Today on "Old Man Yells at Cloud," SPIN Magazine founder Bob Guccione Jr — the eldest Boomer nepo baby of Penthouse founder Bob Guccione, who fronted the money so that Junior could start his little rock n' roll mag in the first place — came to the defense of that other Boomer Rock Magazine Mogul, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner. Wenner recently stepped in it after saying that his new book excluded women and Black musicians from the 60s and 70s because they weren't "in the zeitgeist." (Jenner later, erm, "clarified" this to explain that it was only the Black musicians who weren't in the Zeitgeist.)
Guccione's loosely-free-speech themed essay reads like the unedited Facebook rant of your dad's golf buddy that even your dad himself doesn't like, because he inherited his car dealership from his daddy and acts like he earned his wealth with a boot-strap-pulling machine of his own invention.
Like, this is how it starts:
It's inaccurate — and you can't always say someone is wrong in their opinion, but in this case he's empirically wrong — but all he's really guilty of is expressing that opinion in clumsy language, if we're being generous, or stupid, insensitive language if we're not. Mostly he's guilty of expressing a sentiment that is not politically correct. One that's not part of the prescribed, sanctioned set of things you can say and think in America today.
And that's what horrifies me, sickens me. That's the greatest danger, not his indelicate way of saying that he thinks only old white rock stars can properly explain rock 'n roll.
Guccione then goes on to point out that:
[Wenner's] not raping school children!
…Okay, great, fair point, I guess. Go on:
He's not saying Black people aren't equal, or that women belong in the kitchen, which would be racist and misogynist and merit indignation and repudiation.
We all talk about free speech a lot these days, but it's a sham. What the most virulent, nauseatingly sanctimonious of the free speech woke folks want is freedom for their speech. Just their speech. They do not want freedom for any dissenting speech. That they want crushed, vaporized. And they want to punish anyone who has the temerity, or stupidity, or just plain bad luck to utter something not in sync with the One True Gospel of How Everyone Must Think and Act.
So wait…so it would be okay to "repudiate" Wenner had he been openly racist and misogynistic. But hiding behind euphemisms? That's called freedom, baby. </s>
Naturally, this part of the essay segues into a rant about woke young liberals that sounds like it was written by ChatGPT trained on "Cancel Culture" op-eds. Guccione even goes into a six-paragraph-long passive-aggressively transphobic rant about puberty blockers. And then, when he brings his point back around, he returns yet again to the topic of healthcare for trans youth. It's completely random and unrelated to the topic at hand — and yet almost reads like the secret impetus behind the entire essay to begin with.
That's about 2000 fucking words into a 3000-word rant, but it's the point where I gave up.
"Free Speech: In Defense of Jann Wenner" [Bob Guccione Jr / SPIN]