Monday, March 28, 2005

All the news that is news….

Saw COC and a few other bands at the Ogden last night. Got some static from a bureaucrat at the door, but an understanding soul tagged me and I was allowed to roam with the big boys in the 21 and over section. The first band, cleverly named Slunt, rocked, majorly benefited from the hot rhythm section and when I say hot, I mean hot. Rock babes, both of them. I couldn’t even blink. Then some punk band called Zeke came on. They were fast, but so what? McDonald’s is fast, and there’s no claims of quality there. After stinking up the stage for a while, they left to go play their D&D games and COC came on. I didn’t have a good viewing angle, but I heard every note loud and clear. I sang all the words I knew, and even made a few up as I went along. They busted out a few new songs and it was enough to make me wish for the 5th. First priority on the 5th…purchase that album. COC’s set was unfortunately pretty short, at least for my tastes. In fact, it was about as long as the wait for Motorhead to come on, as the big shot headliners. I don’t have anything against them, per se. Lemmy’s a legend, for Christ’s sake! But I mean, come on. Do you really have to turn it up to 11? Can’t you at least make sure the guitars sound like guitars instead of some kind of out of whack buzz saw? Maybe turn up the vocals while you’re at it so you can understand what song is playing? I guess that’s just Motorhead’s style though, fast and loud. And it’s loud. So loud you can feel it in your guts. After about three songs of that, I had enough. Over all, good show and a memorable Easter 2005.

A kid was arrested in the Minnesota school rampage, possibly because of a conspiracy. What gets me about this isn’t so much the conspiracy angle, but the dissection of motive and the emphasis of particular details. Like the Columbine killers, it’s been reported that this kid listened to heavy metal and dressed like a goth. I saw a headline on a heavy metal website listing his favorite bands, and of course Marilyn Manson was on there. (That Manson can sure put together a soundtrack for a school rampage, can’t he?) They’re also talking about the antidepressants he was taking. That’s the media for ya, though. They have to find a culprit. What made this kid do something like that? They ask. Why? It’s a noble pursuit, but their method is highly suspect. Reducing the issue to absurd simplifications (like the “Marilyn Manson” meme) accomplishes nothing. In order to understand why, you have to descend into an abyss of the soul, which is difficult to do in the objective style preferred by most news organizations. You have to talk about evil, no easy task even when it concerns subjects like the 9-11 attacks or Jeffrey Dahmer, but in this particular case, almost impossible because the subject is the evil of a teenager. Many people are in denial over the existence of evil children, but there is too much evidence to the contrary. Kip Kinkle, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Jeff Weise. And those are just some of the ones who shot up schools and got headlines. How many lurk in their own private circles, every day getting older, growing up to become evil adults?

The Schiavo case. Everyone has an opinion on this woman’s life and death, and you can bet your ass the media has been stoking the flames. You think those protestors would be out there with their clever signs if there were no cameras? How about the people being taken away? A kid! A kid being taken away? Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I don’t think it’s too farfetched to imagine a mother encouraging her child to enter into the drama as an attention getter. Maybe she wasn’t thinking headlines, but she was thinking of something. And the kid? Did he know what he was doing? Years from now, will he brag to his friends about the first time he got arrested? “So I was eight, right, and they were killing some chick in this hospice…” Alright, so he would exaggerate a little. So would you. The point is everyone has an agenda on this one. Politicians pandering to the base, desperate relatives paralyzed by the law, protestors seeking attention, special interest groups circling like vultures, all accompanied by a ravenous media on a deathwatch. God bless America.