February 22, 2005

With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves

* 10 greatest rock and roll myths. excerpt:

"3: The Beatles' spliff in Buckingham Palace
Sometime after our four young heroes bounced into the Palace in October 1965 to receive their MBEs, John Lennon claimed they'd shared a toke in the loos. Not the most reliable witness - he once claimed he wrote 'Eleanor Rigby' - Lennon later 'fessed up, admitting 'we'd have been far too scared to do it'. McCartney, meanwhile, remembers simply having a 'sly ciggie' with the chaps to calm nerves.

4: Keef's blood transfusion
Keen to clean up for a European tour, Richards reportedly replaced his poisoned old claret with an infusion of healthy blood in a Swiss clinic in September 1973. In reality, it was probably only haemodialysis, which filters impurities from the bloodstream. 'Someone asked me how I cleaned up, so I said I had my blood completely changed,' Richards said. 'I was fucking sick of answering that question, so I gave them a story.'

5: Stevie Nicks having cocaine blown up her bum
It's tempting to believe Fleetwood Mac's queen bee followed her addiction to such deliciously depraved depths - but sadly, untrue. 'That's absurd,' said Nicks in 2001. 'Maybe it came about because people knew I had such a big hole in my nose. Let's put a belt through my nose, because that's how big the hole is.' So she just talks through her arse, then. Maybe."

* Steve Gilliard on Hunter S. Thompson and blogs. excerpt:

"...Which is why Hunter Thompson was a hero. He was honest to a fault and mean to a fault. In a world where journalism has become about asking questions politely and fiction about settling grudges with parents and schoolmates, he was about something far more important.
...
"When Howard Kurtz whines about 'fairness,' someone needs to tell him the truth. 'Mistah Kurtz, we are not fair. We are honest.' Bush uses fairness like a Samurai uses a katana, to slice and dice and win. Fairness will no more stop Bush than a bazooka could stop a Tiger tank (couldn't come close). It is honesty which will stop him. People have to tell the truth. Kurtz and his fellows are people to be derided and mocked, not argued with. To accord him respect and seriousness, in the job most journalists disdain like cops hate internal affairs, is to give him power that his peers would never. The next time he whines about fairness, laugh in his face, wave a shrunken head in front of him, show him a picture of King Leopold. Do anything you want to show him the contempt you hold him in. But his words are meaningless to the people who matter, our readers.

"Thompson understood the danger of objective journalism, which was a creature of the post-war period, Roosevelt would have laughed at the concept, battered by Father Coughlin and the Chicago Tribune, which is that the dishonest and the disingenious can have their way with the honest and decent. He called for subjective journalism long ago and our temporary experiment of objective journalism is ending, because it only serves the status quo, which is not most of us.

"It's odd to think of the outsider Thompson having won the day about what we call journalism, but blogging allows for a world of outlaw journalists, working cheap and fast ans supporting each other in ways he couldn't imagine. It's not a bad legacy."

* Check out the latest hijinx of improv everywhere: putting a bathroom attendent inside a Times Square McDonalds.

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