Thursday, November 16, 2006


So, first, thanks to everyone. I didn't reply to any comments personally, mainly because I would have sounded like a flight attendant ("Thank you...thanks...thank kind of you, thanks...")

I am feeling much better now. Back to my old bitchy little self, thanks in large part to you guys, in part to a good laugh on EE yesterday, in part to having one of the Smart Bitches laugh at one of my dumb jokes, and in part to a particularly irritating hour or so spent with one of, in my opinion, the world's worst magazines...

Rolling Stone.

It isn't just the criminally biased opinion pieces masquerading as journalism, or the complete and utter lack of imagination in its coverage. Although all of those things bother me. (Hey, Rolling Stone--I read your magazine on occasion in the 80's. Don't try to pretend to me you guys were all into Minor Threat and Bad Brains. I know you weren't.) Now they'll act like punk was all their idea, but at the time they were doing cover stories on Glass Tiger. (I'm not knocking Glass Tiger--does anyone but me and maybe one or two of my Canadian friends still remember them? But they weren't exactly on the cutting edge. Which is fine. Nothing is wrong with being a catchy, enjoyable pop band.)

No, what bother me the most about Rolling Stone is how fucking juvenile it is. What a little boy's club of thirteen-year-olds the staff writers are.

Take, for example, one of the most pointless and stupid things I have ever seen anyone speculate about: the meaning of the euphemism "London Bridge" in some song by that woman from the Black-Eyed Peas (who, sorry, don't get them at all.) I've never heard the song, but I know the line: How come every time you come around/My London, London Bridge wanna go down.

Why, it's as mysterious and fascinating as The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam! What could she mean? Does she mean something--giggle, snicker--dirty? Like sex? Tee-hee! When she says it, I feel like I do when Mrs. Science Teacher says "ovaries"!

I am not joking here. I have now read two consecutive issues of Rolling Stone where speculation on the meaning of a somewhat clever piece of doggerel is given as much weight and page space as stories on...well, okay. Stories on other useless wastes of time and energy. It's Rolling Stone, after all, not US News and World Report. But even then! Even then, the obsession with the meaning of this stupid lyric--which, even if most of us can't look at the line, get an idea of what it means, and move on with our lives, is fairly unimportant. (Gee, what did Duran Duran mean by "night is a wire"? But, what does it meeean, man?)

Last month (my husband, for some reason, buys this last bastion of shit monthly), not only did they also wonder just how dirty the lyric actually is, and giggle about it with the same enthusiasm with which Regency fops would snicker about seeing a girl's ankles, but they wrote a review of some movie directed by the guy who directed Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Which was not really a bad film, but the underlying premise was so stupid it ruined it for me. (Nutshell-Hedwig is a transsexual--he was forced to be to escape East Germany. Anyway, Hedwig has always wanted to be a rock star. In the film, she is chasing after this guy who now is a rock star, who stole her songs to get to the top. Okay...but as the movie unfolds, we see that lots and lots of people knew she wrote the songs, and saw her perform them with this guy. So why on earth has she not been able to mount a successful lawsuit, with that many witnesses? Come on!)

So the movie is a sex movie. Literally. Apparently it's a large, filmed orgy. Rolling Stone says it's an amazing film, because it lets us see what sex really is, how it encompasses the human experience, and so teaches us something about ourselves. I've noticed this sort of thing a lot lately, with people doing extremely graphic films and claiming it's because they have something profound to say about sex. Like there's something profound to be said about sex that any grown-up doesn;t already know.

Okay, dude? If you need a movie to show you how sex can show us as we truly are, or how we can run a gamut of emotions before, during, and after haven't really been having good sex, have you?

Or you're simply an emotionally stunted third-grader. So, yeah, a Rolling Stone writer.

(Yes, I write very graphic stuff. But you know what? I'm not pretending it's supposed to show you anything about yourself. It's supposed to turn you on. It's supposed to give you a good reading experience, by letting you get two know two people who fall in love and have adventures, and it's supposed to turn you on while doing so! Point blank. The day I start talking about sex as the "universal human experience" as though I've come up with some profound new idea, shoot me.)

Okay, I've ranted enough now. But I'm happy.


Bernita said...

But it's deep ... man!
~ and so is a pile of shit~
Way to go, Girl.

Anonymous said...

You nailed that piece of shit Rolling Stone. I bought a new bass awhile back and got a free subscription to the rag. It's only good use was starting the charcoal in my grill. The fact that they stay in business is a sad testament to the intelligence level of our youth. You know, the ones that don't know who Nancy Pelosi is. Well said. -JTC

Robyn said...

One of the scions of RS was interviewed on why Madonna's performance of Vogue on the MTV music awards was cool. You remember back then, when she and her dancers were dressed in 1700's French costumes? She did one move where she hiked the dress up. Big surprise. Peter Travers, Mr. Rolling Stone himself, said, "She just showed her panties. Cool!"

December Quinn said...

Heh heh, Bernita. Yes indeed. Thank you!

It is sad, JTC. It's a magazine that still rests on it's 70's laurels (what laurels there were--don't forget, this is the magazine that gave Led Zep's first album a terrible review) and still worships at the bloated altar of Hunter S. Thompson, a man so delusional and self-important he could only write about himself. As Florence King once said (of Sylvia Plath, but it fits here): Instead of writing about what [he] did, [he] did what [he] wanted to write about. Real artists don't work that way.

Yep, Robyn, that's the way mature people think, isn't it? Cool...panties. :rolleyes.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Ooooh, December, I love it when you rant. :-)

I don't read Rolling Stone. Knew there was a good reason for it!

(So, what DID Axel Rose mean by that whole "Welcome to the Jungle" thing? Do ya think it was, like, a metaphor or something? Deep. Totally.)

kis said...

Doooon't forget me when I'm gone,
My heart would break
IIIIIII have loved you for so loooong...

I only remember because it was on the radio so bloody much. Damn 60% Canadian content regulations! Bad Brains was more my thing. The Specials, the Dead Milkmen, whatever. Punk-pop, straight punk, rasta-punk. A top hat, cane, and red zippers sewn all over my jeans. Those were the days.

And I never read rolling stone. I listen to music, I don't care to read about it. And I certainly don't want to hear the dumb-ass, holier-than-thou political opinions of rock stars, because what the fuck do they know, anyway? It's not like they took an undergraduate degree in political science or anything. It's not even like they have to live in the real world. If they read at all, it's the same stupid newspapers I do, so why any more weight is given to Bono's opinion, or Avril Levign's than to the average human being is beyond me.

I wonder if the boys at the Stone will tackle Fergie's use of "My hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My lovely lady lump. My hump."

Okay, it's like her ass, right? But what is it really?

Maybe they can do a six part series on the real meaning behind those lyrics, and how it exposes the state of the American sexual psyche. They'll probably fly off the shelves.

Anonymous said...

I used to love RS when I was in junior high. But I don't think I ever read it. I just cut it to shreds and plastered the pics of Eric Clapton (he was always in there) on the ceiling over my bed.

Ooops.. um.. I meant walls...

I heard a BEP song on the radio here whilst in a taxi a few months ago. From the words, I truly thought it was a parody. Until I saw it on MTV in one of the eletronic stores.

I've met a few RS writers over the years. They all seemed a bit needy to me. Needy as in really needed to hear how great they were. How meaningful the magazine was.

Not meaningful at all in some music genres. And thank God for that - or all music would be shite by now.

December Quinn said...

I don't know, SW. I'm gonna have to think about that one. "The jungle"...hmmm...:-)

I totally agree, kis, with everything. I especially hate political opinions from rock stars and actors for the same reason. When have they ever struggled to support a family and put their kids in public schools? Grrr. Shut up. You play guitar, or, if you're an actor, you play pretend for a living. Woo-hoo. So that means your opinion is so much more important?

LOL on the special series. I bet they'd do it, too!

I thought they were some bizarre parody band too, Isabella! And I totally agree on the desperate need to feel meaningful. Kinda sad that they never really were, and certainly haven't been in years.

Jenn on the Island said...

Ak, Kis, you bastard! Now that song's going to be in my head all day!! (Oui, oui, je suis Canadienne)

Ok, I'm desperately trying to remember the lyrics to "Punk Rock Girl"...something about fudge banana swirl...Oh gawd, why is it that I have heard Glass Tiger more recently than I've heard Metaphysical Graffiti?? I have heard Furnaceface recently, though! Saw them every time they played the Republik and the local station still plays them!

Ok, um sorry, December...

Never read RS, but the CBC just did a bit on their readership. Apparently the mag claims their readers are mature, Volvo-driving, straight-job-working, non-pot-smoking adults. Considering the content, I'm guessing most of them are living their mid-life crises behind the cover of the Rolling Stone....

kis said...

Hey, Jenn,

How bout that Loverboy? Or Trooper? Aaahh, subsidized Canuck badness at its very baddest.

I actually live on the big island. Of course, I'm almost on the very north tip of it, so I can only wave to you if you're on Malcolm or Cormorant Island. And I can't actually see either of them right now because of the 600% humidity level. How does it manage to be rainy and foggy at the same freaking time?

Christ, I've stopped watching the weather channel, cause those 14-day forcasts with nothing but rain are just too damn depressing.


Jenn on the Island said...

Ahhh, Trooper...Hubby actually saw them a few years ago at a club in Calgary...said they had the best sound he'd ever heard. Of course, they've had the same sound crew since 1982...

I'm mid-island on the big one. Rain, but still power, and no trees down...yet. (touching wood, hoping none of it falls on my house)

Sorry, December...geez I really need my own blog...

December Quinn said...

No need to apologize to me! Have fun!

(But yes, Jenn, you should have your own blog.)

Sam said...

I haven't read the Rolling Stone in decades, LOL. I do agree that it's best not to let rock, sports, and movie stars give personal opinions about politics. The only one qualified to talk about that is Sean Penn, because he's an activist. The others just flap their lips.
Glad Mercury is finished retrograding - I wonder what my excuse is? Must be PMS...LOL!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the kind thing you did for me on Evil Editor's forum.

You went to bat against someone who said some cruel things about my book, and it really meant alot to me.



December Quinn said...

No prob, Rona. It really was a shitty thing to say, and you didn't deserve it. FWIW I think your project sounds interesting--and so did a few other commenters. Focus on them and ignore the shit.