I used to love reading Rolling Stone back in the days when I didn’t do much reading. You know, when you’re a teen, magazines are more meant for looking at pics and flipping through than actually reading. So I loved to read Rolling Stones at that age. I think this cover sold me. I remember exact day I picked up this issue at Borders, too.
I stopped reading Rolling Stone a couple years ago when I realized their writing is usually mediocre. I don’t know if RS’s writing has always been inferior, or if their editorial quality was dragged down by the deteriorating record industry (record companies are dying. fast.) Whatever.
They do have pieces worth reading every now and then, like that How The Beatles Broke Up story last year that managed to shred new light on the tension between Lennon and George (Fucking Yoko, man). Other than that, am I gonna pick up and read the mag with their awesome Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert coverage… sch-yeah right.
But this rolling stone story made headlines last month is a must read for any aspiring writer or any American male, really.
The piece is a profile on Stanley McChrystal, commander of multinational forces, aka the top dude who runs the troops in Afghanistan. Strong profile on a strong character. Character is the keyword, as this guy sounds just like Red Forman from That 70s Show–super patriotic, super hard ass, super un-PC. The journo, Michael Hastings, does a great job of painting the picture, like with this paragraph:
“I’d rather have my ass kicked by a roomful of people than go out to this dinner,” McChrystal says.
He pauses a beat.
“Unfortunately,” he adds, “no one in this room could do it.”
With that, he’s out the door.
“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides.
“Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.”
Homophobic, talks tough, drops F bomb, and clowns the French….a typical American! All jokes aside, McChrystal rips Obama and his crew, especially Biden.
This piece was so damning that Obama, when he’s not busy talking about Lebron, fired McChrystal last month. What the piece does is paint the picture of a hardnosed, traditional obsessive man who did whatever it took to get the job done. And this article, supposedly got him fired, but not before drawing attention to the situation and forcing changes.
Red Forman indeed.