was asked to answer reader submitted questions alongside Brontez Purnell, partly because "Brontez and Berendes" sounds so nice :)

Below is the article as it appeared in Scam #5, and below that, my unedited responses, including questions that didn't make it to print.

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1. How do I talk to people/make more friends?

A: Hmm, friendship huh? First I would say be around people you think you might want to be friends with. Since this is a punk magazine, the obvious solution here is: a punk show. Be in these places a lot, not just one or two times. Be pleasant, say hi to people. After a few iterations of this, people will remember your face and associate you with a pleasant character. Build from there. If there's something you can bring to the table, that always helps- even like a bag of gummi worms or something. Also, this may sound insane but at no time should your objective be friendship with anyone in specific. Or in general. No one likes being a mission objective. What you should be focusing on is having a good time around people. Keep doing this and you'll have more friends. Try to rush it and you'll botch the job. Uh, obviously there's a lot of finesse points I'm glossing over here but I think this is a solid start.

2. Is misanthropy a mental illness? What's up with it cuz I think I got it.

Misanthropy is a fairly reasonable response to the global situation- humans are pretty much a scourge upon the earth. That said, it's not healthy to wallow, in hatred or in anything. Try to approach humanity as though it were a weak art project that your best friend did, like "it's kind of weird, but there are cool parts" or "it's kind of cool but there are weird parts".

3. What happens to youth crews over the age of 30? Do they roam free on a farm upstate or do they migrate to West Oakland? I NEED TO KNOW! I'm 28! Help!

They either teach yoga or slowly get more and more rockabilly.

6. When I have sex with my boyfriend, the only way I can have an orgasm is to visualize myself receiving a blowjob (I am a cis female). I've only had one relationship with a woman. I'm fairly vanilla. I can't tell if I just need to see about having sex with womanfolk or not give a shit and just cum however way. Question: Does my BF need to know? Is this dishonest?

A: OK regardless of where this piece of writing appears in the magazine, I'm answering this one at the last minute before this issue goes to press, so I know that you asked this many many moons ago. If you're STILL wondering, then my answer is definitely: DO "see about having sex with womanfolk" but DON'T tell your boyfriend that everytime the two of you have sex you think of someone else. There's no need to tell him this, unless you want to hurt his feelings! Just tell him you have more to learn about yourself or something. Be real, but be the vague kind of real. That's not dishonest, it's compassionate.

The ONLY situation in which I would tell him (other than "hurt his feelings") is if your particular kink wasn't "sex with a womanfolk" but "thinking about someone else". In that case it would be worth it to at least try and find someone whose kink was "being with someone who was thinking about someone else". Actually you know what, I think I still wouldn't tell him- the odds of finding a match like that right out of the gate are astronomical. And if it didn't work out, and you broke it off, he'd be out walking late one lonely night thinking "she's probably thinking about me right now...". Not healthy. Final answer: don't tell him.

7. How do I talk to my younger brother from Calgary about his sexism without hindering his ability to hear me? I wanna empower.

If you were at a gathering with your brother and he had a big booger hanging out of his nose, you'd tell him he did. "Hey bro check your shit- you got a little green monster with you". It's not wrong that he has a booger hanging out of his nose- shit happens and sometimes no one tells you what your face is doing. And also, sometimes the booger is pernicious and hard to wipe 100% out, and you have to be like "nope, didn't get it". I think this is the preferred vibe for loved ones. Granted if you yelled YOU GOT A BOOGIE BRO during a spotlight time for him, he'd be steamed, and likewise, if you come at him with a heavy pointed finger in a showy way, he'll most likely make the narrative into "so-and-so attacked me". So if possible take a quiet moment and tell him that you love him, and you want to steer him right, and it's important to you that he live a good life free from people ragging on him, and right now he has a serious mind booger hanging out of his brain-filter (don't use these exact words). NB: This is the For People You Love emotional labor advice, not the 100% all the time every situation every time advice!

8. Should I buy an OG pressing of "Kill 'Em All" for 70 Bux?

Absolutely not. I realize that a record isn't just sound, that there's an artifact value, but isn't a totally partied copy of this record (which you probably already own) a better artifact of this band than an original pressing? If you really want a purity of Kill 'Em All feeling, try to get someone to tape their shitty copy of this record, tape, or cd for you. And if you really want "a super clean sound"... I think you actually want a different record? In conclusion, absolutely not.