Loading…

“On ‘Hash Pipe’ and its Unfortunate Endorsement of ‘Problems'”

Now, part of my inevitable semantic ineptitude present in this piece can be traced to the relative futility of words themselves. I mean, I have a hard time even imagining how to communicate to new millennials just how antithetical to the new Weezer the old Weezer was, on the first five albums, through 2005. Even more than being “awkward,” which I’ve heard the Blue Album described as by a fervent detractor of the Green Album, or “offensive” [1], the old Weezer was PAINSTAKING. And I mean you could just hear the pain emanating in all of the songs, whether it was “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “No Other One,” “Don’t Let Go” (with its proclamation of “Complications in my mind / Got me runnin’ out of time”), or “American Gigolo,” which ok was probably a little bit awkward. 

The Green Album, while it did get many good reviews, was nothing if not divisive. Ok, it was poppy. And it was really short. 

Here’s a brief list of experiences I’ve had with it in my life. I’ve listened to it about 1,000 times, marveling in all the brilliant background vocals and the guitar solos like the one in “O Girlfriend” that exactly mimic the melody of the verse. I’ve heard my friend say he hated it. I’ve had a religious experience listening to “Hash Pipe” on CD in summer 2001 in the back of my friend’s Chevy Beretta. I’ve heard an upstairs neighbor say they didn’t like it, claiming it “really pi**ed him off” [2]. I’ve heard it play at a party I was at right after Soundgarden’s Superunknown and fell in love with the song “Knock-down Drag-out,” noting how all these songs, while on one hand so alike in style and even strategy, all really have their own DNA that makes them what they are. And I’ve heard “Island in the Sun” on satellite radio so much I wanted to barf — while nodding my head, that is. 

Maladroit came out one year later and that was a whole other can of worms but in this post I’m just going to focus on The Green Album and on “Hash Pipe,” in particular. Now, firstly, “Hash Pipe” is a very unique expedition in that it’s a metal song on a pop album. It might be kind of the inverse of, say, “Polly,” a pop song on a fuzzy, hard-rock album, and maybe that was even part of their cheeky strategy (they’ve been known to poke fun at themselves in light of Nirvana like the fake, hopelessly nerdy instrument desctruction session at the end of the “Undone” video). It’s also notable for the fact that it clearly could have been way longer than it is — that minor chord riff and that chugging groove are so hypnotic and even so ORIGINAL that most bands would have been compelled to stretch it out at least into about five minutes. 

But Weezer leave it at 3:07 and the album at 28:28 and really I think both are ultimately better for it. I think they projected a pretty limited attention span in 2001 on the part of their audience, which probably wasn’t completely unfounded. And in this way it’s almost like the self-indulgent last gasp of rock and roll: here is everything rock and roll is, given to you in capsule form, like the dried food you take into outer space. 

Now, “Hash Pipe” has lyrics that anybody would describe as esoteric. As far as I can tell, it’s a song about being a man and receiving unwanted anal sex (an activity which marijuana, or “hash,” has been known to make at least marginally more pleasant, per reports). And I was sitting around thinking about it and I’ve centered, I think, on the line “You got your problems”, in the chorus, as sort of the nucleus of the song’s meaning. Cuomo presents the factor of the rapist’s “problems” as something that said rapist, and perhaps, the world around him, wouldn’t see as “problems” at all, though the fact of the person’s behavior would instead obviate that they are indeed such. The way Rivers Cuomo’s sense of humor turns the phrase, in particular, is as if to say that there are literally people who just get by on problems — their entire lives are composed of impulses gleaned from noxious forces around them each of which end up being destructive to themselves, or others, or both, usually. And it gives them a sense of completeness and accomplishment, so Cuomo plays along, as if to say, “Get down witcho bad funky self,” sarcastically, of course. 

The “players” term of the terrible sycophants who “come to get (him) / ’Cause they’d like (his) behind” is essentially the same thing — Cuomo is applying the word “players” as if to mock the sort of aggrandizing language these individuals might apply to themselves. He’s making the rape cultural and in a sense, perhaps, conjoining it thematically with what he perceives as a cultural rape on the part of corporate America and perhaps his record label, entities typically held as potentially lecherous and soulless, if you will. 

There’s also the tidbit about “I can’t love my business / If I can’t get a trick / Down on Santa Monica / Where tricks are for kids”. Something to be gathered from this precious nugget would be that Weezer, like their fellow Los Angeleans 311, can tend toward the schizophrenic, and potentially to entertaining results. Another of its ploys, other than just the fact that it’s really funny and marries a colloquial connotation of the word “trick” with a corporate motto for the cereal Trix [3], is that there lies value in the very shift of topic. Why is this? Cuomo is pointing out his own smallness, in the eyes of the world. To make a long story short: he’s getting fu**ed and nobody cares. To make a potentially long song short, he rocks out to one killer metal groove that has surely made many tattooed, bearded tastemakers down at Loudwire “Green” with envy over the years. 

.

[1] Yes, one pejorative the NME scribe used to deride the Green Album was “inoffensive.” They’re taking a stand against inoffensive rock music.

.

[2] Along these lines, it’s really not shocking to me that pretty much all the negative clatter about this album comes from people stricken with misanthropic tendencies and probably unsettling psychiatric conditions of various forms.

.

[3] Way back in the ’90s there was a cereal Trix with a commercial on it where a rabbit tried to steal the cereal from a youngster, who would reply: “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”

682 thoughts on ““On ‘Hash Pipe’ and its Unfortunate Endorsement of ‘Problems'”

  1. [url=https://viagragenericpills.com/]viagra online canada[/url] [url=https://ivermectininstock.com/]ivermectin generic cream[/url] [url=https://cialisblt.com/]tadalafil tablets 10 mg online[/url] [url=https://buycialispill.com/]how to buy cialis[/url] [url=https://viagramt.com/]buy viagra online with mastercard[/url]

  2. [url=http://askcialis.com/]tadalafil 10mg prescription[/url] [url=http://cialisblt.com/]tadalafil 75 mg[/url] [url=http://buycheapcialis.com/]cheap cialis tablets[/url] [url=http://pharmacyop.com/]canadian pharmacy coupon code[/url] [url=http://tadacippill.com/]tadacip canada[/url] [url=http://cialisgmd.com/]real cialis online canada[/url] [url=http://viagrapm.com/]viagra without prescription uk[/url] [url=http://viagravhs.com/]viagra 100mg in canada[/url] [url=http://cialiszero.com/]cialis 5 mg online pharmacy[/url] [url=http://stratteratabs.com/]buy strattera cheap[/url]

  3. I wanbt too too thank yoou ffor this ver good read!!

    I certainl ehjoyed every likttle bbit oof it. I’ve goot yyou
    book-marked to loolk aat neew stuf you post…

  4. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or advice.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  5. Whats up this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but
    have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. It is the best time to make a few plans for the
    longer term and it’s time to be happy. I have read this put up and if
    I may just I desire to counsel you few attention-grabbing
    things or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles
    referring to this article. I desire to read even more things approximately it!

  7. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. I’ll right away clutch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly allow me realize so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  9. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for
    the long run and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this publish and if I may just I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you can write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

  10. I’m really inspired with your writing skills and
    also with the layout for your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to look a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  11. I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours lately, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s lovely price sufficient for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers
    made good content material as you did, the internet will likely be a lot more useful than ever before.

  12. Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads
    a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at
    a honest price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  13. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something
    completely unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic
    but I had to ask!

  14. I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article
    like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if
    all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful
    than ever before.

  15. FRESHCC.RU – Every Day our hacker group Will update the store with Fresh Cards,Dump, Paypal verified balance, Accounts store ( ebay,amazon,Bank login,fullz info dob ssn…)

  16. Vielen Dank für Die Schönen Artikel. Ich sind erforschen dieses Thema für irgendwann . Die Waren und Besonderheiten Sie zeigen, ich war nicht aufmerksam. Ich werden folgend Ihre Website jetzt und hoffentlich Sie können extra Ideen und Einsichten.

  17. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth used to be a amusement account it. Look advanced to more brought agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?|

Leave a Reply