Two people in their twenties were having an argument yesterday about Van Halen: Is the band cool or lame? They wisely sought a ruling from an elder who is experienced in these matters, namely myself. I have therefore issued a proclamation on this matter on behalf of the High Court of Cool, a body in which I am an Appeals Judge.
Be ye upstanding, and All Rise as We enter the courtoom.
Say we now, on behalf of this Court and all the Judges of Cool everywhere: It is a common mistake to assume that coolness and unspeakable lameness cannot coexist. They can. For coolness lieth in the Whole, not merely the parts thereof. It lieth not merely with the Vessel, but with that which the vessel contains. Let us examine the vessel you bring before us to be judged, the one that is called "Van Halen":
Eddie's guitar playing: awesome. David Lee Roth: lame, but funny. Sammy Hagar: terminally lame. Costumes, props, lyrics: Lame, lame, lame.
How is such a thing possible, you ask? How can something that is 99.8% lame be adjudged "cool"?
Because in the words of William Blake, "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise." By persisting in their folly of lame-ass tight pants and smoke bombs, while at the same time working hard on their musical craft, the members of Van Halen succeeded in producing rock and roll worth opening the sun roof for on a hot July afternoon and playing at eardrum-bleeding volume. They escaped their decadent suburban mentality and became more than the sum of their admittedly (and sometimes absurdly) lame parts. They created hot July sun-roof eardrum-damaging rock and roll.
In this misery-filled world, that is a blessing for the suffering millions. For delivering this blessing, Van Halen shall be declared now and henceforth, in all the ages to come, Cool. And if this is understandably aggravating to the one who rightly noted how completely lame they are, the judges can regretfully offer only these words of advice:
Two key issues came up in this interview about the debt-ceiling "deal," which I did last night for Al Jazeera English: The first is that many more Republicans and conservatives voted for the deal than Democrats and progressives, and the second is the role of the credit ratings companies in what happens next.