Back in the 1980s, the noise-rock band Sonic Youth recorded a song called “Satan is Boring.” A few people listening to college radio heard it and laughed at the idea. Satan was too cool to be boring, right? He had the souls of all the best blues musicians. He had Mick Jagger. He had the cheerleaders from the 1977 movie “Satan’s Cheerleaders.” He had Anton LaVey, Sammy Davis, Jr., Charles Manson and The Night Stalker. He had Linda Blair and, by extension, “Roller Boogie.” What other evidence did people need that Satan’s cool-kid cred was unassailable?
Twenty years later that song has become prophecy on par with the grooviest hallucinations found in the book of Revelation. Because as of June 6, 2006, Satan is officially lame, ruined by advertising. Behold, I give you six reasons why:
1. “The Omen”
The minute you put “YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED” ads featuring upside-down crosses on the sides of buses, you make them weigh the same as Sarah Jessica Parker in a tutu. So there’s that. The other thing about this movie is that it sucks. Awesome moments of nasty decapitation and a rabidly funny performance from Mia Farrow aside, it’s dull and unintentionally hilarious. And if Hollywood had a real sense of humor they’d have released “The Lake House” today. What is a movie about a magical mailbox that speaks only to Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock if not a movie about a mailbox possessed by supernatural powers?
2. Slayer and Deicide
Video: Mothers try to avoid 6/6/06 Slayer’s tour begins June 6. It’s called the Unholy Alliance Tour — Preaching to the Perverted. Now, I love Slayer just as much as the next guy — no, seriously, I’m a fan — but what true evil have they accomplished in this life? None. They make music about blood raining down from the sky but have they ever actually conjured up that sort of thing? And they’ve been around 20 years too, so they’ve had plenty of time to make good on their promise of destruction. I don’t think they’re lame, but I expected better from them. For example, why not start the tour on the 7th? It would confound the enemy. It’s also my birthday so that’d make a nice gift to me, a fan.
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Meanwhile, Deicide, the Satanic metal band from Florida, release their album on June 6 as well. It’s called “The Stench of Redemption.” The stench I smell is the lack of new ideas in content delivery. A metal band releasing a record or starting a tour on this day is the creative equivalent of putting a sheet over your head and going as a ghost to a Halloween party.
3. David Lee Roth
He failed at radio so they let him make another record, also released June 6. And because he can’t come up with anything new to say musically, and because the Van Halens can’t stand the sight of him, it is guaranteed to be awful. Here’s the title: “Strumming With the Devil.” You read that right. “Strumming With the Devil.” It’s just embarrassing. And another thing. Old metal dudes — unless they’re Ozzy, who by the way, is probably at home watching “Wheel of Fortune” and ignoring the whole thing — who continue to try inspiring fans to make the devil horns hand sign by releasing new material, are doomed. Better to take a page from the Rod Stewart playbook and record an album of standards. The Devil is, I bet you, no longer BFFs with David Lee Roth.
4. The Church of Satan
Video: Hell loves 6-6-6 Dear Satanists,
I think I get it. You want reason and skepticism to guide humans rather than religious superstition. But to drum up interest in your church by holding a satanic high mass on June 6 in Los Angeles — my hometown, the source of all things evil in the United States, and I know this because the entertainment industry is based here — you let the loyal opposition set the goal posts. Why engage people on a day when they’re all just expecting you to do something like kill a goat on the five o’clock news anyway? I’m just saying that, like Slayer, maybe you should be more creative and not so opportunistic.
Sincerely (and sincerely making the devil horns hand sign to you right now as a show of support even though I’m not one of you and probably never will be),
A boring not-metal band whose record drops June 6, just like Deicide’s and Roth’s. I forget the name of it. Because it doesn’t matter. They’re already hugely popular. It’s not like they need me to name-check their latest product. The big signs I saw plastered all over Hollywood Boulevard the other day bear a weird resemblance to the billboards for “The Omen,” minus the pesky upside-down crosses. That’s called riding someone else’s coattails and it’s a bankrupt move. But it’s unwise to make the moms who dole out the allowance money too upset. So ride away, guys.
6. Ann Coulter
Isn’t it cute how her new book is titled “Godless”? And her publisher is calling the release date a coincidence. Sure, that’s true. Every inflammatory thing conservative writer Ann Coulter says is true, you know. If it weren’t, why would she say it? If she names her book “Godless” and says it’s her message, then everyone who doesn’t swallow her nonsense as gospel must be godless, just like she says.
In my rich fantasy life I envision her being kidnapped and taken on tour with Deicide, where they make her work the T-shirt and sticker table. And I could go for the easy joke here and call her the Antichrist — I won’t be the only left-wing American citizen doing that — but it would be as tired as using Satan’s name to sell books that reduce political discourse to name-calling and, um, demonizing the people who disagree. I will say, though, that there’s a space for her on the BFF list now that David Lee Roth’s been evicted.
Dave White is the author of the book “Exile In Guyville,” where he name-checks Slayer on page 3. Find him at www.imdavewhite.com.
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