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Monday, June 17, 2013

What is Creepy Part 3: Sweet Caroline

This the third post in a series that explores the question: what is creepy? If you want to see the first two posts, you can find them here and here2.

I have a Mormon friend whose favorite show is about zombies. Aren’t Mormons supposed to watch Leave it to Beaver? Apparently, zombies are not creepy. Vampires stopped being creepy thirty years ago. Body modifiers – those who reshape or amputate body parts as a form of expression, stopped being creepy twenty years ago (which I bet pisses some of them off. You cut off a finger and a nostril and people ignore it?)
Even terrorists are starting to become normalized. Sure, they kill people, but so does lightning. It’s just the chance you take with living.


So what is creepy?

How about Neil Diamond? They play Sweet Caroline during the 7th inning stretch at Fenway Park, and everyone joins in with the chorus, because no one can remember the verses. It’s a good thing too. The verses are – well, you decide...

Hands, touchin' hands
Reachin' out, touchin' me touchin' you
Sweet Caroline…
But now I, look at the night
And it don't seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two…
Warm, touchin' warm
Reachin' out, touchin' me touchin' you
Sweet Caroline…
“So?” you say to me as if I can’t hear you across the cyber divide of blogdom, “he’s just a horny guy – the world is full of horny guys.”
And you’re right, but there’s a story behind the writing of Sweet Caroline – a story that didn’t come out until November of 2007.

"I've never discussed it with anybody before – intentionally. I thought maybe I would tell it to Caroline when I met her someday."

"It was a No 1 record and probably is the biggest, most important song of my career, and I have to thank her for the inspiration,"

Who was this Caroline that inspired such lust in Neil Diamond so many years ago? It was Caroline Kennedy – then eleven years old.
Asked how Caroline Kennedy responded when he revealed his obsession at her 50th birthday celebration, Diamond replied:

"I'm happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline. I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

She was “really, really happy?” She was happy that a thirty-year-old Neil Diamond fantasized about running his hands over her eleven-year-old body back in 1969, and made a song commemorating it?

Of course she was considering a run for the senate seat in NY at the time. So political considerations kept a woman from speaking out against pedophilia?
Politics – one thing that will always be creepy.

But why have that song at Fenway? Wouldn’t Yankee Stadium be a better fit?