Before I talk about Christmas, let me talk about AC/DC. And Wal-Mart. And serial killers.
My prime rock-n-roll infancy was a time when music was not only scary to conservative America, but “satanic”. A good case in point? Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker”, an infamous murderer in the late Eighties. He rampaged through California in an AC/DC tee-shirt, killing dozens. His favorite song was “Night Prowler”, by AC/DC. He flashed a pentagram on his palm to the members of the court during his trial. AC/DC, it seemed, had a friend in the Devil.
To be fair, it would have been a pretty good guess without the help of the Night Stalker. Check out this song, “Shoot To Thrill”. Misogynistic lyrics creepy enough to give a killer a boner so big it would sink your battleship.
One of my favorites. Man, I love that song. Cut my teeth on that album.
Most everyone did. Sure, I was into music maybe a bit more than others, but, other than long hair and a taste for music, it wasn’t like I was representing the Heavy Metal group of my middle school(my vote for Heavy Metal Leader? I’m gonna go with Ed Wonnacott: nice guy but tough, Ed had the garb, the attitude, and the drive, whereas I just really had a few tee-shirts and all the albums. At one point I traded him an AC/DC video for the “Blow Up Your Video” cassette; it was like two armies trading ammunition). Whatever parents thought, AD/DC was already rendered harmless by us teens. Yes, the songs were about rape, and Hell, and drugs, and the Devil. But these songs were more of a background soundtrack, not words to a seance. Music is the best.
The gentrification of AC/DC, however, has reached it’s highest, most corporate conclusion: Wal-Mart. From exclusive distribution rights to back-to-school implements, AC/DC is the(most welcome) alternative to Hannah Montana as far as teen branding goes for the known universe’s largest retailer/anything. Wal-Mart even has the opening of “Back In Black” in one of this year’s Christmas commercials. You know, the song with the lyrics, “I’m in the gang/Ohh with a bang/You’ll have to catch me/if you want me to hang…”? Love that one, too.
Which brings us to Christmas.
I’m not going to beat the dead holiday horse, here. Christmas is full of different practices from many different cultures, and religions, and even other holidays. It has been gentrified much worse than AC/DC, and for much longer. The Pirate George Letters asks that you have good fellowship this holiday season, and try not to get your Tuesday panties twisted because someone celebrates for a reason different than yours. Consider that some of you folks figured me and Ed would be deviant killer/rapists/Anton LeVay high-fivers. From the looks of things(Facebook, ya’ll…) Ed Wonnacott is happy, well adjusted, and successful, just like “normal” people. Ok, makbe just a hint of Metal still…
And me? I’ll be counting down the days ’till Christmas with a new Christmas-related post until the big day. Then you can decide for yourself how I turned out.