I like Barry Manilow.
I liked him in the '70s and I like him now, and while I spend most of my music-listening time on punk and alt-rock, I most definitely will still crank up Mandy, I Write the Songs, and Looks Like We Made It, whenever I stumble across them, eagerly anticipating the big cheesy overwrought key change in the final chorus because... okay, I don't really have a good explanation for that, I just like it, okay?
In any case, when rumors swirled earlier this past week that Manilow was threatening to pull his music off Spotify à la Neil Young I gave it little thought. I have only so much bandwidth to care about things like this, and whether or not Barry Manilow songs are readily accessible on Spotify is right up there with, "can I find Utz BBQ potato chips, the regular ones, not the Ripples, at my local Giant or do I have to get them at the Harris Teeter the next time I'm there."
I mean really, I can get by with the Ripples for a while.
The rumors did force the aging crooner to tear himself away from his hourly Botox injections to issue a denial.
I certainly did not see this as an endorsement of Joe Rogan. I didn't even see it as Manilow championing free speech.
A saw this as Manilow championing getting all these kids off his darn lawn.
Oh, and they were on his lawn, for a bit, making noise, celebrating him for his courage, promising to purchase albums they were never going to purchase to demonstrate solidarity with their new hero.
Predictably, his denial of the rumor brought out hundreds of people who don't listen to Barry Manilow, or Joe Rogan, or for that matter Neil Young, but nonetheless felt they needed to have their voices heard on this incredibly tangential and unimportant subject.
Some simply felt the need to express their disappointment.
She does like to get worked up over things that don't really matter.
Others saw this as an opportunity to highlight their pet causes, in this gentleman's case, to attack capitalism for some reason.
This same person posted a story about someone sentenced for groping a flight attendant and spun it into some kind of partisan morality play.
Passengers causing problems on aircraft are NOT "good people just feeling the stress of the pandemic". They are partisan actors. Everyone is feeling that stress.
Huh? There was no element of partisanship whatsoever, not even a fight about masks. I have a feeling he's lucky the airlines don't charge fees for bringing on extra emotional baggage.
Others were just angry, angry I tell you!
No, not the piano scores!
She ended up deleting the tweet.
I was about to buy one of your albums
No, you weren't.
Guess I'm buying two Neil Young albums instead
No, you're not.
The truly unhinged came out too, of course.
Democracy is on the line!!
No, it really isn't. That doesn't even make sense.
Speaking of which,
Manilow is going to "contribute to the downfall of western democracy!!"
Heck, not even Nickelback can do that.
I'm not saying it wouldn't be close, but Democracy can survive a lot more than painfully derivative rock music.
And then there's the woker-than-thou.
His Twitter feed is like a parody account. He checks every box, personal pronouns, anti-gun, BLM, the works. If there were a woke Olympics, he would be going for the gold, if he believed in patriarchal-derived hierarchies, that is.
To sum up, the world has gone nuts, or at least Twitter has, but you probably knew that already.
However, if you're listening, guy-who-sang-with-George-Michael-in-Wham, it might be a good career move to threaten to pull Son of Albert off Spotify.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go listen to "Weekend In New England." If memory serves it has an awesome key change.