Reason Writers Around Town: Splice Today Interviews Nick Gillespie


Splice Today, the legitimately new-media new-media site, has an interview up with Reason.tv and Reason.com's Nick Gillespie. Snippets:

SPLICE TODAY: Do you expect the content of Reason and reason.com to change much during the Age of Obama, or are you impervious to who's in the White House? And what are you immediate goals for your empire?

NICK GILLESPIE: Like Cincinnatus, George Washington, and Todd Rundgren (proclaimed "God" by at least a dozen fans in the late 1970s, and not without reason), I walk away from empire in all its forms, including writing hit records at will. Until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware I had any relation to empire other than the one we're all living in now: The Bailout Empire. Look upon my public works, ye mighty, and despair!

Reason in all its forms-print, web, and video-was an early and persistent critic of the Bush administration and the idiotic GOP Congress that busted the budget while layering on more levels of regulation and federalized frosting than you'd get in a Cheesecake Factory dessert. Based on his first days in office, during which he backed away from his own incredibly mild ethical rules, bombed Pakistan, and bumped up the amount of his own bailout plan, I'm sure we'll be equally antagonistic to the Obama presidency. And let's not get started yet on the Democratic Congress, which, like the stock market of late, demonstrates that however low you think you are, you can always go lower….

ST: Are you as appalled as me that Bruce Springsteen, that Philip Berrigan kind of liberal who eschews materialism, is playing the half-time show at the Super Bowl?

NG: Why Springsteen? Is Gary Glitter still stuck in Thailand? Is Buddy Holly not returning the NFL's phone calls?

I grew up in Monmouth County, New Jersey, which contains both Springsteen's hometown (Freehold) and his early haunt (Asbury Park), so I can't stand him in the same way that only a New Yorker can really, really hate the Yankees. I'll say this much about the Boss: His output over the past 25 years or so would make even Beethoven nostalgic for the first few albums. Springsteen is in that elite group of rock stars who have objectively sucked two, three, or even four times longer than they were ever any good (are you listening Sting, David Bowie, R.E.M., Patti Smith?). That, and in the video for "Glory Days," he had the worst fake baseball throwing arm since Gary Cooper in Pride of the Yankees. Which is saying something.

Watching Springsteen perform at the Super Bowl-and before him, rock mummies like Tom Petty and Rolling Stones—let's just say I'd rather go straight to the Bodies exhibition, where at least no one is pretending that the corpses on display aren't actually dead…

ST: Christopher Hitchens wrote recently in The Atlantic that perhaps with Obama's election, political correctness might be dialed back and that the word "cat" would no longer raise eyebrows as being racist. Do you agree, or, as a friend said, might the day after Thanksgiving now be referred to as "African-American Friday"?

NG:… One of my unironic hopes for the Obama presidency is that it does close out 400 years and more of odious racial discourse in America and with it, a good chunk of political correctness. Then again, right on Inauguration Day, you get the minister Joseph Lowery praying about how he hopes that one day the U.S. will become anti-discriminatory: "Lord…we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."

What the hell was that? An unpublished Nipsey Russell rhyme from a lost episode of The $100,000 Pyramid? Yellow will be mellow? When the Jew can drink Mountain Dew? The wop can be a cop? The kraut can give a shout? Between Lowery, Rick "I've eaten dinner in gay homes" Warren, and Obama himself, there was way too much god-talk for me. I think religion is a great thing, but I also think that religiosity in a limited-government, small-r republican structure is always annoying, whether it's coming from a biblical literalist such as George W. Bush (who could only bring himself to read a condensed "One Year" version of the Bible) or from a cosmopolitan such as Obama.

I realize Lowery is an old man and I cut him some slack for all the crap that he and too many others like him had to deal with for far too long. But I think we've hit that day where black is not asked to go back. And Asians, those poor, sad-sack model minorities, don't have to be any more mellow than the fans at a Ted Nugent concert. That's good news…

Whole thing here.