You Know You’ve Got It, If It Makes You Feel Good

1.  Oh, Metallica!  What happened to you?  In my younger days, white boys came in two flavors–those who wore Metallica t-shirts every other day and those who did not.  And guess which ones always smelled like warm, burning leaves when you stood too close to them, their hard, young chests pressed against you, their hair falling in their face and then in your face?

And when we go over to The Missus’s house to play Rock Band and her husband is all like “Metallica!” and I’m all like “I don’t know if I know that song” we both share a look because, how, once you’ve heard a Metallica song over and over and over again all the long evenings of your young life, do you ever forget it?  And so the song starts and the words start flowing across the screen and there it is, like that old soft cotton concert t, still familiar, still fits, after all this time.

Metallica, I want to remember you as the music of freedom and fuck you.  I want you still to be that music.  I like Dave Mustane, don’t get me wrong.  But it kills me that he’s probably sitting around now feeling like he dodged a bullet. 

How could you squander your legacy like this?

2.  Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box , speaking of old heavy metal artists.  I read it in honor of Tanglethis and her post about ghost stories.  It’s good.  I liked it.  But… Well, okay, first, what I liked is Jude Coyne, the main character.  He was really interesting.  And I liked the ghost.

But, it moves really quick.  Like on Monday he’s haunted and by Monday next he’s saved himself and the girl.  It didn’t feel like there was that lingering sense of unease building up that there maybe should have been.

And it was good, but it was hard to tell if that’s the best Hill can do or if this is just him getting his footing.

But here’s the main problem I have with the book.  I don’t think Hill believes in ghosts.  I am not even sure he believes in the possibility of ghosts.  But he’s writing a ghost story.  And I, as the reader, never felt like the main ghost was real.  (Though, in all fairness, I did believe in the little girl ghost.)  In fact, I got about 3/4 of the way through it and had to shut the book for a second because I was all “There is nothing after death.  We’re all going to die alone and then smear across the edge of time into nothing.  We will all be lost.  I don’t want to die but some day I’m going to have to do it and my whole life will have been a waste because I don’t carry on and I haven’t left anyone after me to carry on.  I will be lost.” and that was scarier, ten times scarier, than the book.

But I liked it, too.  So, there you go.  I think having a ghost story about an old heavy metal artist who collects macabre things and actually one day buys a ghost is a cool premise.

Cooler, at this point, than Metallica, anyway.

I Know This is Off-Topic, But…

I just saw an ad that posed this question (I’m changing it around to take out the weird racist overtones, because, in the original, I got distracted by the fact that, if there are five people with the “first” name Lee and they’re from China, that Lee is probably their patronymic and not some kooky thing those weird Chinese people might do.): Brent’s parents had five children whose name all start with “B.”  Bernie, Blain, Barb, and Bruce are four of them.  What’s the fifth child’s name?

Isn’t that stupid?

I mean, I know this is supposed to be a riddle on-par with “Thirty white horses upon a red hill.  Chomping and stomping and then they stand still.” but if someone asked me that question, I think I’d pause not because I didn’t know but because I’d think he was a jackass who thought he was more clever than he actually was.

Does that even count as a riddle?

I don’t know.  It just pissed me off.