Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Zimmerman Banned From Newport

The state of TIAH

July 25th, 2006

in 1947, State Senator Argus Fitzsimmons arrives in Roswell, New Mexico for the weekend. Since he was running through the area anyway, he decides to check out the situation that a friend of his from law school, Martha Emmanuel, asked him to look into. He asks the local Air Force base if he can see the weather balloon that “caused the big ruckus” recently by making everyone think a flying saucer had crashed. The base's commander, Colonel Blanchard, told him, “I wish I could let you see it, sir, but it's been sent off to Fort Worth.” Puzzled, Senator Fitzsimmons asked why. “They don't tell me everything, sir,” Colonel Blanchard said, then, pleading a lack of time, left Fitzsimmons and went back to his official duties. Fitzsimmons then went to the home of Dr. Powell, the man who had asked Martha for help, only to find an empty house with a For Sale sign on the lawn. “It's been empty since yesterday,” a man walking up to the Senator said. “Nobody's seen Doc Powell for a couple of days.” He extended his hand to the Senator and said, “I'm Mac Brazel.”

in 1965, folk singer Bob Zimmerman rocked and shocked the Newport Folk Festival by going electric with his new song Maggie's Farm, abandoning the acoustic sound that had won him a huge following among folk fans. Although many in the crowd dug the new Zimmerman, traditionalists booed him off the stage and festival organizer Pete Seeger told him that he would never play Newport again. Zimmerman, undeterred by these dire threats, went on to become a songwriting legend, influencing artists for decades after. He even influenced international superstar Pete Best to move away from the simple rock and roll of his early hits and take risks with his musical style; shortly after this, Best began exploring his ancestral Indian music and producing the truly unusual and great music that became his signature in the early 70's.

in 1988, after a young man is found to have conspired with a couple of friends to kill his step-father for inheritance money, police looking into their background find that the friends all played the game Dungeons & Dragons, and used lurid details from the game to make it seem like some kind of cult slaying. Even though the motive in the case was fairly clearly just money, and no ritualistic elements were involved, (the young men had tried to make the killing look like a robbery), outrage about the game led to laws against it being passed all over the country. Minors were forbidden from purchasing it, and with this revenue stream cut off from them, TSR, the company that published D&D, closed its doors in 1989 and the game faded into memory, only surfacing now and then when a convenient scapegoat was needed to explain the behavior of supposedly “good” kids gone bad.

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