Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stopping to Reflect

YouTube allows me the ability to browse the music videos of my early teens, the beginning of the so-called Alternative Revolution. They haven't dated as much as my perception of them has dated, and I realize now how many of them weren't nearly as awesome or as groundbreaking to the whole scheme of things as I thought they were at the time. That is to say, the sacred cows of a prior age are not nearly as sacred these days. Still, there are a handful which retain their staying power with me--albums and groups which I've always kept around and listened to periodically over the years. Those are relatively rare, though, and in watching the songs now a decade and a half old I often fail to see what the fuss was about. That era is in some ways closely related to these times, but in subtler ways they are also light-years away from us.

With age, tastes evolve, shift, and change. The people I worry about are the ones who live in a state of perpetual adolescence, neither moving forward, nor backwards. I also know that this one paragraph's worth of realization is far from uncommon. When you strip away hype and hyperbole and youthful exuberance and effectively demystify your past, you don't have much left afterward. What I have noticed is that the 1990's, led forward by grunge and post-punk were at times a pretty dark, dismal period in popular music--one teeming full of heroin-addicted musicians, ego posturing, preciousness, angst, and social defectives masquerading as tragically romantic, fashionably fallen demigods.

Case in point.


  1. Yeah, that 'romantic junkie' meme really bit some people on the ass, best way to kill a scene is to pass out the opiates...Lucky those wings just brushed me, but I'd already read Burroughs and watch people pass needles around before my voice broke - didn't really scan as a lifestyle of distinction.


  2. The '70's were my lifes version of this for me. Post hippy junkie scene. After the love was all used up and the ennui set in. Acid was still cleanish and easy to find, and I did my share of week long trips to avoid my reality. Opiates, not so much. I am one of the lucky who could be called allergic to opiates. The junkie scene in the '70's had almost no romance to it, but plenty of famous deaths by overdose.

    And look at me now. An old woman. I didn't really think I would live past 25. I am still a bit dark, but now I find myself strangely hopeful. It's a sign of the times.

    I have never know a junkie who wasn't self medicating something the needed urgent medical treatment. That to is a sign of the times. Keep the faith, darling.