There's great danger for the loneliest ranger of all.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Wow, it's been a whole week. What's there to talk about? Hmmm. Well, let's start with Donald Rumsfeld's pathetic public performance last week. His calm, diplomatic facade faded quickly (apparently he either doesn't like or is not accustomed to being questioned), vanishing entirely once the gladhanding was over and John McCain got on the mic and old-school-freestyled him into sucka MCdom. Ted Kennedy offered no shelter. Rumsfeld was a cornered hyena, teeth bared, hair on end, flustered, frightened, puddling 'neath his paws--hardly the sturdy rock of Condi Rice. He devolved to his usual petulant-child syndrome, sneering and condescending, his voice tinged with a freeroaming contempt. It was a sight to behold. No one was impressed. This administration's going down not in flames but in bountiful buckets of shit, and they're oblivious to the Reaper's call. The Bush gang is similar to the Nixon regime (or early-'70s Vegas): a collection of cancerous growths flailing in vain against the dying light and the coming dawn of another, highly anticipated world. Yet I feel more exhausted than celebratory. These last four years--the last two, in particular, and the last week, definitely--have been sickening. The photos of Iraqi prison abuse. The beheading of Nicolas Berg. An otherwise indifferent White House still playing Secret Boys Club. I flash back to all my history classes, where I read about wartime atrocities, subterfuge, and corruption from the safety of what I naively believed was a civilized age. It's only the further, stinging reverberation of that old chestnut: History will teach us nothing. Humanity is just the same old horrors in different clothes.

On to a lighter subject a little closer and very near/dear to my heavy heart: Pop culture, and how it applies to decades. I'm not a proponent of the VH1 approach (no offense to my friends at VH1), where you take everything and whip it all up into a frothy, vapid concoction for starry-eyed 16-year-olds (just so they can envy those of us who survived), and give it a touch of merengue-flavored cynicism, where you embrace the decade and rise above it at the same time. You see the trend with those various-artist compilations that I've always thought were assembled rather haphazardly and cruelly: "Hey, remember all that stupid crap we used to think was cool? Well, here it is, in an exciting new suit!" This basically defined the '80s, which, in my opinion, was a dull, oppressive period rife with social sadism--where Bush Mach 2 would've flourished as President--but, according to the popsters and hipsters, was actually a mucho-cheeso fun-fucking ride down a happy, Rubiks Cube-lined trail of angeldust and drum machines. I saw a teenaged girl recently with an "I'm an '80s Kid!" t-shirt and I wanted to drop-kick her to Venus. First of all, being born in the '80s does not make you an '80s kid; being a kid IN THE DECADE ITSELF, with ACTUAL MEMORIES OF THE DECADE, does. Second of all, '80s kids would not go around bragging about being an '80s kid. Fuck the '80s. There. I said it. Fuck 'em with the broomstick NWA was saving for Ice Cube. You wanna throw your legwarmers around the decade of Reaganomics, Capri Sun, and greed, go for it. I got better things to do. Like laundry.

That said, these same popsters and funsters and jivesters have now set their sights on doing the same thing to the '90s. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN. I'm already seeing the various-artist compilations, now with the buxom, o-mouthed blonde in flannel as opposed to big-booty-hotpants, under ever-so-laughable titles like The Alternative '90s and Alternative Classics. If you've ever seen the movie Hype (1995), there's a parody commercial before the opening credits that pokes fun at this very thing. Sad fact is, now it's come to pass. We now have that track roll over shots of Gen Xers in love. Soon there'll be '90s parties, where women will wear paste-on Van Dykes and graying businessmen will wield 40-oz. Chardonnays while whoot-whooting to Right Said Fred. And everything that was beautiful about the decade will be lost, reduced to sound bites and ol' standards like "Rico Suave," a world where Juliana Hatfield and Velocity Girl will have long been forgotten by even the most blue-blooded gazer of shoe.

I'm doing my part. Stay tuned.....

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
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