Debate: Is Glenn Dying Worse Than Steven Tyler Quitting Aerosmith?

By Glenn and Jake

Is my life worth more than the music of Aerosmith? Jake sent me a link to a story about Steven Tyler quitting Aerosmith recently but realized immediately after sending it that I could be in a car at the time and would surely die upon the news. Granted I already knew he was quitting and I wasn't in a car but this begged the question: what would be worse? If I was to die - whether in a car accident or because I tried to hide in a hot air balloon - would it be worse overall than this painful news that Aerosmith is no more? Aerosmith have been responsible for many of the best songs and albums of the 20th Century, yet my death would affect many of the people who know me personally. Can you put a price on a human being's life? Can you put a price on art? Let's all "Dream On" and find out.

Jake (Glenn Dying is Worse): We can all obviously come to agreement that Aerosmith is a great and influential rock and roll band. What we can't seem to agree on is the value of a human life. We've got right winger saying it's wrong to extract a fetus from a sixteen year old girl's uterus. We've got left wingers saying it's not okay to put murderers to death in gas chambers. We've got high school students shooting their classmates because they got called nerds in front of girls they like. It's all so confusing that you could just scream at the top of your lungs until you drown on your own throat blood. You know why we don't do that? Because we value our own lives too much. Glenn, you should value your own life enough not to try to barter your life in trade for bringing Aerosmith back together. We already have so many great Aerosmith albums to enjoy.

Glenn (Steven Tyler Quitting is Worse): Look at the totality of what Aerosmith and I have done in our lives/careers. I have played small parts in election George Bush, Claire McCaskill, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Barack Obama and David Duke. Aerosmith have literally written millions of best-selling songs that have changed people's lives. The force which with the song "Dream On" arrived in 1976 was enough to elect Jimmy Carter President of the United States. In 1976 I wasn't even alive. If we want to even the score with a fast forward to 1990, we can view Aerosmith's mammoth hit of "Janie's Got A Gun" in comparison to me at age 8 eagerly anticipating Ultimate Warrior's Wrestlemania VI match against Hulk Hogan. Like the Warrior in that classic match, Aerosmith triumphs in any contest comparing valuable outputs with my life.

Jake : I won't disagree with you on the point that Aerosmith is more valuable than you, but to say that the loss of a human life is not as bad as a band breaking up deep in the twilight of their career is ludicrous. Aerosmith had at the most five truly great songs left in them. While one could argue that you have zero good songs left in you, I think that isn't necessarily true. I don't think it's fair to judge your songwriting ability without having heard any songs that you have written. Even if you can't write a good song, I still think it's unfair to trade your life against Aerosmith reforming, if such a choice ever arose. Therefore, you dying is worse than Steven Tyler quitting Aerosmith.

Glenn: Ask some of my greatest enemies - who also happen to be giant Aerosmith fans - if me dying would impact them more than Aerosmith's demise. They would say "no." Even if we disregard my enemies - an illustrious list of people from Fox News anchor Brit Hume to several female writers on this site - we have to concede that the general population would support my death over Aerosmith's. A recent Strategic Vision poll had disapproval of Aerosmith's break-up at 74%. The same poll had a 82% approval of my death. Even when we get into my social circle it doesn't get any better. If I had a wife, husband or child, you could make a case that my death would negatively affect that human so much that it would overwhelm the massive mourning surely to happen in the wake of Aerosmith's finish. But I don't. I even called my parents for the sake of this debate and they said if they could have sacrificed me as a child in order to immortalize Aerosmith they would have. And I don't blame them.

Jake: I think we're viewing this debate topic more as a rhetorical question rather than two separate points to be weighed against each other. On one hand you have Glenn, a young man who is not even married(!!!) and has not lived long enough to switch from being a liberal to being a conservative once he starts making some money. The point I'm trying to drive home is Glenn dying is a very minor tragedy, if viewed in the correct light. On the other hand you have Aerosmith, a band that is remarkable, no doubt. They're basically a supergroup, like the Damn Yankees, because they're all so amazing. Yet they have released 14 studio albums and have sold over 60 million albums. It's like they have won a game of beer pong and they're still drinking the beer. Let them retire and drink sarsaparilla at a dude ranch. They're in their 60s and probably need to take it easy, which means no touring. Glenn, if you really care about Aerosmith you will agree that the best thing for them would be to retire.

Glenn: I guess when you put it like that I am willing to not lay down my life so that Aerosmith can ride off into the sunset. Neil Young, a worse singer than Steven Tyler and a worse guitarist than Joe Perry, once said it's better to burn out than fade away. I suppose Aerosmith can burn out now and I can fade away in a few decades. That way everyone wins. I'll be dead but their music will live on. Hopefully Aerosmith's abrupt end as a musical group will cause those around me to value the time that I'm alive here and now. If not, there's going to be a lot of Cryin' once I'm gone.


  1. "I even called my parents for the sake of this debate and they said if they could have sacrificed me as a child in order to immortalize Aerosmith they would have. "

    this is the biggest lie i've heard in weeks--which is saying A LOT since i watched the house health care deb8 all day saturday. we all know that if glenn died, it would be the end of sue, which would be the end of me. i'm voting pro-life. glenn dying is MUCH worse than steven tyler quitting aerosmith.

  2. i think i can forgive the false and crude statement about neil young - no, i CAN forgive that and move on to say that i would rather live in a world of neil-young hating glens than a world where aerosmith has sold their souls to satan (again) to rock on forever.