The Hitsville Conundrum | Letters | Chicago Reader

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The Hitsville Conundrum


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Dear Bill [Wyman],

Read with interest the Rolling Stones article [Hitsville, July 29]. Wondered why you neglected to mention your namesake's departure and why Ronnie Wood did not revert to bass and the Stones became a foursome--as some feel they ought. That would strip it even cleaner, eh?

The "Hitsville Conundrum," as you call it, is the Aesopian conundrum of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which--for the Tortoise to win--he must pass the halfway point between the start and the finish line before going further. But there is a halfway point (1/4) between one-half way through and the finish, and halfway between that, and so on, ad nauseum. Thus, the Tortoise will never finish the race, but be eternally damned to pass ever more hairsplitting halfway points forever.

If you were writing Hitsville in, say, the late 1700s, you would be complaining about what the critics were saying about each successive Beethoven symphony. (They did exactly the same thing.)

Would it surprise you to learn that the critics said equally stupid and shortsighted things about Bach? Speaking of Voodoo, would you blink if I told you that next to the deranged and Byzantine culture of rock criticism, Romanian politics and economic prognostication appear as simple and logical as a good shit in the woods?

Why don't you get a real job and leave this silly business of rock criticism to the Neanderthals?

Concerned reader

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