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It is Possible to Pay Tribute to Jay Bennett’s Life Without Taking Sides in a Fight That’s None of Your Business in the First Place, Jerk

May 29, 2009

Jay Bennett‘s death seems to have awakened a long-dormant sense of partisanship in a lot of Wilco fans. In many of the articles purporting to be about Bennett’s life, the writer’s dedication to either Bennett or Tweedy causes the eulogy to degrade into rehashed gossip from a dispute nearly a decade old.

For all the times the fight scenes from I am Trying to Break Your Heart have come up this week, no one seems to mention that those scenes last for maybe 15 minutes. That’s hardly a basis upon which to make an informed decision about the dissolution of a relationship that lasted for years. Nor do a few interviews or pages in Learning How to Die fill in nearly enough gaps for anyone to make a confident declaration of allegiance to either man.

My thought is that those of us who never had a dog in the fight should stick to appreciating the music that Bennett made while he was here, and remembering the huge contributions he made to a fantastic period in Wilco’s history.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. JoJo permalink
    May 29, 2009 7:34 pm

    what’s with the reasonable and conciliatory attitude? I come to ‘is it luck?’ for manichean culture war polemics!!

    tee hee.


  2. Jonathan C permalink
    June 1, 2009 3:49 pm

    Meg posited that Tweedy had bassist John Stirrat kill Jay Bennett as a final test of his loyalty. As secretary of the John Stirrat Hangin’ In There Club, I agreed that it was not too far-fetched.

    • Barry permalink*
      June 1, 2009 3:56 pm

      The idea of John Stirrat, stealth assassin is really appealing. I picture him dressed like a ninja, sneaking into Bennett’s bedroom and administering a lethal dose of some untraceable drug, a single tear running down his cheek.

      • Jonathan C permalink
        June 1, 2009 3:58 pm

        muttering under his breath, “Damn you, Jeff. And damn me for loving you so much.”

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