Fargo Kantrowitz’z Literary Campsite #1
I was elated when Nirvana killed hair bands. If Nirvana hadn’t done that I would probably be wearing make-up right now. Nirvana and Pearl Jam bid us to rock from the heart. I had been unconscious, figuring that if there was a meaning to the term “unskinny bop” then they would surely tell us.
Somewhere down deep I knew that my generation had it in it to produce something soulful. I secretly believed that there were causes that should be stood up for, societal things that needed our attention that our leaders Tommy Lee and that guy from Twisted Sister weren’t telling us about.
After Nirvana, boys soon forgot about feminizing themselves to fool women into giving them sex. The grunge movement began. Guys wore old, plaid lumberjack shirts and blue jeans so that women would know they were all man, yet sensitive and caring. I’m not sure how that worked, but it did. I was very glad it did because that was all I could afford to wear anyway. The bullshit sexual dynamics of the day were then totally re-arranged so that men and women had to re-learn how to screw each other over according to completely different rules.
Generation X itself was eventually tossed to the wayside, however, as all generations must eventually be, to make room for the next batch of hep, raw potential. We figured out our alienation problems and now all we do is go to our jobs and wonder why we’re not billionaires. We’d even accept being millionaires.
Welcome Generation Y. I don’t know a single person who would proclaim themselves a member of generation Y. That is because I’ve never met a young person who knows what the Y stands for. It is obviously a false tag most likely created by an advertising firm somewhere. It’s not even original. It’s like a tire company having as their slogan “got tires?”
The first generation to get a tag was “The Lost Generation” of the 1920s. This was coined by a very famous lesbian writer named Gertrude Stein who told us truthfully that a rose is a rose is a rose. I personally think that statement was only worth about five minutes of fame, but it got her fifteen.
She was referring to writers like Ernest Hemingway, F.Scott Fitzgerald and the poet Ezra Pound who were living in Paris at the time. I think it is because of Stein that it is expected that a generation needs to be lost, the more lost the better. It seems to give a sense of solace if you can think that you are not the only loser within your age group.
The Baby Boomers were an exception to this rule in that they were named by din of sheer numbers. They were falsely accused of being the Pepsi Generation for a while, but looking up out of their purple haze realized that it had just been a joke. While they dreamed of eggmen and walruses the competitor of Coke was working overtime to capitalize on this generation’s newfound consciousness, installing subliminal commands of future haircuts into their brains; teach the world to sing/globalization…you get the idea.
The Lost Generation arose because of a group of eclectic artists. The Baby Boomers came from a lot of people having a lot of sex all at the same time. Generation X came from a group of kids rebelling against other kids whose only sense of purpose in life had been to get laid and, of course, to compare hair spray.
Rap music started getting the little pink knees of America bopping in the eighties, but we were still just a bunch of Bon Jovi, li’l cowboys at heart. It wasn’t until the early nineties that popular music was able to convince white children that it was actually good to listen to rap. We started selling our breakfast cereals to it. You didn’t even have to be irate and carry a gun. It was that much fun to play at being angry. Heretofore the isolated sound of extremely irate black males; irate white boys were allowed in on the fun. Pretty soon we had the Beastie Boys using their screechy, Brooklyn voices rapping to us to party on, yet it sort of sounded like rock. It was anger-light.
But it wasn’t until the early to mid 90s, really, that gangsta-rap grabbed the white boys by the balls and squeezed hard. There was one great convulsive movement in America and it twisted every single baseball cap around. Our teen boys thumped their way through the streets garnering dirty looks by one and all; pink fellows aching for pigmentation or something which could make this music their own, for it was obvious that blonde hair and daddy-bought BMW does not a gangsta make.
Somehow “death metal” came to the rescue. I’m not sure how, but it did. This is the insane white boy contribution to today’s music scene; the driving, pulsing, frenzy, kill your neighbor, show your tits aspect of the bands that helped burn down Woodstock. Some of the bands, most notably, are Korn and Limp Bizkit.
Death metal has been around since I can remember. It had always just been the bastard child with an extra limb of rock and roll. It is the music that Satan uses to sing his spawn to sleep with down in Hell. This isn’t your grandfather’s heavy metal.
Now, in the year 2000, rap has totally infiltrated rock through this broken board in rock’s back yard fence. Many of these new artists turned out a few weeks ago at the Silver Bowl for X-107s Our Big Concert 3.5; Static-X, Cypress Hill, System of a Down, even the girlband Kittie.
It is the only music powerful enough to tickle the cool meter of the “wassup” kids with blonde hair. Through the energy flowing at the Silver Bowl, emitted by the testosterone-pulsing, danger-promising boys and No Fear, tit-proud grrrls, the human conundrum is exposed: Master Violence and Lord Sex feeding one off of the other in the realm of mankind’s shady other side or Let’s fight a lot with other males then find a mate, a bush, then fuck.
Here is a hungry animal tired of being told to behave, a prowling beast that wants to destroy, wants to devour, to conquer or be conquered. This concert exposed its nature; a new tribalism, modern rompings to life’s oldest libidinal impulses. If stored away too long this beast can stew and fester inside, bringing with it such things as quiet deviancy, unfulfillment, even the possibility of murder.
Without a controlled confrontation with mortality, sexuality, the killer instinct and our own fear of injury and its connection with our souls -all which this music provides- we often fail to understand why we attempt to strive through the more mundane yet necessary daily tasks of living. We become too safe. We don’t dare to eat a peach. We go inside of ourselves, surround ourselves with houses of comfort that reek of silent pain. Sometimes we need to artificially induce fear to provoke the animal out of its hole.
It was somewhere during the middle of the show that I realized I wouldn’t use Generation Y anymore. I noticed how on the radio and television everybody is using the F-Word these days. Commercials are saying it, bleeping it, but acting like they never said it. It’s boring already and now that it is getting commercialized, just plain ugly. But one thing is for sure, it is the first time that the media has allowed it to go this far. It must be something within the age itself. So, I said, okay, if that is the case, then let’s give the kiddies what they want.
Welcome, my friends, to the Fucked Generation. F-Gen. It’s a little more original than Generation Y because at least it has some meaning. The word incites, it forces issues, disputes adult arguments that kids don’t understand. With it there is no need to feign intelligence. Any F-Gener knows that everything in the adult world is “so gay” anyway. It’s what’s in the gut that matters.
But in a more real sense, it does seem to demand a listening to from those too caught up in the madness of our society. It rages at our loveless system with the tenacity of a poodle, yet with just as much fear. It balks at and rebukes bus stops at 112 degrees, status wars practiced by everybody, and the panic in the slow discovery that our world can be a monster.
It claims existence as guiltlessly as a lion devours it’s prey. Plus, you’ve got to admit, it’s even more loser-like than “lost or even “X.”
Gertrude Stein would be proud.