Monday, February 1, 2010

A social comment

There I was. Minding my own business in the teacher lounge, quietly re-reading Howard Zinn's masterwork, "A People's History of the United States". Suddenly, my peaceful attempt to re-educate myself was interrupted by a gaggle of middle-aged ladies fully equipped with their lunches. It was clear they were friends, and that they meet here every day. I thought nothing of this, and continued reading. This would be a silly mistake on my part. They sat down, and immediately began crowing and babbling at a medium to high volume about the Grammy awards last night. I didn't even know that shit was on. Even if I did know, I would have avoided it like I avoid eating at Taco Bell. Yet they seemed to all be emotionally invested in the award show, as they commented endlessly about those "artists" that appeared. They said things like, "I love Taylor Swift" and "That Lady Gaga is a sicko (other colorful adjectives were also used)", Michael Jackson this, and some person who wore virtually nothing ( I assume female). I tried not to listen to this nonsense, but due to their volume it was impossible. They kept going. About how these people are supposed to be "role models" and whatever else. There was no point trying to read anymore. God forbid I get five minutes to feed my brain without someone destroying my peace.

Like I said, I did not know the Grammys were on. Nor do I care. I wouldn't know Lady Gaga if I hit her with my car and the only reason I know who Taylor Swift is is because shes on magazine covers at Barnes and Noble. I have never heard a Lady Gaga song in my life (that I'm aware of) and as for Taylor Swift the only reason I've heard her shit is because it was on in the background somewhere and someone pointed it out to me. I've said it before, and I will say it again. I am proudly and blissfully unaware of current pop culture. I just do not care to know. The music I listen to is far better than anything the Grammys had to offer. This isn't my opinion. This is cold hard fact. I challenge anyone to put any of that shit from the awards last night versus something on my itunes and tell me there's is better. I AM a music snob, and I make no apologies for that. As for the role models comment. Are you fucking kidding me? Apparently, as I am remembering this part of the conversation as I type, this was referring to how a bunch of rappers were virtually "bleeped" every other rhyme. The fact that anyone even wants musicians (or in this case rappers) to be role models is a fucking joke to me. Music, since the Big Band era, is designed to piss off the older generations and tear down social norms. Unless these ladies listened to The Carpenters in the 70's, they liked music that did the same thing. Rap music has been doing that for 30 years (even though it too suffers from over saturation and pop music capitalism) I may not like what I hear sometimes, but I won't deny its right to exist. Unless, like everything on the Grammys, it's vapid pop music with absolutely nothing to say and absolutely nothing to contribute to the world. Lady Gaga, I don't know who she or it is, but I guarantee she brings nothing to the table musically. That much is certain. Also, it is very telling that the ladies in that room "love" Taylor Swift. Makes perfect sense to me. Taylor Swift from what I gather writes empty love songs that are pleasing to people who don't really like or appreciate music. Or people who have small children. It's on the radio, it's catchy, so no one cares that it has as much substance as a Styrofoam cub.

In essence, this is exactly why the record companies are failing. Not the file sharing services or blogs, but bad (read terrible) music. No one wants to PAY for that crap. That's why they download it for free. Yes, the indie rock community suffers from the freebie issue as well, but more people are apt to go see those bands live, or buy a shirt. I have never seen a kid at the high school wear a Lady Gaga shirt. I think there's gonna be a big change in music in the next few years. Even Jay-Z thinks so. He said (and I'm paraphrasing) that indie rock is gonna be the next big thing. He's apparently a fan. He's kind of right. Thousands of kids turn out for the bigger shows. I want to see The National in June. I guarantee a big crowd of kids. Even in punk rock, where the audience is a little younger and angrier, a shit ton of kids show up. This is where the money is made in music these days. Not in record sales. And thank satan for that. At least one gigantic corporate empire will be taken down pretty soon. One day, the Grammys won't exist. On that day, we can all look upon our work and see that it is good.

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