Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rolling Stone

[posted by Callimachus]

In coffeeshops I still impulsively reach for the "Rolling Stone" on the racks. I used to read it, and old habits die hard.

Nowadays, when I do, I'm repulsed. Not because so much of the music and artists in it are strange and new to me -- because so many are so familiar. Who cares about these retreads and fossils? Who still pretends that Art Garfunkle is relevant to anything? Rolling Stone, that's who.

Bad enough. But worse is the constant searching for a way to wire up the current aspects of youth culture and rebellion and political consciousness to the Vietnam era. The Vampire of the Sixties luring the young and innocent into its lair. Trying to give the old hippies one last gasp of glory by allowing them to say, "We taught them all they know; we passed our torch and they took it."

Never was that more evident than in the Fortieth Anniversary Issue which was a long, vulgar paean to the 60s and how perfectly right everyone was then. By the likes of Michael Moore and Jack Nicholson and Norman Mailer and Jane Fonda. Just flipping through it and reading the pull quotes, I realized like never before, "The Sixties" is a religion. A fundamentalist faith.

Only Stewart Brand made a lick of sense. Him and Keith Richards. Who said the 60s was all about a bunch of bored kids who needed to have fun and raise hell. Keith dad-snorting, zombie-faced, tree-diving Richards. When he's the voice of reason in your stable of stars, time to get a new stable.

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