Steve Miller be Damned

The 60s are back, baby. Well, not the awesome music, or the really expansive drug culture, or the peace, or the love......but I saw a Sears ad with Avril Lavigne at what definitely looked like a modern-day Woodstock. Everyone was wearing these really kick-ass embroidered denim jeans. And I'm sure the "Vote Now" slogan injected into a commercial that's clearly aimed at pre-teens is sure to rock the polls next month.

I'm in the wrong profession, and by wrong profession, I mean "not a drug dealer" (although sweat shop owner is tempting). Is it just me, or does each generation seem willing to buy less satisfying, shorter lived, and more risky mind-altering commodities? At some point between 1968 and 1972, Pete Townsend dropped acid and had a spiritual experience that pinball was the new god. I've done LSD, and when I watch Tommy, I am in awe of the total mindf*ck that trip must have been. Can you imagine taking a pill that allows you to go on a spiritual quest to the inner workings of the human soul while being in some smoky den with your band mates and a pinball machine in the corner? When I took acid, a rock that I looked at turned purple. The quality has clearly dropped off.

These kids nowadays. They don't even need actual drugs to get high anymore. The latest craze in 'tween highs is the so-called "Space Cowboy" a.k.a The Choking Game. This involves strangling oneself with a household item, such as a bungee cord or dog collar, until the young lad (ok, call me crazy, but I picture anyone attempting this one to be a young, white, middle class boy) is seeing stars. I don't know if it's ingenuity, genius, thrift or complete idiocy, but maybe these 9 to 14 year olds are on to something. The Brave New World is upon us, and apparently a dusty length of cord that Dad used to strap the Xmas tree to the station wagon last year is the Soma.

I know one person who owes a great debt of gratitude to Space Cowboy, however: J.D. Fortune. As winner of the nauseating reality competition Rock Star INXS, which featured the desperate remaining band members as well as music industry barnacles Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee as judges, broke the Andy Warhol glass ceiling by having exactly 14 minutes of fame, and that's being generous. If only Michael Hutcheons had laid off the 'Cowboy, we would have been able to bear witness to his descent into the flabby irrelevance of middle age in the music industry, pointing and laughing; and J.D. wouldn't have been able to take that year off from serving coffee and Moon Over My Hammys on the graveyard shift at Denny's.

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