Yin and Yang

The killing of Dimebag Darrell rains on Michael Haaga's Continental Club Plus and Minus Show parade

Though security is a little better at arenas and stadiums, the same goes for pro athletes, coaches, umpires and referees. That scene in Detroit could have been still worse had those moronic Pistons fans been packing pistols instead of plastic cups of beer or boxes of popcorn.

Civility seems to be eroding all around…Seeing the Detroit footage and reading about Dimebag Darrell and the Young Buck stabbing, you start to think of some lines by William Butler Yeats about things falling apart, centers not holding, the best lacking all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

It could be -- and let's all pray that this is not the case -- that the only reason this doesn't happen more often is that it had never happened before. Dimebag Darrell's death could spark a rash of copycats -- this one pissed about some band's shift in artistic direction, that one deranged about their favorite guy getting thrown out of the band, and some other nut furious about God only knows what else. Maybe his girlfriend dumped him to your band's song or something.

What is to be done? Do we have to have metal detectors at every club in America? Do we need legions of bouncers frisking us all? Is nightlife bound to become as fraught with security checkpoints and low-grade paranoia as air travel?

And could any of those measures have stopped a lone, determined nut with a gun? After all, Ronald Reagan had the full protection of the Secret Service, and that didn't stop John Hinckley. Earlier this year, a club was shut down in Fort Myers, Florida, after a shooting there; the gunman left the club, walked out to his car, picked up a gun, pointed it at the bouncer and said, "I'm going in." So -- should we arm bouncers? That's probably gonna be the NRA's solution. More guns! If only a few of those Damageplan fans had been armed, Dimebag Darrell would be alive today!

No, it's obvious what we need to do. What we need is for all 290 million of our compatriots to not throw things at basketball players just because they shoved one of "your" guys. We all need to not kill rock stars just because they broke up our favorite band. And we all need to just get along. As George Costanza once roared, "You know, we're living in a society!"

Michael Haaga appears Friday, December 17, at Mary Jane's Fat Cat, 4216 Washington Avenue. For more information, call 713-869-JANE.

Scuttlebutt Caboose

Congratulations are in order to Press contributor and author Dr. Roger Wood. Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues, his definitive and authoritative book on the local blues culture, was awarded with the Keeping Blues Alive prize in the literature category by the Blues Foundation in Memphis…While we're on the subject of awards, congrats to the following former and current Houstonians who were nominated for Grammys: Clint Black, Destiny's Child, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Tift Merritt, Willie Nelson, Johnny Winter and Rodney Crowell, whose Notorious Cherry Bombs song "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long" is up for two awards. As well as being a shoo-in in the Country Song Title Hall of Fame…Time to toot our own horn a little: In case you haven't noticed, our music listings are now the best in town and quite possibly in the entire state. Last week, despite the normal holiday season dip in shows, we had well over 800 events listed in our database. (The Chron listed only 588 on the day I wrote this, and I happen to know that two of these listings are for a performer who has been dead for months.) We've got everything from karaoke at local watering holes to huge rock spectaculars in massive arenas, happening everywhere from Galveston to Cypress and Sugar Land to Crosby. You'll also find poker tournaments, open-mikes, which DJs are spinning where, and comedy shows -- more than a hundred events to choose from each day of the week. Clubbers and other denizens of the night, check 'em out. Club owners, please keep sending over your info so we can be as thorough, up-to-date and accurate as possible.

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