In this paper I will argue that rock music has a dark nut of alcoholism that you unavoidably must swallow if you want to understand the songs. This isn’t true — none of this is true. Is true. Literally. This is a Sentence I’m writing for myself, so Don’t Worry if you Don’t Like it. Gamesmanship is the name of this game. “You’re fired.” “I quit.” The third cigarette will make you go blind. A doctor’s stethoscope pressed against the breast of a dinosaur transmits the half-time snare-heavy breakdown of the night. Another lie! Yes, we’ve got exclamation points: They’re stacked neat as hell in that shed. What, America? You’re in it. Welcome. Tower Records and Virgin Megastores are closing their doors left and right, but did you know——there’s an Amoeba on Sunset Blvd and a dead father in Concord. Seriously, I’m just kidding, privately, in the 1950s bathroom, alone, with my alcohol, my cigarettes, and the drugs (not mine). No one else — just me, my several pets, and my substances. Say something of substance. “OK!” Coffee, cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol brewed in a Mash Tun——isn’t this of substance? Haw haw haw haw haw haw. Listen, I need you to do this for me. On Facebook, I need you to go and change your “movie” preferences — the place where it says which movies you like most — please change it to The Long Goodbye, directed by Robert Altman and starring Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe. Would you do that for me? It would mean a lot. I’ll buy you a sterling silver necklace in thanks. Your new necklace will depict the Miller High Life moon-lady, except instead of sitting in the moon, she’s hanging out inside a celestial star of David.
The blind are immune to the billboard’s pitch.
The blind hiker washes his face in an alpine lake as his pet dog makes out surreptitiously with his wife. He suspects something. “Carol? Ralph? What are you two doing back there?” Ralph rolls over on his back, begging Carol to scratch his belly. “I’m petting the dog, Benji,” Carol says, without grace, to her blind husband. She dips a hand into her shorts, yanks it out, and smells her fingers. “Do we have any Clif Bars left?”
Last night I took my daughter to her first rock show. A local band I’d never heard of, called The Penis. We were walking by the Parkside, 8:25 on a Wednesday night. It sounded good, didn’t seem too crowded. We looked at each other and I waggled my eyebrows. Then I cocked my head in the direction of the swinging doors hung crookedly across the entrance. She shrugged her shoulders and stuffed her hands into her pockets. Writing prose is such a dumb activity. I’m painting a little scene with spongepaint and jelly onto the “tableau of your imagination.”
Go Sober, America! 2009!