Point, Counterpoint

It is true that by this definition, young people today are mostly not very cool. On the other hand, it may be that 'being cool' is something that a certain earlier generation or two significantly overvalued.

I mean, I don't think so. But maybe I'm just too old to appreciate the joy of singing along to whatever the current corporate-generated pop songs are, in a large crowd of people who are just like you in nearly every way (but "diverse!"). I never meet anyone who is just like me, and rarely meet anyone who is approximately like me. Maybe there's something to be said for the experience.


Ymar Sakar said...

They're weak and they need to get an actual firewall, and stop using the junk processors they call their minds. Upgrade to the newest dual, quad, hex, and octet cores already.

Gringo said...

But maybe I'm just too old to appreciate the joy of singing along to whatever the current corporate-generated pop songs are, in a large crowd of people who are just like you in nearly every way (but "diverse!")

When I was a dropout hippie eco-activist in Berserkeley, I once was around Sather Gate on a summer evening, when the crowd started singing. I rather liked participating.IIRC, one of the songs was Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."

But I also liked singing "Angels We Have Heard on High" in 8th grade chorus. Around that time my parents got several 4-album groupings of folk songs. Two songs to which I liked to sing along: Odetta sings Bald Mountain and Water Boy.

I am an old fogy. I have no interest in contemporary pop music. If someone wants to sing along in a bar, go right ahead. I like singing too much to negatively judge something like that.

Regarding the current young ones being cool or not cool, or whether I was or is cool or not cool, I have no idea and I don't care. At the same time, were a young one to judge me to be bigoted/ignorant/racist/troglodyte because I do not support the Light Bringer, I would shake my head.

Sing, sing, sing [and I am not referring here to Benny Goodman}:
From Trinidad and Tobago: Natasha Wilson sings One Day.

From a our past: Tom Roush sings Listen to the Mocking Bird.

Grim said...

You know, now that you mention it, the thing I love most about the Christmas midnight mass is that we sing Christmas carols. I know them all. We all know them all. We aren't that similar, but in the important way we're all the same, singing a song we all know, for the same reason.

Maybe it's what made me think of it.

Texan99 said...

Gringo, you sound like you're describing a four-LP set I had as a kid, called Folksongs and Minstrelsy, which included a lot of Odetta. Did it also have Cisco Houston, Ronnie Gilbert, people like that?

Grim, I'm with you: I never meet anyone even remotely like me. I long ago reconciled myself to alien status.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The essay at the link is so stupid I can't even begin to discuss it...

There were pop bands in the 60's and 70's and 80's that were very popular and made a lot of money but also weren't considered "cool." Interestingly, what people consider cool in music in the Rolling Stone sense seems to involve exactly the same sort of faux-rebel, decade after decade.

Eric Blair said...

Awww, hell. AVI got here before I did, (I had to go change the tire on my wife's car, because she managed to hit a curb and destroy the tire).

ANYWAY, That article was by somebody who works in a bar. Why should I care what some bar worker thinks of modern popular music?

In fact, from the what the author thinks is "cool", I'm willing to bet the author is another aging baby boomer. Working in a bar and probably just bitter about their craptastic life choices. That ended up with them working in a bar.

Patty Smith? A one hit wonder from the 1970's? Really?

Grace Slick? 1968 called, it wants you to grow up.

Kurt Cobain? Depressive heroin addict who killed himself after he became wildly successful? That's cool?

John Lyndon? Nobody sings along to Sex Pistols songs, and for the love of God, they were rebelling against the awful, dead-end nanny state that Britain had become in the 1960's and 1970's.

Rage against the Machine is pretty much the poster boy for corporate music--railing against "THE MAN" while selling all sorts of merchandise to their fans.

Mumford and Sons is a twee alt-country band. My wife has one of their albums and its about innocuous as could be.

Here's another clue from the article: "Or could it possibly be the passing of The Telecommunications Act of 1996 that kept inspiring, rule-breaking, boundary-testing music from reaching our ears?"


You can get any sort of "rule-breaking, boundary-testing" music (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?) off the internet right now. If you want to, you go to bandcamp, soundcloud, pledgemusic, patreon and pay CASH MONEY DIRECTLY TO THE ARTISTS THEMSELVES if you want. I do this all the time.

The author is a bitter, old person and needs to get a life.

Gringo said...

Texan 99, that's the one- or at least the first one. A lot of Odetta. I recall a family friend saying that her father CERTAINLY didn't sing The Fox the way Odetta did in that set. LOL. The first set had Cisco Houston- I recall his singing Woody Guthrie's "Reuben James." The set came out about the time that Cisco Houston died. Ronnie Gilbert- as one of the Weavers- yes indeed.

From the second set, which came out several years later, all I can specifically recall is Way Downtown performed by Doc Watson and Jimmy Brown the Newsboy- was that performed by Doc Watson or Flatt and Scruggs? It speaks well of the Beverly Hillbillies TV show that it had Flat and Scruggs perform.

Loved those sets.

I recall reading during my adolescence that the Weavers, for example, had been blacklisted. At the time I thought that unfair. When decades later I read how Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes - to mention two of the Weavers- had as members of the Almanac Singers- had changed their songlists in accordance with how the party line changed, I changed my mind. In the decade before his death, Pete Seeger finally admitted this.Wiki_Pete Seeger_Note 32.
"Innocently I became a member of the Communist Party, and when they said fight for peace, I did, and when they said fight Hitler, I did. I got out in '49, though.... I should have left much earlier. It was stupid of me not to. My father had got out in '38, when he read the testimony of the trials in Moscow."

Good music, bad politics.

Texan99 said...

The first one is the one we had. I just about played it to pieces. It's still available today, by the way. Someone must have found a cache of unopened ones. I bought one and sent it to one of those companies that transfers LPs to digital. The "Reuben James" song is one of the ones I remembered best, but I also loved "The Cat Came Back."