Thursday, February 05, 2009

Most of My Heroes Don't Appear on No Stamps

Now that more of my pop culture icons are dying off, I've come to the slow realization that the artists who most changed my life are the least likely to have their passing mentioned on any mainstream TV shows.

Case in point: this morning, still in a daze over the untimely death of Lux Interior, I switched on The Today Show expecting them to do a little retrospective video piece on his life. What the fuck was I thinking??? Somehow I equated my enormous affection for Lux with the amount of popularity his death would receive in the dominant culture.

This has led me to conceive of a formula to articulate just how important a dead celebrity was in my life: if the newly-deceased artist garners no mention on the network news, they are truly one of my all-time favorite musical heroes. If the deceased artist garners video tributes on every channel--with sad tinkly music underneath--this means they are one of my sworn enemies.

When Iggy Pop dies, there will be no mention on mainstream news. Ergo, he is one of my all-time favorite musical heroes.

When Billy Joel dies, there will be retrospective videos all over the fucking place. Ergo, I hate his guts.

When Exene Cervenka dies, there will be no mention on mainstream news.

When Joni Mitchell dies, there will be retrospective videos all over the fucking place, doubtless with one of her sappy ballads played underneath.

Daniel Johnston? No mention.

Paul Simon? Non-stop video tributes.

Bob Mould? No mention.

Stevie Nicks? Non-stop video tributes.

Mick Collins? All-time favorite hero.

Joan Baez? Non-stop video tributes.

Mark E. Smith? All-time favorite hero.

Kim Gordon? All-time favorite hero.

Captain Beefheart? All-time favorite hero.

You can play this game at home yourself. All you have to do is wait for a celebrity to die. Usually, the wait isn't very long.

PS: Rest in peace, Lux. You will be missed.


Anonymous said...

When you die there will be nothing. No one will miss you.

Anonymous said...

you know, i kind of think that there will be something on the mainstream news when iggy pop dies. i don't know why . . . maybe because "lust for life" has been so thoroughly incorporated into the media over these past ten years? but i think i agree with your other calls here . . .



General Boy said...

I agree with dkp. Much will be made of "The Punk-Rock Icon Iggy Pop" when he dies. It will be a tedious media affair. Brief mentions of his stint in the Stooges overplaying the video for "Lust for Life". You will vomit.

Yes, it is all because of that song.