Tangmonkey Forum

Submit to pulp







October 2001

Download the word version, perfect for printing and handing out on street corners!
In this issue:    Spooks, shocks, Satan, and the Return of the Living Eeyore! .
 
 
Negasonic Teenage Borehead
Ash

 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: What the hell is wrong with out society? Sure we've come along way since the Dark Ages, what with electricity, automobiles, and genetically engineered biological weapons, but in some ways, we're just as backwards, uniformed, and ignorant as the most boorish Zulu tribe. Remember, we live in a world where Damon Wayans has his own TV show, and child actors like Anna Paquin and Haley Joel Osment are nominated for Academy Awards merely for successfully not going potty halfway through their scenes. We have a long way to go before attaining the pure, logical, Vulcan-esque pinnacle of human evolution we're striving for, and there's no way we're going to achieve it at the current rate. For one thing, we still live in a society that tolerates the Farrely Brothers, commercials for 'feminine hygiene', and R&B. And you know what the problem is? Apathy. We're all apathetic to the status quo. Not that the status quo is bad. Hell, I like the status quo. It means I get to sit around and watch Kolchak: The Night Stalker reruns while the government bombs the Mohammed out of a third world country. The status quo is fine. But it could be better. I could be watching new episodes of Kolchak while the government bombs Afghanistan. But no, our society, especially the youth culture, is too apathetic to even think about lobbying to get Kolchak back on the air, instead wasting their time with pacifist rallies and recycling drives. This apathy is evident throughout pop-culture, from the insipid reality TV programming of the major networks to the bland, lazy music scene, which is what really gets my proverbial goat. The voice of rebellion has been leached from music over the past ten years. Think about it. In the 1950s, the mere existence of rock music, regardless of its lyrical content, challenged authority. The 1960s had the pacifist, anti-Vietnam movement immortalized in the folk movement. The 70s had, well, mostly Andy Gibb and the Bee Gees, but the later years of the decade spawned the working class disaffection of punk music. Even the 1980s, which wasted much of our time with Alf and Culture Club singles, contained the conformity-fueled anger of the second wave of heavy metal and the racially charged, socially conscious rap music of Public Enemy and the like. But what do we have now? Gap punks Sum 41, and a perpetually confused group called Destiny's Child creating an elaborate new vocabulary to sing about their asses. I remember back when I was a kid, when we had to walk to school in the snow, barefoot, pregnant, and uphill, the music I listened to actually meant something. It was angry. It was powerful. OK, fine, it was Minipops and Alvin and the Chipmunks albums, but damn it, Alvin had something to say. Now, that kind of feeling has left pop music. Punk has become a representation of the rage a skateboarder feels towards the 'fascist' cop who tells him to stop skating down the wheelchair ramp at the retirement home. Metal has devolved into mindless, unfocused rage, and it has become rather difficult to identify with the squalor and poverty of black ghettos when most rap videos contain nicer cars than Jay Leno's garage. The voice of rebellion is dead, or has at least been purchased by Virgin Records. But once again, it's not that I have anything against record companies. It's not their fault music sucks today. The bands themselves are to blame. If they're not busy parroting a long dead musical movement by beating the last few dollars out of it, they're inventing newer, crappier movements to get rich of off. If there's anything more sickening that watching a group of burly white guys mixing rap 'music' with hardcore to sell records to private school students, it's 'folk metal', whatever the hell that is. People are still angry, they're just not sure who they're angry with or what to do about it. Hence, 'raves', where people get dolled up like Hello Kitty, eat pills fashioned in some biker's chemistry set, and waste their aggression and energy by dancing instead of doing something useful and rebellious like vandalizing a McDonald's or spray-painting the anarchy symbol on mailboxes. What's with all this happy crap? Who let the Cranberries make another record? What the hell's a 'Radiohead'? I'm telling you, we need a new voice, a new expression of the childish, inappropriate rage all us privileged white kids feel, a new movement. Damn it, we need a new Alvin





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