Recently, on another guy's blog there was a discuss about the band Styx and how they are coming out with a new cover of Beatle's songs. The original post is not overtly anti or pro either band. If anything it seemed to me the author was kind of making fun of the fact that Styx would do something like this since they are so obviously out of the loop. But then all of the responses (or at least the majority) seemed to be bashing the Beatles and praising Styx. I realized that the musical standards by which my generation who were teenagers in the 90s cut our musical teeth were all but dead. This is a sad realization. I knew that there were dark times in the late 90s with the return of bubble-gum and pop-rock, along with the psuedo-hard-coreness of mindless deep rock in the form of bands like Linkin Park and Stained, among others. But I always hoped that the pendulum would swing back and we would be engulfed in true meaningful music that was prevailent in the 90s and 60s. In some ways we are reverting back. For instance, we are now embracing the coolness of the 80s with kids wearing Members Only jackets to school and sporting Madonnaesque mismatching garb. This doesn't bother me, except that it seems to be accompanying the Reaganist political and social conservatism of the same generation. We are very much about "me" once again. I suppose that I am wishing for the good ole days too soon and that it will come in time. But more than anything I want progression. Sure I was an STP and Smashing Pumpkins fan. I wore torn denim and flannel and made sure that nothing in my wardrobe was too bright or colorful. I did that. But, I don't want that back. Please, no. I just want somthing meaningful. I want people to be socially conscious and care about things like poverty and social change. People love to hate politics, it seems, but I hate to love politics. I mean that I wish I didn't find myself being pulled into caring so much or to feeling so strongly one way or another, but I do, and I can get pretty passionate about it all, if I allow myself. And music played a major part of this for me. I suppose I'm being unfair, and that there is more socially consciousness out there than I'm letting on. Most conservatives would probably raise their eyebrows and shout, "What are you talking about? These liberal artist types are everywhere!" And to some degree they're right. But what is out there just seems so hollow. It isn't making the same kind of impact that it made in me some time ago. The measure I think can be said lies somewhat with teens and college students. I just don't see that the students that I teach are very concerned with anything outside their own bubble. During the election of 2004 the younger ones had the loudest voice spouting off sound bites that came straight from their parents. This is, I suppose, to be expected of such young people. But the seniors, the ones who vote, the ones who can make a difference seem completely uninterested and apathetic. Perhaps I have the wrong seniors. Perhaps the classes that I teach are not the ones where these students are going to expound their views and passions. I teach primarily lower level courses in theatre. So this could have something or everything to do with it. I just remember having conversations with friends about the differences in Clinton and Dole, and why there is no way we were voting for Dole (I missed being able to vote in that election by a few months). When I asked the seniors in my classes what their opinoins were on the subject, they generally didn't have one. I guess they didn't feel they had to discuss the issue unless it was government class.
I tend to wonder. As the me generation's college students' (the Alex Keatons) children are graduating high school is there something to say for the idea that these conservatively influenced children are the pendulum that I'm talking about and it won't be until my generation's kid's are of upper-adolesent and college age that social conscience and justice will once again take the place of money obsession and looking out for number one? Or am I way off, and I'm just looking at things through my own very tainted glass, and really there isn't any difference between mine and other's generations. It seems we are all the same on many levels.
But, come on. Styx were hacks compared to the Beatles.