At 8 o’clock Pacific Time, Kurt Cobain’s corpse sprang from its grave, sprinted to a local Wal Mart, purchased a shot gun, and blew the last piece of decaying grey matter out of the inch of the skull that still remained on its neck.
An Icelander was responsible for this poor corpse’s misery.
In the months that we have covered the reality television show Rockstar: Supernova we’ve had some laughs. The dorky trio of Supernova are consistently naïve and go-lucky, and as they lead a gaggle of hapless wannabes, they are sometimes funny. In fact, living in Iceland, this is probably the only place in the world where one could watch and enjoy Rockstar. We have the advantage over the rest of the world in that we have the only likable contestant not suffering from constant sexual harassment. Up until the recent episode, we also had a contestant who had some degree of integrity.
So we watched as Tommy Lee, who built his rocker reputation by punching out women’s teeth and video-taping his wife while he infecting her with Hep C, made word play and pretended to know the value of the domestic life. We watched Gilby Clark, of Heart fame, say casually nice things with the defeated eyes of a man who has been cuckolded many, many times. We even took pleasure in seeing Frankenstein look-alike Jason Newsted, a man with so little character that after playing with Metallica for 20 years he was known as the new guy, grunted out advice on vocal technique. We began to appreciate the show in the way kids might appreciate a local blind, foul-smelling, bad-tempered dog that licks itself while sitting in a prominent front yard.
The bad-tempered mutt licking itself appeal faded this week, when an iconic piece of music was destroyed by Iceland’s own Magni—and then the whole genre of rock was obliterated by Supernova. Of all songs, Magni chose to sing Smells Like Teen Spirit, the hypercritical examination of nitwit culture at the beginning of the 1990s. Cobain said, about writing the song, that when he was growing up, kids in Aberdeen Washington were “like Beavis and Butthead, only not as smart.” Cobain’s songs chronicled the torture of living in a brain dead, butthead age.
Our own Magni got up on international television, and sang Teen Spirit like he was channelling Creed, that is, he took an intelligent and critical song, and performed it as thought it was a vague utterance meant to allow the singer to strain the throat and get that muscle showing, just above the collar, that women might check out.
To then see the cast of Supernova critique it, and ask, brainless as the day they sniffed their first bottle of glue, why Magni hadn’t thought to smash a guitar. The whole band really thought Magni did well, but should have smashed something.
Magni was followed by the contestant Ryan Star, who, along with Tommy Lee himself, was likely the subject of another Nirvana song, Rape Me. Ryan Star may be brain dead, without charisma, and completely out of fashion, but at least he follows instructions. As he sang an original song that sounded like a Live tune without the pesky grammar, he posed his way through throwing a guitar, to show how rowdy he could be.
It was a sad evening for those of us at the Grapevine. We had wanted to like Rockstar, and Magni. We have dedicated large portions of our magazine to the genre of rock music, and we wanted to keep on liking that genre. That has been taken from us. To hear Nirvana would be to remember the day a neighbour demonstrated that “he likes all our pretty songs but he don’t know what it means,” as the corpse of Kurt Cobain screamed while waiting for the underpaid Wal Mart checkout girl to okay his ID. To hear rock would be to remember the brain-dead gaze of Ryan Star throwing his guitar.
We are all now dead inside.
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