My Nominee for the Schizo Hall of Fame

Rush rock band

I knew this day would come… The day that would make me finally, irrevocably hate myself.

At least the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had the thoughtfulness to inspire my self-loathing all at once instead of dragging it out. You see, I’m one of those pretentious jackasses who thinks having a Hall of Fame for rock music is the antithesis of everything that is rock. Rock and roll is supposed to be smashing guitars, getting in fights with your band mates on stage, dying at 28 from a heroin overdose, and, most importantly of all, pissing off and confusing old people. The fact that Nicki Minaj makes my ears bleed is proof that rock and roll is working. I’m in my sixth decade, which means I’m too old to understand what she does. It’s the natural order.

Nicki Minaj Body

This much I understand.

So what did that stodgy corporate entity known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do this week to bring on such self-hate? They – at last – nominated Rush, the most legendary rock band in the world to be openly ignored by an institution that claims to celebrate rock music. Rush fans, loyal as any in the commercial pop world, have been quite vocally outraged for years at the lack of a nomination. Except for me, because, as I said, the Rock and Roll HoF is just too square for Neil Peart’s snare, daddy-o.

Then did I ever feel like phony when, upon seeing Rush amongst this year’s list of nominees, I said, “It’s about fucking time!” And to further pound a stake into my pretentious heart, the HoF also nominated another trio, The Marvelettes, my all-time favorite Motown act and Rush’s female counterpart when it comes to being unappreciated by The Man.

Though less numerous than Rush fans, the Marvelettes’ contingent has also had their panties in a bunch for ages about the ongoing Hall of Fame omission. Not me, of course. I don’t give a shit about some crass tourist attraction that…

Oh, all right. I was pumped about that nomination too. Yes, I’m hanging my head in shame. What do you want from me, anyway? At least I didn’t vote in the fan ballot that the HoF is implementing this year…

Ok, so what if I did? You’ve never done anything hypocritical? Naturally, the folks at the HoF went out of their way to prove my point that they are a bunch of corporate stooges by using the wrong picture of the Marvelettes on the balloting web page. I mean, if you are going to say, “Hey, these are the girls who sang, Please Mr. Postman,” perhaps you should put up a photo of the girl who actually sang it, Gladys Horton, not a picture of Ann Bogan, a woman who was in the band for about five minutes in 1967.

Sigh. Sometimes it’s tiring to know everything.

Rock band Rush

Rush today.

Rush is a virtual guarantee to get in on the first try, the Marvelettes not so much. Luckily, by positioning my views as I have, I can either be happy that Rush finally got their overdue recognition or feel relieved that their street cred is still intact by being rejected. Perhaps that is a bit like rooting for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but my baseball fandom typically extends to supporting the team that has the nicer uniform, so I’m not quite what you’d call in unscientific, TV-movie parlance, a “schizophrenic.”

Talking about schizophrenia in the real, medical sense (which pertains to delusion and paranoia), I’d like to see belief in Young-Earth Creationism classified by the American Psychological Association as a mental disorder.

Because tell me how believing the universe is 10,000 years old is different from believing one is Napoleon or Jesus Christ? It is an irrefutable fact that neither you, me, or anyone else on the planet today is Napoleon, just as it is an irrefutable fact that the universe is far older than 10,000 years. Yet, as we all know from having at least one crazy uncle, the schizophrenic who believes he is Napoleon cannot be convinced otherwise.

Sarah Palin on a dinosaur.

Sarah Palin conquers evolution.

I bring this up because Georgia congressional rep Paul Broun was recently videotaped saying that evolution and the big bang are “lies straight from the pit of Hell,” and that he knows the Earth to be about 9,000 years old.

If these words came from the mouth of an 83-year-old, elementary-school dropout who had eked out a hardscrabble existence as a squirrel trapper in the Appalachians, I’d probably make some condescending, East coast-elitist comment like, “Aw, what an adorable old coot.” But we’re talking about a congressman who is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Good God, man. That’s like me writing PFC’s fashion articles while wearing my wardrobe I bought at Kohl’s and Target. Indeed, it’s worse, because at least I know such a thing as good fashion exists. Representative Broun shouldn’t be permitted in the science section at Barnes and Noble much less allowed to serve on a government committee dedicated to the subject. Fortunately, our government doesn’t do anything, so we might be safe in this one instance.

As a First Amendment advocate, I would never want to live in a society that silences proponents of Young-Earth Creationism, however bronze-age the concept seems to me. In other words, freedom of religion extends in all directions, whether it means choosing no religion at all or a following a particular brand that promotes unscientific ideas. However, I do think all creationists should be rounded up by government security thugs and force-fed antipsychotic medication.

With Rep. Broun safely medicated in an aftercare facility, we’ll need to replace him on the congressional science committee. And, to take his place, I nominate Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist from Rush. Basking in the glory of his soon-to-be Rock and Roll hall of Fame induction, he will probably retire from music (after all, isn’t getting into a tourist attraction museum in Ohio the pinnacle of everything awesome?). Sure, he’s Canadian, which makes him a weirdo, but he knows science better than anyone else in the GOP and is a true Libertarian, not a Dominionist masquerading as one, like Rep. Broun.

I can’t wait until he sends some shitty bill back to the Senate with a red stamp on it that says:

“Needs more cowbell.”

Eric J Baker

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