26 November 2007
Thanks for Putting Me Straight, Rolling Stone!
Dear Rolling Stone Magazine,
As a second-generation reader (my mother has been a faithful subscriber lo these 40 years), I have grown up with you. I have used your pages in my collages and dioramas. I have learned about the sacred icons of my parents’ generation. I have been inculcated with the values of the aging hippie left. I have appreciated your frequent use of the word fuck.
Rolling Stone, you are the first thing I look for when I go home. How many times have we curled up together under the covers, or soaked together in the bath? We have traveled together, Rolling Stone, we have weathered countless flight delays and painfully long layovers. You took my hand and you taught me, Rolling Stone, not just about the musical tastes of the Baby Boomers, but about all the naughty things they did when they were my age. You helped me to love John Kerry as much as I love my own aging Vietnam veteran father. In my teen years, you encouraged me to seek out friends like Tim Leary and Ken Kesey, and taught me that if I ever wanted to have any music cred whatsoever, I’d better learn to love those Beatles and good old Bob Dylan. Even now, Rolling Stone, with your constant reminiscing and looking back, you help to remind me that I – and indeed, my entire generation! – will never be as cool as you and my parents were back in 1967. That was the year to be 27, wasn’t it? Being 27 in 2007 is totally for poseurs. Am I right, Rolling Stone?
Rolling Stone Magazine, I want to thank you for your recent 40th Anniversary Super Interview Issue, which, in your own words, “looks forward, not back, and it’s packed with interviews with the artists, leaders and thinkers who can best divine what our future holds.” See? You can look forward, Rolling Stone! You’re not always rehashing your glory days! You’re part of the Now, Rolling Stone! You still totally have your finger on the pulse of America!
Rolling Stone, thank you for reminding me that the people “who can best divine what our future holds” are white men. Of course they are!! Oh, Rolling Stone, you know me: I was raised by your readers! The very aging leftist hippies who supported you all these years. Of course they taught me that things were getting better for women in this country! Of course they taught me that racism is wrong. They’re hippies!
But you know better, Rolling Stone! You know that of the “twenty five artists, leaders, and thinkers who can best divine what our future holds”, only three of them are women! Silly women, what do we know about the future?? We can’t do anything! We could barely make it onto your list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. We can’t play guitar, we clearly can’t rock, so how could we possibly divine what the future holds as well as someone who rocks as hard as, say, Dave Matthews or Tom Hanks? Those dudes really rock!
Of course, Rolling Stone, the whole Civil Rights movement happened waaaaay before you came on the scene, and it’s a good thing, too, because you’ve had plenty of time to pay equal rights lip service while reminding us all that of the “twenty five artists, leaders, and thinkers” only three of them are black. And don’t even get me started on black women! They can’t make any of your lists, Rolling Stone! Why bother even trying for a token black woman? You wasted six precious interview slots on tokens already! Don’t even get me started on the fact that the future of America seems to lie with the Hispanic population who are slated to make up almost 20% of the overall US population by 2020. They’re not the future, are they Rolling Stone? Good thing you didn’t waste a single interview on a Hispanic – or any other cultural or ethnic group!
The problem with my parents, Rolling Stone, is that they spend SO much time looking back at the “good old days” of increased civil rights and the crazy “women’s lib” movement that they can’t see the future clearly. But you can! You know that the future holds nothing but white boys!
Thanks for keeping it real, Rolling Stone! Here’s to another 40 years – let’s hope your 80th Anniversary Issue is chock full of interviews to disillusion MY daughters and free them from their capricious liberal ideals!
M. Molly Backes