Note: we interrupt Goat Rope's regularly scheduled programming for the following breaking news:
Today, March 14, 2011, will be eternally celebrated in the annals of culture. Or maybe not. In any case, one of the idols of my junior high years will be officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I am referring, of course, to Alice Cooper, who was one of three stars in my early adolescent firmament. The other two were Bruce Lee and J.R.R. Tolkien. What can I say--I had good taste back then.
At the time, I loved the irreverence expressed in lyrics like School's Out:
Well we can't salute ya
Can't find a flag
If that don't suit ya
That's a drag
Unlike those who would follow, the father of Shock Rock didn't take himself too seriously, as can be seen in the following lines from the same song:
Well we got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no innocence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes
I went to see him with a friend once when he came to Charleston. My friend, more enterprising than me, bought a poster and forged an autograph from it that he showed off all over school the next few days. And if I was ever lucky enough to get a back stage pass to one of his concerts, like Wayne and Garth did in the movie Wayne's World, I probably would have come close to hurling myself.
I haven't followed his career that closely beyond the years that I first took sustenance from them, but that was enough. Happy Rock Day, Alice!
OKINAWA DREAMING. When news came of the horrific earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, I thought at once of Okinawa and the people I had met there last spring. The island is more than 1,000 miles south of the epicenter and was spared the worst. According to a friend in touch with the situation there, there was only a tidal wave about about 12 inches and some disruption of cell phone service. My thoughts still go out to those lost in the disaster and those still at risk, both from the natural cataclysms and the danger of nuclear meltdowns and contamination.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, here are some reflections on the destructive capacity of water.
WHO'S BROKE? E.J. Dionne talks sense about deficits and budgets here.
SOLIDARITY. Depending on whom you talk to, several hundred to over 1,000 people rallied at the WV State Capitol this weekend in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Here is coverage from the Gazette and WV Metro News. Late last week, the WV House of Delegates passed a measure supporting public employees in that state.
SPEAKING OF THE LEGISLATURE, I'd better pass, lest I say things that may come back to bite me someplace. I might, for instance, speculate about whether racism is alive and well in the state senate and it wouldn't be prudent to do that (although some recent happenings there make me go hmmmm).
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED