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Maynard James Keenan: Online Entitlement Is Like the ‘Darkest Version of Yelp’

Maynard James Keenan
Charlie Gallay, Getty Images

Routinely outspoken with dark comedic overtones that sometimes get lost in translation, Maynard James Keenan has offered his thoughts on the current state of the U.S. culture and the fascination with social media. He threw out a couple ideas that he believes could get help level out society in both senses of the word, suggesting an “extinction-level event” could do us some good.

Speaking with AZ Central, the Tool and Puscifer frontman discussed Puscifer’s Money Shot album, but drifted towards social commentary. “I don’t know if you’ve seen that documentary? It’s a pretty intense documentary called Idiocracy, which used to be a comedy and now it’s a documentary,” he began, adding, “And that Nostradamus film called V is For Vendetta (sic)? I don’t know what’s happening out there. What’s gonna happen next? Is it zombies? I’m ready for anything now.”

Keenan went on to discuss online culture and the impulsiveness of sharing opinions without researching and fact-checking beforehand. Feeling this contributes to the Idiocracy notion he brought up, the singer adds, “I think maybe just that entitlement, the ability to immediately express an unfounded opinion that’s not based on any kind of data or fact or research. It’s just your opinion. I can see how that can be kind of unnerving. It’s like the darkest version of Yelp. It’s unfortunate. What I think would help is some borderline extinction-level event. I think that would kind of set everything pretty straight.”

Elaborating on the borderline extinction idea, he clarified, “Something… something gorgeous. A meteor, a few tidal waves, maybe a rapid Ice Age, something to kind of make you worry more about food, clothing and shelter, rather than tweeting.”

When it was pointed out that Keenan also has a Twitter account, the musician responded, “If we’re building something, trying to move forward and make progress in some way, whether it’s community, art, cuisine, winemaking, those things [are for sharing]. But generally speaking, social media for me is just comedy first, always. If there’s a joke to be told, you’ve gotta retell it.”

The conversation turned towards sensitive college students and the apprehensions professors have out of fear of offending one of their students in the teaching process. Maynard offered a solution for this as well: spanking! “If they’re over 18, you’re allowed to take that student, put them over your knee and spank them in front of the class and embarrass them,” he stated. “Put them in the corner with a dunce cap. But you’re only allowed to do that 12 times a year. See how that works.”

Putting the joking aside, the icon recently provided an update on the progress of the new Tool album. “We’ve found a common ground. We just can’t seem to move forward,” he said as the band’s long-awaited new album continues to keep fans waiting in limbo.

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