Holy shit! Now even our favorite neocon warmonger David Brooks is dropping the bomb on the white boy crew, writing an op-ed on the fragmentation of rock music and Little Stevie's desire for a tangible rock'n'roll canon. It's like we're back on campus in 1991 preparing to fight the PC wars again, with Harold Bloom hoisting the righteous sword of a Dead White Man Literary Canon against the incoming hordes of brown people. Great stuff!
And it couldn't come at a better time, just as one of Brooks' right-wing acolytes on an obscure Google Group is doing a full frontal assault on your very own Driftwood Singers. It started out with a kind and reasonable fellow named William telling his pals on the message boards that he was a fan of this site. But then came a gaggle of geriatrics with canes a-waving, led by a dude named Fred -- or as I like to call him, Winchester from MASH-meets-John Houseman-meets-Harold Bloom-meets-Rich Little-meets-E.F. Hutton-etcetera. Here's a taste of his elegant skewerings:
Fred contra Mr. Poncho's post on Melanie's cover of "Lay Lady Lay":
You manage to jam nineteen (19!) hyphens into a little more than two sentences. I realize you are aiming at a certain off-handed (one!) breezy tone, but please remember; everytime you abuse punctuation, the soul of everyone who ever tried to teach you proper English is consigned to another century in Hell.
Fred contra Harry Smith:
Distilling is a process of reduction. Nothing new is
created through distilling. Smith was a brilliant archivist, but he
created nothing new. The highest function of intellect is synthesis.
Fred contra Lefty, accusing me of self-Googling:
I suspect he googled "driftwood singers" and got the link. It should
come as an indication of their low profile otherwise that the
reference in this group comes up in the top three. [Note: Factually inaccurate. We are HUGE in Cleveland.]
Fred contra new ideas:
The reasons things get to be conventional wisdom is because they
contain wisdom, not because they are meant to be conventional.
Fred contra William, the poor bastard who had the gall to enjoy our site:
If you mean that you cannot separate your own opinion of them from the
opinion of the person who introduced you to them, you need to spend
less time with the theorists and more time using, and trusting, your
own faculties. It's an opinion, and you are entitled to have them.
On why he doesn't post more often (except when he does, and boy does he!):
It isn't writer's block. The silence is a result of very high standards as to what is worthy of posting in public. I thought I made that clear. As for what goes on here, the level of dialog is precisely where it should be, given the participants.
I must say, we've been surprised by the attack. But also secretly delighted! As Mr. Poncho put it to me, we thought we were just "some dudes swigging whiskey, eating beans, singing a little and talking music" around the campfire. Turns out we were doing it in the student union at Brown and the fire marshal just showed up.
Ah, I should have more sympathy. Sources tell me Fred and his boys are all in their 60s, so as they barrel towards death they're just trying to teach the whipper snappers some values before the godforsaken world starts liking obscure Melanie tunes.
Well, screw sympathy. Good sir, this is war! And in honor of the occasion, I recall the wonderful gate-fold photo of the Bee Gees doing their historical reenactment of the death of Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. We may die in the battle, dear friends, but these fuckers are the French and Spanish. Count on it!
Trafalgar - Bee Gees