Liking The Hold Steady is not going to get you laid. All the indie vampires consider them passé or, worse, a novelty band, and girls in Kings of Leon hoodies have not heard of them. You can put on “The Swish” at a party, but someone will hit skip when it becomes evident that it doesn’t have a chorus, at which point two dudes in the corner will go “Aww!” They will be the oldest guys at the party. The Hold Steady is late-twenties music, about weird keggers and not going to certain clubs anymore and the uncertainty that starts to creep into a life spent listening to bands like The Hold Steady. It is for people who have already been through a Xanax thing. It is for guys who know where to get High Life in cans and will bring the High Life in cans to your party and drink it on the porch while wearing metal shirts, despite the fact that they are totally like 30. In other words, The Hold Steady is for people who have not yet given up on life. They’re for people who like rock, not because it’s cool—since it really isn’t anymore, given how old it is and how old we are—but because it rocks. Last night they brought their yelling, guitar soloing, whoa-ing show to The Filling Station in Bozeman, Montana, and 50 college kids came out to see them, plus 300 people who were suspiciously old to be drinking on a Tuesday night.
Yesterday at Combat! blog we got a little freaked out about how it’s entirely possible that everyone will get too stupid to operate America. Those of you horror movie fans who still crave tales of terrifying democracy will enjoy this article in the New York Times about Arlen Specter’s town hall meeting. It tells the story of Berks County Tea Party chairman Jon Stahl, a 65 year-old laid off from his job 18 months ago, who has since organized protests against taxes, the stimulus plan and health care reform. Presumably he is able to work full-time to stop government welfare because he gets social security benefits. The Times article points out that anti-reform protesters arrived several hours early to the meeting, creating enormous lines. I quote:
Proponents of the overhaul voiced the opposite fear, also citing larger issues at stake. “This isn’t just about health care,” said Carolyn Doric of Harrisburg, “it’s about political power and a means to regain political power.” Ms. Doric did not get into the meeting.
Normally, reading something like that would cause me to buy a high-powered rifle. But then I remembered the Millennials—that idealistic new generation that swept Barack Obama into power in the first place, and constitutes a new creative class of educated, informed, young professionals immune to conservative populism. Previous generations may have devolved into single-issue tax phobics, but the Millennials won’t be consumed by their need for disposable income. Right?