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.

8 thoughts on “You Know You’ve Got It, If It Makes You Feel Good

  1. I liked Heart-Shaped Box because the way Granddaddy ghost was just so damned menacing and always there in such a casual fashion.
    I liked that. Sitting around Jude and Georgia with such a matter-of-fact murderous hatred.
    But, you know, the thing with his assistant, for whatever reason, creeped me out the most. Mainly because of the quickness that his situation happened.
    But, as you said, I don’t think I don’t think the ghosts were the biggest scare.
    It was nothingness. The expansive emptiness that Hill conveyed made me shudder.

  2. I had no love for Metallica in my youth so I guess I feel less sentimental. To me they will always be the hypocritical assholes who hide behind lawyers and preach that everyone else should obey laws even while they glorify lawlessness in their songs and get rich off a bad boy image that they sue other people for living out.

  3. It started when they fell into the Use Your Illusion trap with Load/Reload. Any time a band sits around and says, “You know what? We can pull off the double album,” that’s a bad sign. It’s a classic jump the shark manuever.

    But to then compound that error by making your fans shell out cash for two separate albums, is just egregious.

    The damn thing is, if they had merely taken the top 12 tracks out of those sessions and placed them on only one album, it would have been a classic.

  4. With all the lives you’ve touched through your friends and family and this blog, you think you’d leave no one to carry on after you? I think you badly underestimate the influence you have had and are having on the world.

  5. I read the book also and had the same feel. It moved very quickly. I loved the rock and roll allusions and the general description of the character, but I didn’t get a ghost story feel from it. It’s very different from his father’s works. I’m curious to check back on his collection of short stories (Hill’s not King’s).

  6. Pingback: SayUncle » My pre-emptive review of anything by Metallica

  7. Bah. The problem is that Metallica died in a bus crash in 1986. It’s a shame the surviving members lacked the decency to retire the name.

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