Taking Note of a Few Things: The Rock is Dead Edition

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Long live rock
I need it every night
Long live rock
Come on and join the line
Long live rock
Be it dead or alive”

I remember back in the 80’s, a countdown began as to how many living WWII vets were alive and when to expect the last one to pass. With each significant anniversary of the war, the numbers were updated. Currently, there are about 200,000 left with predictions that by 2036 there might only be a couple hundred remaining.

At the rate rock stars are dropping, by 2036, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are liable to be the only two left. A day no longer goes by where I do not read about the passing of a member of one of rock’s great bands or a solo artist checks out.

Maybe because I never served in the military, I am more aware of my own mortality every time I read that a great musician passes away. The genre of classic rock is all but dead and has been for a while. Younger musicians who do create it are nowhere near the superstar greats like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream, and endless others were. Music is created, produced, and marketed entirely differently and long ago stopped being part of a revolution. It’s just one of endless choices, no different than walking down the cereal aisle of a grocery store and wondering what the fuck happened?

I grew up listening to and wishing I could be like the great musicians of the 60’s and 70’s. Now it is all I can do to not scream when I hear that many Grunge era artists of the 90’s are approaching 60. If I grew up loving an artist, there is a good chance he is either dead or approaching 80.

Ann Wilson, the amazing lead singer for Heart, is on tour and having to perform sitting down because she recently had knee replacement surgery. The Boss had to cancel last year’s tour because of an irritable bowel. Tom Petty overdosed because he insisted on one more tour before hip replacement surgery. The Who hope to get in one more tour. They decided to fade away instead of burning out at the ripe old age of 30 or ancient age of 40.

I have commented before about how disappointed I was to know U2 chose a Las Vegas residency over a grinding tour. However, similar residencies are all that is left for most great acts who also depend on increasingly larger backing bands to play what they have either forgotten or simply are too arthritic to perform.

At least U2 has most of its original members. Bands are promoted and tour every year who no longer have any of their original members which basically means you pay top dollar to watch a cover band perform. You may want to say no before deciding to see Yes perform. Iron Butterfly flew off long ago. Canned Heat is now dead cold. Blood, Sweat and Tears have bled out. Molly Hatchet has been lopped. Quiet Riot will no longer take it. And sadly, Lynyrd Skynyrd are no longer street survivors. 

Classic rock bands were once artists. Today, they are just another brand packaged and sold to the public.

After parties now include drinks laced with Metamucil instead of LSD and band members are known to yell at younger partiers to keep it down because they want to watch Matlock.

And here I am, contemplating whether I should buy a CD player.

Today, I purchased a couch. It was a year old, in darn near new condition, and sells for over $700.00 at a local furniture store. I got it for $100.00 because the owner is joining the Air Force. I asked him why and he said he is 33 years old and it is now or never. He then remarked that he graduated from Chico State in 2013 with a degree in 3D Design. Unfortunately, AI will make his career extinct in five years so rather than running up more student loans, he is joining the military.

Look who is calling the kettle black. Turns out drugs must kill brain cells after all. How else do you explain a generation, mine, of old farts demanding cops come in and break up college demonstrators over the treatment of Palestinians by Israel — and our government’s support of the Israeli government? Weren’t these the same people who protested the Vietnam War in a similar manner? Age does not always bring wisdom. Sometimes it brings hypocrisy.

Not that I care but, I find it funny that Texas proudly claims to be a pro-life state while they sanction a fight between 58 year old Mike Tyson and 28 year old Jake Paul. This is the same pro-life state that wants to allow more guns to be sold on-line without background checks while suing the federal government so they can install a barrier in the Rio Grande so people crossing from Mexico will drown. I didn’t even mention their stance on the death penalty?

If politicians couldn’t yank our chains over culture wars, voters might realize just how worthless these people are and how little they accomplish. While they get us worked up over things like abortion, the death penalty, immigration, and gender identity, our kids receive a horrible education experience, we receive terrible health care, our drinking water is laced with chemicals, and we are robbed of our dignity as we age.

Culture wars are the fault of both political parties and exist to make us forget what we all are entitled to. They are designed to keep us divided which is strange when the first name of our nation is United. We seem to unite over wars but nothing else. Most of the people never travel to other modern countries. If they did, they would see all that we go without. We spend more on our military than the next 15 largest spenders spend combined and we stick our noses into everyone’s business while failing to take care of our own. We might be the greatest superpower ever, but that doesn’t make us the greatest nation. There’s a big distinction between the two.

“If you don’t like it here, then leave.  I have heard this plenty of times. A person should never feel they have to leave their homeland, but should have the right to do so if they choose. When a government meets the needs of the top one percent at the expense of the average citizen, it ceases to be considered a democracy. We have morphed into a corporation run by a board, the top one percent, rewarding itself with huge raises annually at the expense of its employees, the real taxpayers. Our elected “leaders” are nothing more than managers who are well taken care of to implement what their bosses demand.

We sell  ce to Eskimos, shit to flies, and culture wars to voters.

Can we at least all agree that actor Kevin Spacey is at least a creep?

My only problem with the Lakers firing their head coach is he does not play. Their team lacks talent, they have no depth, and LeBron, despite the general media sucking up to him, is way past his prime as a complete player. This off season will determine who calls the shots in that organization. If they hitch their wagon to LeBron, the Lakers can expect mediocrity.

This election is shaping up as the lesser of two evils. President Biden has inflation, Gaza, and his age working against him. Trump has his business practices and his zipper and trials as his enemy. It used to be that the older generation held candidates to a higher moral standard while the younger generation looked the other way. It seems reversed this time.

I believe today’s youth crave for someone they can look up to. Just as Obama was a light in a dark tunnel in 2008, today’s youth want someone they believe will do more than give them lip service. Today’s youth lack the patience that politics takes to unfold and want someone who will promise to meet their needs right away, much like Trump offers the older and angry voters. The problem is, knee jerk reactions seldom work out nearly as well as they are popular with the masses.

It’s pretty clear younger voters have no one to turn to in this election. They seem easily manipulated by headlines and social media and less patient. Getting old is considered a criminal offense and real crimes committed don’t interest them. Fame and fortune are shoved down their throats and people who grind away at life are doing something wrong.

I get why young voters feel the way they do. I don’t agree with them, but they only know what they expose themselves to and they seem to have created a much different world than what I remember when I was starting out.

It’s people of color who I do not understand. So much of Biden’s work has gone toward creating more opportunities for them and yet recent polls suggest half support Trump. How anyone of color can support a person who has encouraged as much hate and distrust toward people of color is beyond my capacity to understand.

I’m surprised that joining cults is not popular. It seems like in the 1970’s, when there was a lot of voter and social dissatisfaction, more young people were joining cults. Airports were always popular places for cult recruiters to hang out. They strolled the airport looking for young people who looked lost and lonely before reeling them in. I guess now they rely on the internet. It’s one more thing technology has ruined.

Tom Selleck has had a long and successful career as a television and film actor. At the age of 79 he is worth millions thanks to regular people enjoying the parts he has played. For him to go on national TV and tell the public he might not be able to afford to keep his ranch in Ventura County unless he continues to act shows just how little he understands what hardship is. All these years, I thought he was out of touch because of how high he wore his shorts and pants around his waist and the fact he tucked in his Hawaiian shirts, something no local Hawaiian would dare do. I guess success also went to his head.

I did not bother to watch any clips from the recent Tom Brady roast. I think the old Friars Club roasts were used to raise money for charity. To find out that NetFlix used theirs simply to draw in viewers while paying Brady a large sum of money is a good example of the rich taking care of their own. After all, Tom is set to make something like $30 million dollars a year to call football games. Maybe he can loan Tom Selleck some money so he can keep his ranch.

Is Tom Brady the greatest quarterback of all time? (Claudia Gestro)

Who’s the sexiest male Olympic Athlete? Apparently no one because there are no headlines to be found stating who it is and that he has qualified for Paris this summer. There is, however, plenty about Alica Schmidt who qualified and has been crowned the sexiest female Olympian, although I bet she has plenty who are unaware that they have been placed in line to challenge her.

If I am being honest, I am no longer sexy or all that athletic. Heck, in today’s world, I don’t even know if I am male.

Kristi Noem has more than a dog problem. To rely on bragging about killing pets as a way to improve your likeability with the MAGA crowd and boss Donald shows what a miscreant she really is. Then to complain about being questioned repeatedly about it in interviews makes her come across as a lunatic, or maybe a better term is Karen. She might want to stop with the press tour.

Every time I see a photo of Oklahoma City Thunder player Chet Holmgren playing, I end up saying to myself, “Now I know what Abe Lincoln would have looked like had he been a basketball player.”

According to Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump makes love about as well as he ran the country.

I hope for Melania’s sake that Baron turns out to be a good person. Otherwise, she watched the paint dry on her bedroom ceiling for nothing while Donny knocked her up.

Trump could solve all his financial troubles simply by agreeing to become the face for Depends.

The good news for Trump is that he gets a day off from court to attend Baron’s graduation ceremony. The better news for the nation is Baron’s school is trying to move the ceremony to Ford’s Theater.

Republicans once were known as The “Moral Majority.” I’m pretty sure that moniker is dead.