“Seasons in the Sun”.
It’s been awhile since I heard the old Terry Jacks tune, so I headed over to YouTube this fine Saturday morning, and I pulled up the original 70’s version of the song.
Fucking awful, but goddammit, original (even though it is a quasi-cover).
When the jewfro version of the song … my parent’s version … finished, I noticed that the 90’s version … Nirvana’s cover … my version … was two places under it. I indulged.
Not the greatest cover they’ve done, but goddammit, as original as a cover of a cover can be.
After that was finished, I noted that there was yet another cover version sandwiched between the two I’d already watched. This one was uploaded in 2007, and was the new generation’s version. Generation S. The “S” stands for “shit”. The worst generation since recorded music began in the early part of the last century.
Seems harsh, I know, but bear with me as I make my case …
You see, the 20’s had the flapper thing, the 30’s ushered in swing, the 40’s gave us the blues, Lead Belly, and the beginning of RocknRoll, bluegrass & gospel, the 50’s saw RocknRoll explode and go mainstream, the 60’s where huge with psychedelia, folk, the Beatles, the Stones, Bob Marley, and the birth of classic rock, the 70’s were immense with punk, heavy metal, disco, glam, and funk, the 80’s gave us new wave, hardcore, hip-hop, electropop and hair metal, the 90’s went off with indie, grunge, lo-fi, post-grunge, riot grrl, gangsta rap, industrial, whatever Primus and Cake are, rap-metal, britpop, and pop-punk, and the 00’s, the first generation ever to have access to this vast … immense library of rich and vibrant music at their fingertips, and the benefit of technology at their immediate disposal, put it all together and brought us …
Certainly nothing new or even remotely original. Unless you count autotune, and please, for the love of God, please … don’t count autotune.
Now, I know what you’re thinking … we always think the next generation’s music is crap … noise … but I was still a relatively young man for much of the 00’s. I wasn’t plugging my ears and yelling at the new guys to turn down the racket and get off of my lawn. I was telling them to turn it up, and while they were at it, tap the distortion pedal.
Alas, it was to no avail.
They would have little of it. While there have been some notable exceptions (Cage the Elephant and such), most of what I got … what we all got … at least on a mainstream level … was easy listening, cloned corporate pop stars, and bad, awful, absolutely laughable “hip-hop”.
We’re now 12 years into the new paradigm, and still, there are no signs of hope on the horizon.
A couple of nights during the week, I’ll flip on the TV to see what’s happening, and more often than not, I see a singing competition. There’s a lot of them now. And, from what I’ve seen, they’re mostly interchangeable.
Hermaphrodites singing bland R&B covers. The same bland R&B covers that they sang on American Idol circa 2001.
“Amazing”, the judges say. “Amazing” the hosts say, “Amazing” the contestants say.
Ah yes, I almost forgot to give them credit. Generation S’s other contribution to Western Culture.
“Amazing” is THE word of the current millennium. It’s like nothing that has ever, and I mean EVER, gone before it.
Oh sure, there was slang before. Cool, wicked, awesome, dope, but never anything like “amazing”. “Amazing” is the first slang word to be used by all facets of American society.
Back in the day, you never saw a newscaster use the word “dope” as an adjective. That was reserved for the youth. Not so with “Amazing”. From 13 year-old girls, to 40 year-old college professors, to 35 year-old hipsters, to police officers, to librarians, to the most proper of news reporters … it is absolutely, positively, universal.
“Amazing”. The most fake, phony, insincere, completely unoriginal word to have ever entered the American lexicon. It’s a word that’s supplanted all other adjectives. People from 13 – 45 use it to describe everything from food to art to music to weather to the human circulatory system to the piece of lint laying on the floor. The same people, the very same people, who shape our entertainment culture today.
If you use this word, you’re one of them. Phony, pretentious, and completely insincere. It’s your right to be so, of course, but I do ask that you not speak to me. If you use the word “amazing” more than once per day, then trust me, I have nothing to say to you. At least nothing that you’d want to hear.
Oh, I almost forgot. Seasons in the Sun. 2007-style.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Just about sums up the last 12 years of Western culture.
The prosecution rests.