Posted tagged ‘generations’

Here we are now. Entertain us: The politics of boredom

2011/03/15

Late 1991. A couple kids from an affluent family gets picked up by their parents from soccer practice and are chaffered to their safe suburban home. While the youths are waiting for dinner to be ready, they turn on MTV. But instead of MC Hammer dancing around in really baggy pants denying them even the chance to touch…this…they see something different but at the same time familiar: kids that are waiting for something to happen. Kids that are disaffected and bored. Kids just like them. And then there’s a guy with a guitar on the screen, not wearing Hammer pants or dressed like Gene Simmons or Vince Neil or even Axl Rose.  Hold on  a second – he’s just like them. And he’s screaming out the words, “here we are now, entertain us.”

It seemed like in an instant, these kids finally had a soundtrack for how they felt about their lives.

The beginning riff in the Nirvana video for their song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the exact moment that the politics of boredom hit the mainstream. They’d been around in the underground for ages before that though. Let’s go for a listen through history and see what that tells us.

copyright John Mostrom 2003

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The butter’s on the wall

2010/10/05

Germany has been in the news a lot in the last week, and all because of the most important of subjects – HISTORY.

For one, they finally paid back all the money they owed France and the other sore winners of the First World War. It’s already 92 years since the fighting stopped, but WWI is now officially over.

For two, it’s been 20 years since West and East German got back together after several decades apart. It’s such a big deal that even Russian president Medvedev said congrats

Although there is all this talk of history and conflict, there is one name missing in all the chatter that really deserves to be mentioned. And that name is, of course, Dr. Suess. (more…)

The Revolution will not be Blogged

2010/10/03

In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron proclaimed that “you will not be able to plug in, turn on, and cop out,” because the “revolution will not be televised..it will be live.”

A song that is more a poem and political declaration than a piece of music, “the Revolution will not be Televised” was written in the middle of the Nixon era – as the war in Vietnam, a conflict with a disproportionate number of African-Americans fighting,  still raged – and the counterculture of the 1960s had either burnt out or faded away.

It weaves together popular culture, civil rights, and the rumblings going on in the underground…and makes a statement for an entire generation.

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