The last great column of the year

Beer beats Film beats Music at
Whether we talk about music, art, film, print or the newest dish soap, there is one thing that ties it all together: hype. Hype is the “show” in show business. It is the process by which one convinces the public that something truly special is happening. For if a band were to introduce itself by saying, “We’re not that good, but the drummer has a van, so we figured that we ought to play somewhere besides my mom’s garage,” unless the audience were composed of indie-rock fans, everyone might turn on their heels and leave. But if a band had posters all done up in glossy color, and the picture looked moody and sensitive, and the pull quotes said, “Truly one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever seen,” we would all pay $17 in advance to see them. Of course, the quote was from the Iowa Tribunal, where the last great thing seen was a tornado that hit the trailer park. That, folks, is hype.

We all know that, when something says “new and improved,” it’s the same old stuff. Take for instance the annoyingly huge amount of junk e-mail I get. “Win at off-shore gambling,” “Increase your breast size by one cup with herbs,” “Free penis enlargement,” “Erase all your debt,” and my favorite, “Neb Benjamin, we have your cash!” Now I can see through the hype, but some poor suckers out there have probably given half their savings to these electronic sharks. But sometimes it’s hard to tell the hype from the hope. I was recently contacted by a gentleman from a West African province who assures me that due to the recent upheaval in the government of that region, that he has 35 million dollars in an account that he needs to relocate and that it I were to supply him with my bank numbers that he could transfer funds to me and that I could keep a cool 4 million of it once the deal is sewn up. Who knows, could be true!

And so I say beware of anything that tries to lure you in with bright colors, hip packaging or striking adjectives. Take it from me. Considering that I get read by over 100,000 people a week, which is nearly every person in Chico, you can be assured that the words you see in this column are the truth, not mere fancy. The bands that I speak about are the world’s greatest and contain the most talented players this side of Jimi Hendrix’s grave. And you can rest easily this New Year’s, knowing that with Genetic Strands you are putting the splice back in your life!