There’s going to be a public meeting (on my birthday, no less) about turning a defunct bar in Coolidge Corner (about a 10-minute walk from our house) into a marijuanna dispensary. That’s progress, I guess. Doesn’t make up for all the years the stuff loomed over my life like a cop with radiant eyes. But, hey, there’s no question it’s an improvement over a hooch hole that was notorious for selling booze to college kids even if they were shitfaced.
Here’s the scoop.
PS: I must note that the Globe added an excellent tidbit — because of its riotous, drunken atmosphere, the place was nicknamed “Scary Mary’s.”
This is a fine piece and very well done.
But it flat fails to realize the key perspective that emerged during the decades:
This is the proper memorial story.
And as I believe more and more, the focus should not be on the monster and how he operated, but on his cult and why they followed.
I don’t know how negative-thrill excited I can get about this holiday (formerly one of my faves), because it seems like every day is a real-life incarnation of it.
But this is truly horrifying stuff. The monstrous cold laughter is the capper.
I see there’s a new book about classic rock’s darkest day, Just a Shot Away. With what seems like a much-needed remedial main thread. (And I must say that the event is the one thing I utterly hate about the Grateful Dead.)
My most vivid encounter with Altamount horrors came when I mentioned the Gimme Shelter documentary to a music photographer (forgive me for not remembering his name) and he said he was at the show, taking photos. But it was such a drug-soaked and violently deranged scene — more like a riot than a concert — that after half an hour he put away the camera and volunteered to work in a First Aid tent.
It was the look on his face as he recounted this that froze me. This was someone who had witnessed an atrocity.
A nice berserk intro to the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witches), which is a really freaky volume worth checking out of the library if you can stand a dip into a world rife with superstitious sexism.
On the demonic flipside, here’s a necklace of human tongues made by Sonnyboy Ed Gein:
This is what I wrote almost four years ago. I would make one major change. I suggested that if Cosby had muffled his arrogant criticism of younger black culture, the story of his serial molestations might have stayed dead. That is absolutely not true. He could have used everything he had to keep the accusations old news, but social and cultural change would have kept them burning-hot items. It’s one of the saddest, most abject collapses of my life.
Joyce Carol Oates just put this brilliant comment on Twitter:
If you haven’t read her incredible 1966 story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” you must.
It is a masterpiece beyond compare.