My homepage is UltimateClassicRock.com.
On December 27, one of their headlines blared, in all caps, “Why Alice Cooper Doesn’t Believe in ‘Celebrity Christianity'”.
I thought: What year is it?
“Born again Alice” is old news.
Back in the “emerging church” 1990s, when Protestants were trying to get hip (again), a rash of magazines appeared. Critics called them “skate park outreach” and they all had semi-tough names like Relevant and Relate. (And lots and lots and LOTS of U2 stories…)
In one of them, I read an interview with Cooper, in which he unequivocally took the standard-issue evangelical line that Mother Teresa’s good works wouldn’t necessarily get her into heaven. I’ve never been a cheerleader for the late saint, but his dogmatism rubbed me the wrong way.
That said, I never stopped liking him, and his music.
In my punk days, Alice Cooper was an “old” band it was still OK to like. (That’s the topic for another, longer column, though.)
Right now, an interview Cooper gave to HM (a Christian music publication) in the spring is suddenly getting picked up all over the place.
It seems to have started at the DC Beacon, who, shall we say, over-enthusiastically claim:
Although he became a Christian in the 1980s, apart from brief comments in some interviews the 66-year-old singer has always been guarded about his faith – until now. But in a frank interview with a Christian music magazine, he spoke at length publicly for the first time about his love for God and reluctance to become a “Christian celebrity.”
That other music (and Christian) outlets are taking DC Beacon‘s claims about Cooper’s faith being breaking news is pretty strange.
Cooper’s interview with Relevant (or whoever) was hardly brief, as I recall, and I know I’ve read similar ones.
And then there’s the not so small matter of last year’s widely-discussed, warts-and-all documentary about the musician, Super Duper Alice Cooper.
That’s not a big deal. It’s nice that Cooper’s Christianity is getting some attention.
And let’s face it, it’s an irresistible story:
Son of a preacher man remakes himself as a glam, proto-goth — the “Gothfather,” perhaps? He turns into a drug-addled rock god whose antics onstage and off are the stuff of legend — then sees the light, gives up booze and takes up golf.
But I can’t possibly be the only one who feels like they’re trapped in The Twilight Zone or Invasion of the Body Snatchers while reading “the news” these days.
Does anyone else find themselves constantly wondering, “Er, doesn’t everybody know this already?”
(And if they don’t, then we’re in way bigger trouble than even I realized.)
Seriously: We really need a new name for, well, “the news.”