Thursday, April 18, 2013

"V" for "Victory"

I had a drill sergeant in Air Force basic training (whom I shared with a couple of hundred close personal friends with closely-shaven pates) who had a math formula so egregiously simple even I, some thirty-eight years later, can remember it: 'One Aw $hit Wipes Out a Thousand Attaboys."

If it matters, the formula works just as well with Shucks instead. I thought about it the other day, reading a headline on MSNBC about Justin Bieber. I'm pretty sure I have heard some of his music-I am, after all, in this world and so is he; I just don't know what he sounds like. And the only thing so far larger than my ignorance is my absence of curiosity, but that could change.

My brother could be elected Pope (okay, not today) and I might decide in a feat of catholicity rivaling his election to expand my college of musical knowledge to include learning about and listening to another act that starts with B but comes after The Beatles. Well after The Beatles. It could happen.

Instead of applauding the young man's interest in a horribly sad moment in the history of our species (and from first hand experience I can bear witness to the plethora of alternative activity available in the city of Amsterdam  so mad props for his decision to visit) and hoping his example and lessons learned are emulated, we have a firestorm over what he wrote in the guest book. 

This total disclosure stuff makes me nervous. And not just for celebrities (and who makes those distinctions?) because I can recall a somewhat arch dedication I may have scribbled in some one's autograph book from an undisclosed Catholic school in New Brunswick some years ago to the effect that 'I write on this page of blue because it's the past tense of what you do.' I'd rather not have that reach a critical saturation point on a public consciousness cloud.

Who cares? He's nineteen. He's Canadian. He's (insert your own lame defense here). All I know is he's given me a perfect reason to reroast an old Neil Diamond chestnut and if you don't think I'm gonna grab that opportunity with both hands and run like my buttocks is on fire, you are have no clue whatsoever. Eh?
-bill kenny

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