At the Jinx Project, we often find that musicians can easily be classified as Friends or Enemies of Jinx, depending of either the quality of their music or the degree to which they represent Jinx core values. For example, Merle Haggard has been classified a Friend of Jinx since 1964, and there was never any real debate necessary to come to this conclusion. Likewise for mope-rock legends the Cure, who were quickly placed atop the Enemies list in 1979 upon the release of "Boys Don't Cry".
Occasionally, however, a band comes along whose motives are not so readily discernable. Do they take a stand for Danger and Adventure, the shadow of every red-blooded man? Or is their aim the degredation of human society in hopes that modern civilization will crumble under the weight of it's own hedonism.
Such a band is Man Or Astroman. Upon listening to one of their fine recordings on the Touch and Go label out of Chicago, or the Estrus label out of Bellingham, WA, the naive listener may believe that the band she is listening to is nothing more than a group of extremely talented surf instrumentalists. But if she were to read the band's bio or look on their web site, she would see the far more disturbing truth. In fact, Man or Astroman are no common band. In fact, they are not even human. Man or Astroman are aliens from outer space who play surf-inspired rock'n'roll. And that is not something that the Jinx Project encounters every day.
With such limited information available regarding MOAM's activities here on Earth, it is natural that there should be any number of questions regarding their activities. Why have Man or Astroman come to Earth? What are their goals here? Should they remain Friends of Jinx, as they are currenly tentatively classified? In order to determine the answers to these questions, the Jinx Project traveled to a recent "performance" in the Kurdistan portion of eastern Turkey and spoke with Birdstuff, a member of MOAM's inner circle.
While many of the ideas espoused may seem threatening to the average Earth-dweller, there can be no doubt that many of MOAM's contributions have had a positive impact on Earth society. Not the least of these contributions is the EEVIAC Mainframe SuperComputer. While other computers in use today may handle specific tasks efficiently, like graphics rendering or spreadsheet programming, EEVIAC is powerful enough to control and render every aspect of MOAM's stage show. It can also output a sonic algorithm that is available on CD from Touch and Go, entitled "EEVIAC: Operational index and reference guide, including other modern computational devices". In many people's minds, the release of this CD is enough to warrant a classification among the Friends of Jinx, and MOAM is eager to push forward this agenda. According to Birdstuff:
"The classification of MOAM as Friends shows tremendous foresight because in the next few years when various huge computer systems and various cold war nations come out, you're going to need to be with a system that's reliable, that's going to work in the year 1900, which is the EEVIAC mainframe operational system. Its kind of getting back to the idea of being a computer of a somewhat great weight, being that each of them weigh 900 lbs apiece. It's a huge hulking behomoth, vacuum-tube run super-computer that can run your basic spreadsheet program, but at the same time, you can play tic-tac-toe. Which is important when people are fighting in the streets over a dead rat to eat. "
"We've had a bit of controversy lately because a lot of people think that MOAM is the opposite of Milli Vanilli, because we're a live band playing live rock music trying to convince people that a supercomputer is creating that music. But what they don't understand is that the EEVIAC is so advanced that it programs everything, down to guitars going out of tune, to breaking strings, to losing drumsticks, to having various things fall over, to having some idiot in Providence jump up onstage with a rat tail and have us having to kick him offstage in the middle of the set. That is programmed to the last minute detail. You'll notice everything down to the mock replication quasi-perspiration that beads down our brow that is programmed by EEVIAC. And a lot of people think it looks so real, it feels so real. Is it real? It's EEVIAC."
Of course, creating a supercomputer that allows the band to put on a world class stage show is an impressive feat, but it's certainly not enough in and of itself to warrant Friends of Jinx status. It clearly takes more than the invention of a few diversionary gadgets to catch the Project's eye. Otherwise, Ron Popeil (Enemy of Jinx, 1973) would have made the list long ago. Thankfully, though, MOAM has an impressive list of credits to their name, even though they seem somewhat blasť about their accomplishments.
"Besides alternate dimension mollecular transportation, cloning, time travel, wireless electrical communications and power devices, anti gravity forces and materials, we haven't been up to much. We've actually been pretty lazy."
"(There is another) technology that we don't really like to talk about, but since you brought it up we can discuss some of the parameters behind the creation of it. I'll say it here and now: MOAM is responsible for Super Glue. Some people like to spell it Krazy Glue, spelled with a "K", but that technology is ours and we will harness it to make mass graves for humans if need be. It's such a precious material that we only give it to humans in very small quantites, just enough to get your fingers stuck together, and then you have to take fingernail polish to unconnect your fingers. But in the Grid Sector (see sidebar) we have (massive) tubes, with hoses of Krazy. So that technology may be something that we're using if there is a mass exodus of human life."
Birdstuff is too modest to admit MOAM's role in the invention of the internet, but pressed for answers as to why an advanced alien race would spend so much time and energy to create something so ephemeral, he admitted the truth.
"(We invented the Internet) just to let a certain slippage of the technology out, in the form of something greater that we have: the Astronet, which is a much larger system. The Internet is a much smaller sub-system, mainly so we can document the various transmissions of people that do have computational devices. We haven't learned a whole lot about your planet, but we've seen a lot of nude photos of Pamela Anderson."
When faced with MOAM's role in the creation of so much technology, and with their arguable hostile view towards humanity, it is only natural that the Jinx Project would inquire more deeply into MOAM's relationship with some of the more prominent members of the Enemies of Jinx list. Yet despite evidence to the contrary, MOAM deny any relationship between the band and Birkenstock, Inc.
"A lot of people think that we're more anti-Birkenstock than we come across, because we had a mass burning of Birkenstocks, but this patchouli oil that a lot of hippies wear gets soaked down along with the various fungi that hippies get from not wearing any socks can actually fuel various intergalactic vessels that we've been trying to make, so we try to abstract that from the Birkenstocks."
So while it may be true that MOAM are not involved specifically with Birkenstocks, by their own admission they are responsible for cellular telephones, Krazy Glue, and perhaps most disturbingly, EEVIAC. Can we not assume some malicious or contemptuous purpose in MOAM's activities? Despite all reason, MOAM would have us believe that this is not the case.
"Oh no, MOAM isn't aiding along in the complete and utter demise of your society or of human existence. We're just going along with it like it's some bad sitcom, waiting for the end of the season. And like any planet or any society, it will eventually get cancelled. I don't think (our atttitude towards humans is one of) contempt - it's more of an amusement. Knowing already what I know of the Jinx Project, I think it's a rather powerful and worthy organization. By calling it Jinx magazine, you're almost begging people to think of it not as an entirely serious magazine, like there's a bit of irony to it. I think that's a rather clever device for your true purposes."
Of course, that's what they said about the Bay of Pigs, too.
Conclusion: In fairness to MOAM, however, it must be admitted that the human race has experienced an explosion in technological progress as a direct result of their efforts here, both musical and otherwise. Though some of their intentions may not be in perfect sync with those of the Project, we cannot help but laud them for their brave stand against Birkenstocks, Inc. and for their gift of Krazy Glue.
Classification: MOAM will remain among the Friends of Jinx pending further review upon the release of their next CD.