Letters to Holly

Tuesday, March 13

Rage, Drink, Rock

As I made my way to work, I discovered that the interstate was closed down for a five-mile stretch. That routed all traffic to 191, a road not meant to handle that kind of business, and it took me two hours to get to the office. I was driving Your Sister's car as mine has to go back to the shop again. You know the kind of day Your Sis had, and we decided to walk the neighborhood to clear our heads and enjoy this new, later daylight. And then we got drunk.

We both cracked open the 22-ounce beers we bought from the new alky-hall store in Hendersonville to go with out wings and fries. But no rasslin. No, for last night was the live broadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Velvet revolver gave a dispirited speech to introduce Van Halen, represented ironically by two of the three members who were kicked out: Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. The Ronettes' lead singer Ronnie Spector managed to ramble in her speech despite a printed copy with a large enough font that the viewing audience could read. Patti Smith was gracious and sweet before rocking her ass off in the obligatory induction performance. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first hip-hop act into the hall, and their performance was strictly and gloriously old-school.

And finally, after about three hours, Eddie Vedder gave a fantastic speech on REM, and the band came out for their speeches and set. That's the one I wanted to see. REM was the first band I remember that was cool to like because they were smart. They weren't cool in the traditional sense (although many a girl fawned over Michael Stipe), but they had poetry floating over pop-rock twang and jangle. They could coo when they wanted and rock when they wanted, and that made for a great band. Also, Automatic for the People is one of the top ten albums ever made, and not just because it was one of my seminal college CDs.

Picture of the Day
In honor of Star Wars' 30th anniversary, the Post Office will unveil R2D2 mailbox covers. I think some related stamps will be issued too.

In the News Kinda
There's a line in 300 where Leonidas dismisses the Athenians as "boy lovers." This line is straight out of the comic, and a reader took Miller to task for it, saying the Spartans also indulged in pedophilia. Miller agreed in a fairly dismissive way. You can read the initial letter and response in question here. But the debate continued in a later column for a Sin City miniseries, and you can read that here. The debate still simmers for some, and it blends in with a larger debate about Miller's style of storytelling. He praises fascism, some claim. He's misogynistic, others claim. This is the kind of mindset that resulted in the indirect online attack on Your Sister and the direct shot at me a few weeks back after I mentioned she liked Miller material. I'm of the mind that with all the potentially offensive things one sees in the comic and film that this one line is the most easily disregarded. It's a non-issue.

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