Patti Smith In The New York Times

Tell me, do you think this is good?

Ain’t It Strange? By Patti Smith

I have no doubt that David Lee Roth would be able to say something that TRULY captures the spirit of rock and roll.  But, he’s not part of the intelligentsia, he’s not CONNECTED!

Never forget that Judith Miller worked for the "New York Times".

Her sin, secondary to getting the Iraq story wrong, was that she wanted to hobnob with the rich and famous, wanted to be a star herself.  And using her gig as a point of entry, she curried favor with those in power, who manipulated her.

If you want to know who really shined the light on the atrocities in Iraq, you’re gonna have to look to the Internet, to the World Wide Web.  True, there may not be much investigative journalism on the Net, but stories don’t get buried because they might offend someone you dine with.

This smarmy Patti Smith editorial just proves the point.  That the connected New Yorkers believe they’re above the rest of us, that what they say and think is more important than those west of the metropolis.

But those days are gone.  People in Iowa, the dreaded flyover Midwest, are now just as hip as those in New York.  Hell, they’ve got the same cable channels and high speed Internet too.  So why do those in New York have contempt for them?  Because it makes them FEEL GOOD!

There’s a great democratization going on in America right now.  And it has to do with the pipe, the Internet.  Used to be the institutions talked down to us from on high, no different from those in political office.  If the "Washington Post" said it, that’s the way it was.

But then the "Washington Post" got caught in its own Web conflagration, you see the oldsters there had no idea how the Web WORKED!

The Web is a free-flowing marketplace, where EVERYBODY fights for attention.  Not all get it, but those that appeal to the masses gain traction via e-mail and IM, their ratings go up on Technorati.  There’s a hierarchy all right, but it’s EARNED!

The "New York Times" earned its station eons ago.  Somehow those in charge there no longer believe they have to continue to earn it.  Just like the major labels believe THEY have the right to determine how music will be distributed in the future.

Funny, isn’t it, how both are in severe trouble.  Their guts ripped out by this newfangled Internet.

They call it a Hall Of Fame, not a Hall Of Influences.  Patti Smith is an all right gal.  But that husband she married, none of the New Yorkers gave a shit about him until she did, the MC5 were seen as a joke when their debut on Elektra was released, faux revolutionaries at best.

Their Atlantic follow-ups fared better, but had absolutely no traction.

I purchased them all.  But I can’t tell you they’re more than footnotes.

I’ve got a bunch of Patti Smith records too, but I almost never spin them.  God, if want earthy New York, I’ll spin Lou Reed’s solo DEBUT!  Shit, there’s more power on "Rock ‘N Roll Animal" than on ANY Patti Smith album.

So, she’s a girl.

Well, so is Linda Ronstadt.  And Ann and Nancy Wilson.  I’d rather meet their "Magic Man" ANY day of the week rather than Fred "Sonic" Smith.  Then again, they were from Seattle and they were CUTE!

Rock and roll was based on irreverence, questioning authority, pushing people’s buttons.

I find it UTTERLY hysterical that all the Patti Smith defenders are so offended that I’m railing against her induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  They should be laughing, they should be egging me on.  Otherwise, they look no different from Comiskey Park fans blowing up disco records, before they fucked to Chic.

Hell, I hate KISS.  I’ve never given Gene Simmons a red cent.

But I smile every time I hear "Lick It Up".  And "Rock And Roll All Nite" is the ESSENCE of rock and roll.

But I don’t think they believe in the Hall either.

But Alice Cooper and Genesis…they’re no-brainers.

But they never played CBGB’s.  They’re not New Yorkers.

They’re not gonna beg, they’re too big for this shit.  Peter Gabriel’s sang about Stephen Biko, he didn’t cover a Springsteen song about love in the middle of the night for his one big hit.

Just so you know, I’m watching you.  Unlike Judith Miller, I’m not letting this one slide by.

That editorial space?  That was David Lee Roth’s ten inches.

And I think he would have used some mighty fine double entendres inappropriate in the paper of record to get his point across.

The point is…  If you’re not making people uptight, if you’re not making them question who they are and what they believe in, then you’re not rock and roll.

Patti Smith flubbed her chance.

David Lee Roth wouldn’t do the same.

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