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.
This is the piece that put a huge crack in the foundation of my reverence for Malcolm Gladwell (yes, it’s about school shootings). I’m not sure Winkler’s recommendations at the end of the piece add up to much, either, but there’s no question she’s right about the flaws in comparing school shootings to riots. Since reading this, I’ve noticed Gladwell often has the fatal structure of superficially compelling argument based on a messed-up premise. Of course, the New Yorker goes ahead and reprints his essay about school shootings as though nobody had said nothing.
I have, surprise, two positive notes about the end of this psycho:
He has come to be viewed, not as a transgressive antihero or the depraved underside of all rebellion, but as a freaky product of freaky times.
Unlike what a lot of people feared, he’s become a smaller and smaller footnote to the story of the Beatles. Not least because their work remains undiminished.