Mr. Cope’s Cave: Well Why Doesn't the Dumb Bastard Write About the North Korean Deal, Huh?


OK, I’m not going to try to bullshit you. No point to it. You’d see through it in a half a flash. So straight up… I don’t have beans to write about today. The day being… Christmas.

Yes. I put it off, and put it off, and put it off, until here I am, 9 p.m. Xmas night. With?… nuttin’. Zip. Nada. And in about 12 hours, my bossman down at Boise Weekly Central will start wondering, Where the hell is Cope’s blog crap? 

So what I’m going to do, in lieu of a proper blogifixture, is stick on two videos of Joe Cocker doing my two favorite Joe Cocker songs. And now you’re thinking why I would do that with Joe Cocker all over the news a few days ago. You know… with that dying thing.

Or instead of that, maybe you’re thinking, Well why doesn’t the dumb bastard write about that North Korean deal? You know… that Sony picture deal with that one guy and the other guy what wasn’t going to get shown and then was going to get shown, and what about that whole deal, huh?

And you would be right, partially. I could have indeed written something about that, if only I gave a rat’s ass about that. Which, I don’t. Not much, anyway.

OK, I give a small portion of a rat’s ass about the idea of some foreign power fiddling about with the computer innards in a place they have no business fiddling about in. But I would give a much larger portion of a rat’s ass if it were our air traffic control system, or our electrical grid, or something a tad more vital to the functioning and well being of the United States of America than whether or not another Seth Franco... Frank Rogen... whatever... movie gets shown in theaters or not.

And don’t be yelling how this is all a matter of artistic freedom. Don’t try to tell me about artistic freedom, bub. I know a thing or two about artistic freedom. Hell, I’m practicing artistic freedom right now, this very minute, by making up this sad-ass blog and passing it off as prose.

Oh, about the Joe Cocker thing. See, if you’re like me, you saw on half a million news shows tiny bits and pieces of him doing “With a Little Help… “ and you possibly even saw a bar or two of “You Are So Beautiful.”

But what was missing from all that—at least from what I saw—was the feeling for what a kick-ass performer he was. How… (I’m trying to think of the right word here)… how volcanic he was. You had to see the whole tune, from beginning to end, to get that. You had to see him build a song from a tinkle in the air up to where his energy swept through an audience like a pyroclastic blast, and no news program was going to run an 8-minute Joe Cocker performance, whether he’d died or not.

But, back to that North Korean thing, see… when I heard they were pulling the movie, I thought, Way to cave, Sony, just like everyone else. But then I thought, OK wise guy, what the hell would you do if some crazy asshole (or assholes; we really don’t know, do we?) had threatened to go berserker on all the convenience stores and coffee shops that carry Boise Weekly because there was something in it I’d written that they found offensive? 

I mean, every artist everywhere, no matter how shitty he may be, should have unfettered freedom to create any and every manifestation of artistic expression he wants, no matter how shitty it may be. But frankly, I don’t see that freedom translating into a right to put any one else at risk who may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So in the end, I came out of it even less committed to an opinion on a matter that I had no strong opinions on in the first place. Whatever measure of a rat’s ass that is, you tell me.

But about the particular Joe Cocker performances I picked: I struggled… yes, struggled… between the film of him at Woodstock, age 24, doing “With a Little Help from My Friends”—which is the first time most of us saw him, by the way—and one from a little later, when he’d polished his act considerably. Same with the two versions of “You Are So Beautiful.” It was either take one from the very end of his career—he’d performed it as recently as a little more than a year ago, when that raspy voice of his had turned into virtually no voice at all—or one from when he was probably at his peak.

On both numbers I went with the more polished renditions. Rest assured, though, by “polished,” I don’t mean “tamed.”

So to wrap this up, if you were waiting for me to climb into the Sony vs. Kim Jung-un hot tub, along with George Clooney and President Obama and, you know… everybody, sorry to disappoint. And if you were waiting for another long, drawn-out blog entry… also sorry to disappoint. It’s still Xmas, for Christ’s sake, and I’m tired. And I’ve been talking all damn day long. My family, they all expect me to at least pretend I’m enjoying this holiday shit, so I did my best. Now everyone’s gone and I’m exhausted. Not to mention there’s a piece of mincemeat pie in the kitchen with my name on it. Goodbye.

Oh… about that Christmas music I promised I was going to stick on every blog all month long?… sorry to disappoint. I quit. My bet is, you’re as tired of it as I am.

And take it away, Joe…