During my college years, many moons ago, I was seated in the Uptown Theatre in Toronto and ended up next to a friendly, laid back (okay, most likely stoned) fellow who gave me his take on modern cinema. Don’t recall what we were there to see, but it was either Raging Bull or Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
“I like movies where you don’t have to think too much,” said my mellow buddy.
Hey, he did share his pot so I’ll cut the guy some slack.
Fast forward to the present day. I’m listening to Eddie Trunk’s Sirius/XM show on Hair Nation…stupid name for a channel because Hair Metal was a term coined by music critics in the late ’80s that disparaged the likes of Poison and Cinderella…a major insult to hard rock bands of that era but many clueless fans see it as somehow positive.
It’ s a live, call-in show and, more times than Trunk wishes, the callers have said something along the lines of, “I’m a really big fan of (Ratt, Warrant, WASP), what are they up to?”
I love Eddie. He wants to yell, “You moron. You say you’re a big fan but you don’t know what’s happening with YOUR FAVORITE BAND? Have you heard of Google? Do you know the internet has more on it than porn? Why are you calling me when you could find the answer on your own?”
Because every working band, from ’50s doo-wop groups touring with no original members to ’80s rockers touring with no original members (Hey, Foreigner, yes Mick plays a couple of shows but that’s it) to your local club band has a website. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Soundcloud, Mixcloud and the beat goes on.
Then again, this is not unique to the music business. I’m part of local Facebook pages and often times someone will post: Is their a dentist/plumber/electrician/sex therapist in town? Yes, Evita is an awesome sex therapist. Or so I’ve heard.
So, instead of googling their town and dentist, etc., they want someone else to do the work for them. Who has time to search when you’re busy posting photos of your dinner, your cat, your adorable child, or slamming/shaming restaurants? Look at my undercooked chicken! Wow, the service was horrible and I hope you aren’t able to figure out I’ve worked for or still work at a competing eatery.
Ignorance is the main reason Ivanka’s Dad became president. Pussy grabber? Pass. Good businessman, despite several of his companies going bankrupt? Pass. An outsider with no political experience? Pass. Yes, that’s working out just fine. Racist, misogynist, fat white fuck with no idea how the working class suckers that voted for him really live? Pass. Better than Hillary and her emails! I mean, you really can’t trust her, can you?
There will always be people that rely on second hand information or coffee shop gossip. Did you hear Trudeau wants to bring in Sharia Law so men can throw acid in the faces of their wives (seriously, there was a horrifying meme about that on Facebook) and not be punished for it? No, you didn’t. No one did. That was the definition of fake news.
I’ll close with a quote from the great Clarence Darrow, a legal legend and champion of the little guy and the oppressed. These words were also voiced by Spencer Tracy, as Darrow, in one of my favourite films, Inherit the Wind.
“Ignorance and fanaticism is ever busy and needs feeding. Always it is feeding and gloating for more.”
And, to quote Canadian rock band Triumph: “Fight the good fight every moment, every minute, every day.”