Saturday, December 22, 2012

This is Not My Generation Part 2

You know what's really weird? Watching all these grunge documentaries, and they are talking about how all these people could totally relate to grunge/Nirvana/Kurt Cobain/Smells Like Teen Spirit, and how they were lost and alone and it was like a reflection of themselves, and how it felt like they were like them and talking about them and to them and for them and were them, and that finally something that characterized us is in the mainstream and is around and it's something we can relate to, and then realizing that's exactly how you feel about it, down to the tee, all of it, but then they go and put it in the context of "Generation Xers". I know, I know, that is how it happened, and it was those kids that felt lost and alone until grunge showed up and then it felt like something was speaking to them, but for one, kids today can totally feel exactly the same, and for another, it still feels like they are denying that grunge still exists when they put it that way. In fact, the thing to make me think of this right now was this one I was just watching about punk, and then there was a part where they were talking about how Nirvana came in and changed everything, and Henry Rollins comes in right after Thurston Moore and says "Kurt Cobain and the Seattle Scene, tapped into a vast chunk of American white youth who were depressed, bummed out, and here's a guy who looks like them, comes from them, sings for them, about them, and to them, and all of a sudden you got a Nirvana shirt on" and I realized how very much I could relate to that. Heck, I would always think Kurt Cobain was my twin or father or clone or SOMETHING, because of how much he seemed like me. I settled on soul mate/kindred spirit. Trust me, it's like that scene in Hype! where Seaweed is talking about how rock won't go away any time soon because there won't be a shortage of disaffected youth that want to get crazy with punk or whatever. Just because people say rock is dead today, doesn't make it so. Even if there are kids now that were born then, they can still feel exactly the same as these kids of the 90s that were born in the 60s and 70s that you are talking about in these documentaries. Oh and then they also mention that these kids had to go through the Reagan 80s. Oh yeah, well we had to go through the Bush 2000s!

Another weird thing is finding out all your favorite musicians are famous. Now I know us 21st century grungers will all have different stories of how we found out about it, how we got into it, and what it means to us, which is cool and why I would really like our voices to be out there more, because there would be tons of interesting stories to hear, but some of my story, in short, includes discovering it during Christmas of 2004 by checking out my brother's new ipod, and he happened to have that music on there, and it was like an explosion and I never forgot it and yada yada, but I had never heard of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains before. It was those four bands, in the beginning, and I didn't know they were related at all, but I put them as my top 4 favorite bands, and then later on, as I would start to look them up to find out more info about them, I found out they all came from Seattle, which at first I thought was a total coincidence, and that they were all from the 90s, which I had no idea about either (I was like looking around my room in the beginning, for cameras and microphones, because I figured people were spying on me and writing down everything I did and what I liked, and calculating a type of music based on me, because how did they get me so right? and then I found out it was around when I was born.), and then that they were all called grunge and from the same scene, oh and then I started to find out that they were famous. Now, of course when there are bands you had never heard of, and you find out they are famous, it's not like someone says right away that they are the most famous ever so wrap your mind around that right now, so you think that maybe they are slightly famous, then as you learn more and more about them, you realize they are more and more famous than you previously thought, and you sort of grasp the concept of them being really famous at some point, and that they were the biggest thing of the 90s, and then, some time in the mid 2000s, you hear that Kurt Cobain has passed up Elvis and taken the #1 spot for most successful musician, so at first you think "oh wow that's interesting", and then you think "Wait a minute, he must have been REALLY famous then!" and that's when most of it hits you. I had never heard of him before, or them before, (seriously, whoever says Nirvana is still just as famous must be living in a different place than me, because no one around me had ever mentioned grunge, or Nirvana, or Pearl Jam, or whatever, and no one in school knew who they were or were talking about them, and it's not like you'll ever go anywhere and see his face like you do the pop stars, so consider yourselves lucky if you do) so I had no idea anyone else besides me or my brother had heard of any of them, so it was really weird to go from thinking they might be your brother's friends bands from around the neighborhood, to realizing they are like the most famous people ever. It's just so confusing to think of something I actually like being famous when I've hated everything that happens to be in the mainstream since '98. Like I keep thinking, "there's NO way anything I ever like will be famous, that just wouldn't happen, I mean have you SEEN the crap they push in the mainstream? They just really don't get it." I like it though, to know that there actually CAN be something good in the mainstream and on the radio. It's incredibly refreshing and gives me hope for the future of music and culture.

The really confusing thing though is finding out Kurt died. It's like because we didn't see it on the television because we were little then, or born then, or not aware then, or not even born yet, there's no closure. It was so hard to keep reminding myself that he was dead, because the more I found out about him, the more alive and real he seemed. It is incredibly sad that now I know I will never be able to go to a Nirvana concert. That was always going to be my one wish if ever I were to be granted a wish. I guess I'll have to think of something else. I went from discovering this great band, to probably hearing that he died as I looked them up the first time, but I wasn't too familiar with the specific people, to getting more familiar but forgetting that little detail, to finding out again hat he died and thinking "Oh yeah, I think I heard one of them died, wow it was Kurt the front-man. Man, I guess I can't go to a Nirvana concert now." Now I long for the days when he was still alive, because it does seem like there would be a different vibe around life. Every time I start thinking of a band, I think of when they formed and think "Wow, they were playing music when Kurt was still alive. That's wild. I wonder what that was like. I bet it was a much different vibe back then." It seems like one of the defining moments. Life before Kurt and life after Kurt. There's also before and after Soundgarden broke up, and before and after pop stars started taking over in the late 90s. Those 3 seem to be the main things people contribute to the fall of grunge from the mainstream. If you want to travel back in time, it's either to save Kurt, or to be there when he was still alive, because life was cooler before the late 90s, and less depressing from '91-'94.

Oh another thing that made me feel outside of  my generation and kids these days was something, I don't even remember what, where there were people talking in slang of nowadays, and I had no idea what the heck they were saying, and didn't care to use their words or really find out because I'm not going to be talking that way anyway because they sound stupid to me. Ha, I remember always thinking "fo shizzle" sounded incredibly stupid. I swear, sometimes I feel like the stereotypical old person shaking their fist at today's youth and totally not getting it, even though it's my youth. Actually, I've felt that way since I was 6. Kids these days.... I think I'll stick with a mixture of the older ones such as "rad", "phat", "boss", "righteous", "cool", "right on", "groovy", "wicked", "nice!", "sweet!",  and then of course "dude" and "man" and "lame"(all of which I say all the time), and the lexicon of grunge words such as "lamestain" just for kicks. Heck, at least "swinging on the flippity flop" doesn't sound as stupid as "fo shizzle" even though the point was to sound stupid. The shortening of words gets on my nerves too. Both the things like "totes" and abbreviations like "OMG". I guess it comes with the texting/tweeting world, where everyone is in such a rush that both the grammar and the words themselves start slacking, especially if you are going to put limits on the characters one can use, but really that's stupid. Is it worth it to twitter to have that short of a character limit if everyone is typing like a moron?

Singles. The movie that vibes like me. I actually get it, and movies like it, such as the Clerks movies, Reality Bites, Slacker, Hype! (the grunge documentary), and whatever else I'm missing. Those movies where it's people trying to find themselves mixed with dealing with love and relationships, mixed with the total bohemian attitude of not wanting to give up your ideals by following the pack, mixed with actually caring about philosophy, mixed with some really good music, good clothes, and cool people. I'd rather have shows and movies like that than the ever-so-dumbed-down reality shows of today. Hey, I like Beavis and Butthead, I don't mind dumb, but that's because it's total satire, and making fun of people that are that dumb. It's hard to realize that people can actually be that dumb. To think Singles came out the year I was born is astonishing.

A lot of times it feels like I'm the last person on Earth or something. The online world is great for finding tons and tons of like-minded grunge people, but it's hard to find those people in real life. It's like I'm walking around this world by myself. What's funny is that I've always been the type to really not care what people think of me or about having friends and whatnot, because I was always fine by myself and really don't get the whole "we need friends to survive" thing, and I actually did like being different in the beginning, like I loved that I hated Britney Spears because I'd hate to have to like that garbage (and no offense again if you genuinely like it), and if it meant being on the opposite side of everyone else, then I'd be happy to do it, but the more and more time goes by with me not liking all the trendy things of today, the more I wish just SOMETHING I like and can actually relate to could show up there, just so that I don't have to be totally different from the human race, and so that I don't have to hate everything all the time. It's annoying having everything you hate be around you all the time. I'd like to know I can relate to people on some level like that. Actually, finding out about grunge gave me a total sense of actually liking being part of a tribe, and being a part of something bigger than myself, even though I never had thought about it before. It's like the music video for Blind Melon's No Rain: You go around doing your thing, and no one can relate, so you think you are different from everyone, but not being yourself is out of the question, and then one day you stumble upon a group of people who are exactly like you, and your whole perspective is changed. 

1 comment:

  1. spot on!!! you just spoke a lot of what was on my mind!
    I'll be reading ;)


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