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December 29, 1998
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The Empire Strikes Back!

Remember that little tirade about the Beastie Boys that was occupying this space about four months ago? Yeah, well, me neither. But not so for a lot of Beastie-obsessed kids.

Now, you'd think even a 13-year-old would read that thing and realize my tongue was so far in my cheek that the back of my brain was getting damp, but apparently even the obvious tip-offs--the Mike D and Screech being related thing, the Hornblower hatred, the part at the end where I say it was all a joke--all these escaped the kids

Following are some of the responses I recieved, ranging from the secretly concurring to the unnervingly intolerant to the downright stupid

I taught the kids at the Hamilton Fish Courts to respect my defense, and I'll offer the same schooling to any internet-obsessed pubescent sheep who dare to throw their illiterate insults my way. Because, as my horoscope said last week, nobody fucks with Scorpio....


From: mccoll
...and I thought I was the only one who thinks they are shit!(I don't mean that in the good way, either)

From: Jerimiah
I liked your Beastie Boys piece, even if I didn't agree with all of it. You picked all their weak and/or overexposed points, and did it with style and flair. If you're going to pan someone, especially if you like them, you may as well do it with style.

Oh, BTW, you'll probably get slammed from the Beastie Boys mailing list, some rather vitrolic fans are getting themselves all frothed up over this.

Lissa Responds:
Thanks. I'm still getting pros and cons about this thing far, far after the fact. At this point the positives are outgunning the negatives by at least 3 to 1, but if the Beastie mafia is going to start knee-jerking at me, that ratio may change. And, oh boy, am I frightened…

From: ErnestJ
I am a fan of the Beasties and everything you said was mean and Mike and the guy from "Saved By the Bell" are not related. I think HN is one of the greatest albums ever and so they changed, you can't expect them to stay the way they were before! Mike and Adam Y. are married if you must know. If you do not like the beasties then why tell every other beastie fan like me. We don't need to hear you whine about why you hate the B-Boys.

Lissa Responds:
Did I specifically tell you? Did I go to your house in the middle of the night and scream in your face? Did I send it to you? Did I put this up on the Beastie worldwide spam? No. I didn't. I had an opinion and one day I decided to express it, just for the hell of it. Please forgive me for daring to disagree with you. It was wrong to speak my opinions where those who think otherwise might hear them. From now on, I will only say things that I know absolutely everyone will agree with. In a world with many problems, you and your brethren are wise to focus your outrage, to spend your time and energy on silencing all those who would dare to question the absolute supremacy of the Beastie Boys.

Listen, you like them, fine. I don't anymore. And we both have the right to say so.

From: Dkerschc
Some guy posted some letter about why you think the beastie boys are washups or something like that. I'm not really interested in that, You have your views and I have mine and I'm not writing to tell you how right or wrong you are. that is inconsequential to me. I am writing because I bet some kid whether you call carbonated beverages such as coke, sprite, Mr. pibb, mountain dew, etc. "pop", "soda", or just "coke." Down here in Texas we call it "coke." I am being completely serious when I ask and would appreciate a reply.

Lissa Responds
Thank you for not knee-jerking. Strange how one dissenting opinion on something as really, essentially insignificant as a band gets people all riled up and cussing and spamming. Geez.

Anyway, as to your question about the carbonated beverage, all three terms are used, depending. It's most commonly referred to as soda, as it is all along the East Coast. However, in Western Pennsylvania, where I have a lot of family out on the farm, they call it "pop," which, I believe is a Midwest thing.

From: Dkerschc
I actually agreed with most the things you said. I just wanted to know about certain drinks. Want to here a funny story? You won't answer so I will tell you anyway. I'm from Houston, Tx. I enjoy drinking the soda pop known as Coca-Cola. I go to school and play on the internet alot. I like the Beastie Boys so i went to there home page. Signed up for what I thought was a mailing list for shows, tour dates, new releases, and things of that category. It turned out that it is a silly chat room (mailing list) with people that have too much interest in the Beastie Boys. I like the Beastie Boys, but i did not expect this. I get at least 200 e-mails a day about how Ione Skye and Ad Rock have broken up and What is MCA going to name his kid. I did not know he had a kid. I did not care. I tried to unsubscribe 1001 times. The commands did not work. I eventually gave up.

Thanks for the input into your feelings on the Beastie Boys. I enjoy their music up until their latest album, which like you say, does resemble some fusion jazz. Some dude I worked with asked if the album is any good when I had first heard it.(This is pointless info. but it sets the story up: He is black, I am white) I told him it was not that good and that he ought not buy it. I told him how my vegan brother had won the C.D. and that is the closest I will ever be to owning it. He asked what was wrong with it. I told him how it just showed that they were getting old, like how before Larry Bird retired it was obvious he needed to end it. I told him I still respect earlier Beastie ventures but this was not up to par. I told him that they weren't flowing and all that info. He said very bluntly " Do they rap like white people" and I just looked at him like what the fuck is he talking about. They are white, that is what you'll get from every single song they have written. My friend thought it was almost a racial thing. I didn't really care, but thought it was a silly thing to ask. Did Larry Bird play ball like he was white towards the end of his career?

From: Dbeuttenmuller
Hmmm... that's a nice opinion. But tell me, if Beastie Boys are sooooo comercial, how come I hardly ever hear their music on the radio. Quit dissin' them and start with Shania Twain and Celine Dion, at least the Beasties write their own rhymes.

Lissa Responds:
If the Beastie Boys aren't commercial, why are they at the top of the charts? It's all about the dollar bill y'all: you sell records, you're commercial, end of story. And they were all over the radio when the record came out, but "Hello Nasty" isn't chock full of catchy singles, unlike some previous Beastie albums, which had enough hooks to empty a trout pond.

As far as going after Celine Dion and Shania Twain…. Well, why don't I go enlighten the world to the fact that war is bad and you shouldn't hit old people and brussel sprouts taste bad? You're the second person to tell me I should've picked on Celinestopheles instead-which is exactly the point I'm trying to make, in a way. Why should we only be allowed to complain about things that we've agreed everyone is against? What is this "thou shalt not question the eternal superiority of the Beastie Boys" shit?

As far as writing their own rhymes, well, "yes, yes ya'll, yes yes y'all, I'm always on time nevertheless y'all" isn't exactly high-concept. They used to be hilarious, but now I keep feeling like I've heard that one before-the same references to coconut lotion and pop culture that were on the last album, or even the last song.

Final word: the Beasties asking Prodigy never to play his retarded little "Smack My Bitch" song again continues their disturbing trip down the path of self-righteousness. As if now that they've moved along and matured, no one else is allowed to be as young and foolish and mildly offensive as they once were? C'mon.…

From: Dbeuttenmuller
It may be because the Beastie Boys have a lot of dedicated fans. acctually the album is now No. 16, and the single peaked at 28, hardly top of the charts. So if the single wasn't well recieved, why did the album top the charts? Either some people understand that 'popular' doesn't mean good music, or they already have a wide fan base. While it's probably the second reason, I'd like to believe that the reason they have a large fan base is because people know they won't bow to public opinion (at least since Liscensed 2 Ill). People know they will continually put out good music.

I agree that Hello Nasty does not have as many catchy songs as some of their other albums, but they have more than most other artists. On this album I only like 15 out of the 22 tracks--pretty bad for a beastie boys album, but pretty good for any other artist. I don't know many artists that even put 15 tracks on their album.

I never said I thought the Beastie Boys were perfect, just above average. Acctually I get sick when I listen to '3 MCs & 1 DJ.' I can hardly listen to Licensed to Ill anymore because their music was so commercial and self-centered then.

Point taken about the humor. they aren't as silly as they used to be...they are more serious, but I like both sides. Point taken about Prodigy too. I agree it was stupid of them to do that. I do not see how they are self-righteous though. Cause when we're gettin down we are all equal There's no better or worse between you and me"-taken straight from Hello Nasty. Just because they 'found religion' and they're now more positive doesn't mean they're self-righteous. Man I wish there was more good positive rap out there, but until then I'll have to keep listening to B-boys, Run DMC, old LL Cool J, and Public Enemy.

Lissa Responds:
Try the Black Star album. It's good like that.

From: JoshT

Lissa Responds:
I appreciate your comparative restraint. The last of these many message was from someone who said, in all seriousness "If you do not like the Beasties then why tell every other Beastie fan like me." As if I'm the one who's spamming you guys with this. And as if I shouldn't be permitted to express this opinion aloud. I got tired of the endless praise, decided to say so, and, considering the topic, figured it was proper to go a little over the top. Oh well. Peace back.

From: BgirlFresh
I read your review on Hello Nasty and while I did agree with some of the stuff you said, I must point out that you have some of your facts wrong. About the magazine cover thing...well what star HAVEN'T you seen on the cover of all the mags? Whenever a star has a new movie/album whatever, they blow up on the covers. I have seen more covers with Leonardo DeCapinyourass and the damn Backstreet Boys than I have ever seen of the beastie boys in their entire career.

Another point of your misinformation....Yauch has been doing the Nathaniel Hornblower thing since the Check Your Head days and you speak of it as if its a new thing. And yet another example of your miseducation: Dustin (screech) is NOT and was not EVER mike d's brother. Damn, where do authors do their research these days? I guess it's no longer a prerequisite to know what you are talking about before you write an article on it.

I would have been willing to take some of your oppinions into consideration if you had done your research. But, since it is clear that you have no idea what you are talking about, I disregard anything else you said about them in your misinformed article. Next time, study up on the subject you are writing about before you criticize it.

Lissa goes out for a cigarette, wonders for the 80th time today why anyone cares, and finally responds:
I knew the Hornblower thing had been around since "Check Your Head," but maybe I should've clarified that. And the Mike D./Screech thing was supposed to be a joke. Like so much of the rest of it. Which many people don't seem to be getting. I can't believe I did this in a few hours months ago just for laughs and people are still jocking me on it…

From: BgirlFresh
Aight then, I am sorry...thanks for responding, yo! Peace.

From: MONeill
You know - I might have taken you a little more seriously if you hadn't gotten your information from SPIN and THE ROLLING STONE--maybe I would have even respected them had they been original and not so lame--Do you need attention? Have you created this stupid website to give yourself some kind of a pretend ego--YOU ARE WEIRD. What's wrong with someone correcting their behavior to contribute to humanity? Oh, Its not in America - how can you judge where the acts of kindness take place--It's alot better than your negative, dorky webpage. GET A LIFE. You fit the stereo typical 90's persona of trying to be different--GOOD JOB--you've accomplished your goal. So, was this your good deed of the day? Preach what you teach.

Lissa wonders what a "stereo typical" trying to be different thing is and what does "preach what you teach" mean, exactly? Gives up. Responds:
I didn't create the website. They hired me. It's CitySearch. It's in twenty or so cities across the world. I'm the music editor in New York City. It's my job. Maybe you'll have one someday.

Two, I'm a little horrified at how many of you are wasting your time and effort on lil' old me and the rather inconsequential issue of the Beastie Boys. You have your opinion, I have mine, neither of us is right or wrong because it's all a matter of personal taste. I'm sick of squabbling with all of you and amazed that this is such a crucial issue for you kids. Isn't there anything more important in your lives? You want to spam and protest and voice your outrage, chow down on this:

[enclosed online petition against the militant Christians picketing Matthew Shepard's funeral]

Oh, and "YOU ARE WEIRD"--I'm very hurt.

From: MONeill

From: Miracle69
You are a great theorist and a fine human being. You started it off with enough sour taste to make me, the most anti-Tibet person around, drop my jaw. You hit every wrong point about the Beasties in 1998. The only thing I would have done different is i would have moved the over exposure bit to the middle. You don't wanna start off with that cause people will be like, so what they got a new album out now, they deserve it. Yeah i see why you started it off that way but you could have dissed the album first and then attacked the exposure.

I'm glad you touched on Yauch specifically. People forget the lunatic who shoved his hands down the pants of a fifteen year old he didnt even know. I loved that man then and now he's a sad cliche. The Starbucks thing was funny but you gotta admit dissing it in your article is about as trite as Mike dissing the GAP. One shitty part of Adrock today is how meloncholy he is nowadays. "OH my mom and best friend are dead feel sorry for me" The shit happened ten years ago and yes he's the same asshole he's always been. He's the same mean asshole is what I mean, with a short temper.

I'm glad you touched on Mike D's eccentrism now also. Do you really believe Screech is his younger bro? You dont gotta answer that but I think in the newest RS interview it said that mike has two older bro's. Maybe it doesn't but still you'd think they'd get together and hook something up. Plus, Adam Sandler gave Mike D props on What The Hell Happened to Me and they still havent done somthing creatively. I brought the point up with Yauch and he was like, "isn't he a comedian though?" and I started to say, "yeah but so are you guys-" and then i came back with, well you used to be anyways. Then I asked about a few points from LTI that remained unclear such as how to actually do the patty duke and then moved into the actual amount of dust smoking that was going on and he was like, "man it was all a joke" so i said, yeah but it was a funny joke.

Yauch pisses me off with his I DON'T KNOW shite. IF he don't know shouldn't he shut the fuck up all ready? Anyway, I had to rant too, hey I'm proud of you buddy. I'm gonna go read your other stuff. Good work.

Lissa Responds:
Thanks. I don't know who spammed the Grand Royal list with this, but they sure gave me an amusing Friday. I wrote this months ago and got lots of response in the same vein as yours, then all these kids who should've been doing their homework showed up. I'm thinking of publishing their responses, actually. They range from the inane to the unnervingly intolerant for the most part.

Good point about putting the overexposure later. That would've been a better idea… I know Screech isn't D's brother but you know he'd deny it even if he was. And I was trying to indicate that people shouldn't have been taking the whole thing so seriously. It's kinda sad, all of it, really. I mean, sure you can get older, you can settle down and, sure, pawing 15-year olds and setting shit on fire may drop off your list of preferred activities but, Jesus, you've got to remember to lighten up every now and then. Especially when you're encouraging legions of American teenagers to be humorless whiny brats. Anyway, it's nice to hear from someone who can spell and write a complete sentence. A shot of fine Scotch to you, amigo.


From: Tadlock
You know what bitch? What the hell do you know?! You sound like some kid who just found out that the fonze was just a character played by henry winkler! You also sound pretty jeleous of them! What the fuck does who they sign to their label have to do with them as a band? Or anything you've written for that matter?? Everything you speak of is completely irrelevant to their musical talent. If you don't like them, fine- give them a bad review or something (like it will ever be read anyway). But there's no reason to bad mouth them just cause now that they finally have another album out they're getting more publicity than your favorite band (probably U2 like everyone else).

By the way in aren't you just the epidimy of one of these "fall into line"-ers that you speak of? You're favorite album is pauls boutique? BOY that's original for a non-beastie fan! Thanks for the input but it wasn't worth the "virtual paper" it was written on. I'm sure the boys will ask you how to 'flow' properly next time. And congratulations on reading the spin artical! I enjoyed re-reading it very much! Helpfull hint: When trashing a band, try to keep at least MOST of your arguments music related. I know you want a chance to hang out with the monks too, but we can't always get what we want.

"So what if I'm a ham and cheese on rye?!" "I gotta do my thing and that's no lie!"
-Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty

Lissa tries to think of anyone who listens to U2 anymore. Can't. Responds:
Another kid with nothing better to cry about than big bad me abusing those helpless little Beastie Boys. You're upset someone doesn't agree with you. Haven't you ever gotten sick of being spammed by every magazine and TV show about something and bitched about it for shits and grins? Get over it. Move on....

And I'm not "jeleous." That's just what your mom tells you when you ask her why none of the other kids like you.

From: Tadlock (cc: Grand Royal mailing list)

From: Miracle69 (cc: as well)
Ya know what tadlock? Her article made a lot of sense and made more points than this post to the list that you made. Didn't you see where she said she loved the Beastie Boys? Thats what journalists call disclaimers. They say that this way readers who pay attention (obviously not you) to what the writer is claiming don't get confused into thinking that he/she is trying to ruin the rep of the band in specific. If you read her points you'd see that it wasn't an album review. She merely used the album as an example of how the Beasties have gone from ILL to Nasty in a bad way. All of her other points are of subrelevence.

Oh and by the way, I think it's kind of funny the way she dissed Bis, Buff Daughter, Ben Lee and any of the other annoying acts Mike has signed in the last four years or so. Mike's taste is a reflection of what's in store for Beastie Boys fans. She just pointed out the obvious

MrPink91 (also cc:)
And I must point out that Cibo Matto isn't on Grand Royal....not that that really matters...but yeah.

From: dolphinsplash
Are Dustin and Mike REALLY brothers? How do you know?

Lissa Responds:
A little bird told me. It also told me something about Helter Skelter and killing the pigs. They both deny it, but I think the photographic evidence is irrefutable (ha ha)…


From: ilyuvid14
i hate you if you hate the beastie boys, so fuck off man

Lissa says a silent prayer for a world that will one day be run by kids who are ready to commit homicide over a difference in musical taste and responds:
It's nice to know that you're so clear in your viewpoints. Am I to assume you also automatically hate blacks, Jews, gays, Republicans, Polish people, people who like the color green, people who spit when they talk, and any and all other people whose opinions and actions are divergent from yours? It's people like you, who know that some of us are instantly and automatically evil, that make the world a better place. I salute you!

Now go do your homework.

From: BeastieProfBooty
You stupid fucking dirtbag bitch. Who the fuck made you the almighty judge over the Beastie Boys? If you're going to dis them, at least gather some legitimate evidence you fuckin whore. (No, Dustin Diamond isn't Mike D's brother you pussy craving lesbo). God, it's douchebag bitches like you that prevent women from getting anywhere in this world. Suck a cock, ho.

Lissa thanks God that this kid is probably too much of a wuss to fullfill his destiny as a wifebeater and responds:
It's good to know that Beastie Boys fans are such tolerant, open-minded, kind people who understand that the world is a large place, full of many people, all of whom hold many divergent opinions and should be allowed to express them freely in the spirit of discourse. I know the Beasties would be proud of your little outburst.

Now, listen you little homophobic, racist, misogynist, teenaged Midwestern fuck, go do your homework. I take it that you have a miniscule penis and a serious acne problem, which is why you hate and fear women and spend all your time on the internet. And from there you can spew your obscene, vicious little tantrums without getting your hateful scrawny ass beaten into the ground.

From: BeastieProfBooty
A well written response to my juvenile, pre-pubescent outburst! Sarcasm aside for a moment, I do indeed respect that and acknowledge your well-honed writing style. I at first expected a fiery, grammatical-error ridden backlash, yet was pleasantly surprised by what I would classify as quite the impressively composed letter. Your strike was swift, strong, and deadly. I especially liked the "midwestern teen" touch; it exemplifies the typical postule popping adolescent.

You're quite intriguing, an enigma in many aspects. From your original article that I read, I expected much less. Opinions are fine, but saying that a band sucks and listing evidence is propoganda. Why must you have such a problem with the fact that the BBoys are no longer the beer swilling, riot inciting hoodlums of the 80's? By the way, that entire image was conjured up by Rick Rubin, their former producer. Notice how when Mario C. stepped on board they acquired a consistent image?-that's the real Beastie Boys. Some of your arguments made sense, but others were just plain irrational and thus irritating (i.e. Screech is Mike D's brother).

Oh, and for the love of God, get your facts straight before you go circulating something. That's what got me particularly pissed off; your nonchalant, bullshit attitude in the letter. Your writing is most noteworthy, just don't wield it so haphazardly.
Your Internet Obsessed, Skin Diseased #1 Fan

Lissa pauses, wonders if this person's ever been hospitalized for their schizophrenia, or if it's just an outpatient thing. Decides not to write back.

From: PimpDa00
if u are the real ian rodgers who works on the b-boys website and toured w/ them in 98, u are a fucking loser. how can u write all this bad bullshit about the best band of all time. their "jazz songs" on hello nasty, aren't all that long like u seem to think they are and they're pretty good songs. u should respect yauch's choices about life. he's grown alot since the 80's and how many 30 year olds do u know that go around shooting cars and egging people. it was cool when he was a kid, but he's an adult now. so peace out motherfucker.

Lissa Responds:
1. My name's not Ian. I don't work for the Beastie Boys in any way, shape or form, never have, never will. However, the Grand Royal people like to hunt up any non-Beastie material and put it on their mailing list so you kids have something to get yourself worked up over.

2. The Beastie Boys are not the best band of all time, an assertion I'm sure they themselves would agree with. I'm guesing "all time" for you, my little groundling, means since 1995.

3. None of you kids seem to possess anything remotely resembling a sense of humor.

4. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. Surprising how many of you supposedly socially conscious, open-minded Beastie fans posess all the tolerance of a middle-aged, Midwestern, born-again Christian NRA member.

5. I'm sure that you, Mr. PimpDa, have some homework to do, and you mother doesn't want you surfing the net this late. Not to mention using the word "motherfucker." Now be a nice little boy and go to your room.

From: PimpDa00
yo hoe. first of all, i know everyone has their own opinion, and my opinion is that ur a hypocrite for saying that the b-boys act like they're "holier than thou" and then u write an ignorant articule saying how they suck. 2nd of all, i can take a joke, but that articule wasn't funny in any way except for mike d. denying his heritage. 3rd, i know that u probably think that i'm some kid who likes everything he hears on the radio and wears Gap clothes. but ur wrong. 4th, i listen to alot of music. i listen to the Beatles, Korn, phish, jon spencer blues explosion, bob marley, minor threat, the pixies, beck, G. Love and special sauce and hundreds of other kick ass bands, and after hours of listening i've determined that the b-boys are the best band of all time. i used to like the Doors the best, but they were put down by the Beasties. and 5th, my mom doesn't really care what kind of language i use, i'm in my room w/ the computer i bought w/ my own money that i worked my ass off to make, and i'm 16. so c-you later and think before u speak.

Lissa Responds:


From: JtCann
Hello, Dustin Diamond is in no way related to Mike D. Screech was born and raised in California, Mike D is from New York. I don't know what sort of Editorial writer you are that puts false information in one of your articles but I guess your not exactly writing for the Times now are you?

Lissa Responds:
Everyone knows they're not related. It was a joke. Silly article. Silly pictures. Humor. Ha ha. Get it?

From: Lewdichris
Hey.... I Just read your artical about the B - Boys and want to say that .. . .. . . Hmmm . . .. You are the TRUE POO-POO ! That was the best beastie artical Ive read in AGES ! ! ! ! ! I LOVE the artical and the Unstopable Three have been my favorate band for a hell of a long time . . . wether or not I agree with it all. . . .. Its Damm Good to see a trueBlue Review . . . instead of the same Run of The Mill Crap everybody writes about them . . . \ It was funny as Hell and as much as I wanted to hate your writings and disagre with it. . .. When your right .. . . . Your Frickin Right !! ! ! And madam. . . YOU ARE DEAD ON BALLS CORRECT ! ! ! ! Keep up the good work ! ! ! ! ! By the way . . . .. Im not sure constantly write good articals. . . . .this one was forwarded to me by a friend . . . .


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The Looming Menace of CMJ (Festival Preview)

17 reasons why The Beastie Boys are wack!

North By Nortwest (Not the Movie)

Ask Mr. Diva

Dead Elvis: Munching The King's Corpse

Fear of a Black Planet: The Goth Revival.

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Spice Girls review, Fourth of July disasters, an obscene love triangle, and all-star hope for our nation's future.

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The legendary Ginger Spice rant!

Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner.


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