The Malice of Alice

Yeah, I know that’s a lame title, but do you have any idea how impossible it is to come up with a clever Alice Cooper line that hasn’t been done a million times before? It would be like trying to come up with an original pun of my name or something.

Alice Cooper is one of those artists where I don’t even know how I got started listening to him. Sometimes you just know the type of people you’re going to gravitate to, and Alice is one of those that just has always made sense to me. I saw him on something and was like “yep, that needs to be part of my life.”

I don’t quite know what that says about me, other than the fact that I have magnificent taste, but take that as you will.

As I’ve said before, it’s literally taken me about ten years to finally see him in concert, because every freakin’ time he comes around I’m either working a tech week or opening week or something…he even played at one of my former places of work….right before I started working there. I’d take this as a sign, but I’m too stubborn to listen to things like that.

Anywho, I’ve also always been impressed by how articulate he is, and quite enjoy his written work, as well. He’s another one whose music I end up designing or sewing to or hanging out to. Dragontown was the soundtrack to my workshop for a while and I love all the old standards, as well. He is also the center of ten million arguments I’ve had with certain key people in my life.

I’ve finally learned to just walk away because when certain people want to debate, what they really want is to argue. And when they want to argue, what they really want is to be right. Anyway, the basis of the ongoing difference of opinions is that the other party feels that Alice isn’t a valid artist because he doesn’t act like his onstage persona every second of every day ever.

I have so many problems with this view point it’s amazing that I’m not hyperventilating even writing about this.

For one, it’s unrealistic to expect ANY performer (stage, screen, actor, dancer, singer, mime, chainsaw juggler, etc) to carry their stage persona into real life. Sure, we ALL have public personas (Convention! Selah dresses consistently less hobo-ish than Real Life! Selah, though she admittedly curses a lot more than Online! Selah, depending on the venue), but I always get a little weirded out when people expect for their heroes or public figures to somehow not act human. At all. Ever. Not one bit. That’s right, they chose a public life so they must bow to our whims all the time!

Ugh, just no.  That’s an immature, entitled viewpoint. That’s unrealistic – no person is meant to exist totally for our expectations and whims. No one. That isn’t fair, and you wouldn’t want to play to someone else’s perception of you all the time, right? What an uncomfortable way to live…

Plus there’s the whole performance art thing. I mean, for real. There is such a thing as portraying a character. Actually, the whole story of how Alice has evolved that character to be just that is one of the most fascinating parts of his books. No one’s perfect. People change. And if someone matures but can still find a way to preserve the act that is his career to fit his current comfort level..why would you not support that? If anything, way to be an influence to people and show that you can be an artist and act something like an actual person!

Shouldn’t we commend people who also can live something of a balanced, adjusted life, especially in the spotlight?

Granted I don’t have that pressure to deal with, but I hate boxes. Hate them. Do not put me in them, I will not fit or I will chew my way out and then I will come for you. I admit it’s a human thing to want to classify people, but really, there isn’t a huge need to do so other than our own comfort level.

Besides, admittedly I love a good dichotomy and always enjoy a personality that has different aspects. I love that. It makes me feel a little more normal (though who wants to be that), and when that personality also is an incredible performer and has a killer discography, to boot?

Oh yes, I can definitely get behind and defend that.


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