Herman’s Hermits still #*&$%+! rock!
Welcome to the Tuesday Lite Notebook (wherein we b----, moan, "expletive deleted", F-word, gr---p-- and #*&$%+! about the various interesting and amusing issues of day):
» The F-word, mentioned in the above instance, refers to "fictionalize," not the other, more universally recognized F-word that we would NEVER use in this space. The gr---p-- word you are just going to have to figure out. (And if the editors discern what #*&$%+! means, I'll be out of a job.)
The point of this excessive use of dashes and weird keyboard symbols is to note what a hassle Duane "Dog" Chapman has created for writers reporting on his gratuitous and frequent use of the "N-word" in his recent secretly recorded tirade that resulted in the loss of his "Dog the Bounty Hunter" TV show.
Newspapers and Web sites scrambled to re-examine their policies on printing offensive phrases and nasty words. In reporting on the Dog's salacious soliloquy, some news outlets used "N-word" for one offensive reference, and others used n
. Online, some Web sites subbed "F-word" for the F-word but then spelled out the N-word letter for letter. Others spelled out the F-word and camouflaged the N-word. In a word, it was a real mess.
Critics think the actual words should be printed in the interest of accuracy and point out that times change. In the old days we couldn't spell out damn. Damn if we can't now. At least I think we can. If all these damns come back as D's with dashes, it will be a damn shame.
» In writing recently about how celebrities, especially musicians, are putting their names behind booze brands, I wrote, "Big music artists are flogging liquor these days, but I'm embarrassed to admit I have no idea who they are. I'm a Herman's Hermits guy in a 50 Cent world."
I then mentioned famous booze icons, like the Hamm's Beer Bear, who, "I'm pretty sure, played drums briefly with Herman's Hermits."
Anyone into rapper 50 Cent likely has no idea who Herman's Hermits are. But they were/are famous for many classic songs still played on the radio, like "Mrs. Brown You Have a Lovely Daughter," "There's a Kind of Hush" and "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am." (Curiously, few groups today perform songs about 16th-century European monarchs fond of killing their wives.)
I say they Hermits "were/are" famous because they still are performing today. And after my column ran, I got a nice e-mail from Peter Noone, generally considered to be the Herman of the Hermits. In response to my joke about the Hamm's Beer Bear, Noone wrote, "He's still playing drums for us. ... Some are sicker than others, as you know."
I AM a Herman's Hermits guy, and so getting a note from Noone was really one of the coolest things to happen to me since Spiro Agnew wrote to say he wasn't dead after I described him as so. Agnew is dead now, but something tells me Noone and the Hermits are still into something #*&$%+! good. (Obscure song title reference.)
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
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