May 17th, 2005

Are You People On Dope?

Lemme ask this question: What kind of utter fucking moron would pay $5,000 to see the Rolling Stones? Or any rock concert? Or any single entertainment event? And doesn’t the fact that there apparently are people who will plunk down that kind of money for a ticket absolutely cry out for the institution of a federal stupidity tax? That is, shouldn’t someone who will play five grand to go see a bunch of geriatric has-beens pretending to play rock and roll also be required to play an equal amount into a national fund that could be used to pay for actual worthwhile things, like schools and roads and health coverage for the uninsured?

Look, Jack, I’m a huge Rolling Stones fan, OK? (Says so right here, so it’s gotta be true, right?) This isn’t about the Stones. But to the extent it is, let’s be honest, shall we? Whatever Stones fans may want to believe, the band’s best days are easily three decades behind them. That’s 30 years. More maybe. That’s a mighty long time. I mean, you know, the band was still pretty good 25 years ago, marginally decent 20 years ago, and worth a sideways glance just out of curiosity’s sake 15 years ago. But now? Nothing. They’re totally faking it. Keith can still play like hell when he cares to, but Mick can’t sing for shit (and he mostly doesn’t sing — he mostly talks his way through songs). And there’s nothing even remotely relevant about these guys. They’re done, done, done. And it’s sad, sad, sad.

But you know what? Even then, if you wanna pay $64 to see them, well, that’s your business. If you wanna pay $454 to see them, you’re too damned stupid to talk to, but, again, you earned it, and if you don’t throw it away on the Stones, you’ll probably throw it away in Vegas or something, so whatever. But $5,000 plus? No. Sorry, Charlie. Doesn’t wash. You don’t deserve to have enough money that you can drop $5,000 on a concert. You don’t deserve to have enough money to spend $10 on a movie for that matter. You should be stripped of most of what you own and your money should be used for the betterment of society. We can’t do that, of course. But I see no reason not to take it from you one stupid decision at a time.

I propose instituting exactly what I mentioned above: a national stupidity tax. You pay $5,000 to see a rock concert (high-end benefit type events excepted), you pay an equal amount in idiot tax. I’ll be in charge of collection. All everyone else has to do is watch what’s going on around them and report to me when you see stupid-ass shit like this happening. I’ll draft up a bill and send it off to the dipshits, who can make their checks out to the IRS, but who will have to write “my abject stupidity” on the memo line (or face a stiff penalty). The money will be used for important stuff in hopes of offsetting the silliness with which its twin amount was wasted. And stupidity tax payments will not be deductible come April 15.

$5,000 to see the most broken down acts in rock. What a goddamned joke.

You know what else (before I go)? Let’s start shutting these ticket-broker scumbags down, shall we? I don’t give half a shit about free market this or that. These guys make their living stealing from people who just want to see a band (or team, or musical … ) they like and it ought not to be tolerated. Yeah, stealing. That’s what these fucks do. They steal. They take a ticket that, in this case, the band and promoter decided was worth $454, and mark it up by 981 percent. And because there are such enormous profits to be made, they make it pretty much impossible for anyone who actually wants to see one of these shows to get a ticket at face value. That’s not capitalism, it’s exploitation. And the pieces of shit who make their living that way shouldn’t only be put out of business, they should be tied up and poked repeatedly with sharp sticks (or subjected to something slightly less pleasant than that, perhaps). The certainly shouldn’t be allowed to continue doing business.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

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