How Our Cruelty Killed Hootie and the Blowfish — and Damaged Our Souls
For 2019, we need forgiveness for what we did in 1996.
Friends, we stand at the dawn of a new year, and it is our duty to make it less excruciating than the one that came before. Twenty-eighteen was childish, demoralizing sadism from one end to the other, bookended by government shutdowns. When Louis C.K. capped it off by really giving it to the trans people and school shooting survivors who’ve had it too good for too long, I thought: “Well, there’s this stupid goddamn year for you.” Or I would have, if I hadn’t been sleeping off a hangover.
We can do better in 2019. We must. There are, of course, many predictable ways to go about it. We can limit our exposure to the raw sewage of social media. We can turn off the cable news networks and opinion-bellowing podcasts to which we have turned to reinforce the beliefs we already had. We can meditate and run and get eight good hours of sleep a night. Enjoy all of that, and I'll see you when we're finished with it on January 6.
But there is something else. Something deeper, more difficult and no less necessary. Something that can go a long way toward washing our souls clean of the cruelty that is the hallmark of our modern society. Something that can help prepare us for a 2019 that promises to be more exhausting, more bewildering, more chock full o' nuts.
Dave Holmes, writing for Esquire, offers this “full-throated defense” of Hootie and the Blowfish,” and explains how the cruelty we allowed to bring the band down more than 20 years ago has led to the world we live in now. Several are calling it the best thing that has been written so far in 2019.