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What’s more, we can be reasonably certain that popular denouement of “happy ending”—the product of an inevitable backlash—would never have been developed.
So while it’s often, for me, like feeling obliged to respect whatever that was that Marcel Marceau used to do, even as you knew that one more minute of it and your lungs were going to erupt with blood, I’m more than prepared to honor “Old Master’s” achievements. It’s just that I’m not what you’d call a huge fan. What puts me off most is...well...it’s His LORDLY attitude. I could forgive Him a lot—yes, even those tedious revivals of His wind-and-water specials that take out half a state—were He less disdainful of His audience, less willfully opaque and ambiguous. I know this “mysterious ways” thing is a cornerstone of His persona and I can understand His reluctance to give it up. But, bordering on pathological, His aversion to making His meanings known is wearing a little thin, don’t you think?
I’ll allow that, however disappointing it may be, it’s ultimately of small consequence when He mounts a shoddy eclipse. But it’s something else again when, for one especially egregious example, He leaves you to blow out all your circuits trying to figure just where Hannity and Colmes fit into notion that if you’re on planet it’s for a reason.
Former contributor to The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Coauthor and coeditor, respectively, of two collections of essays about rock and jazz in the '60s: "Music & Politics" and "Giants of Black Music."