Friday, July 23, 2010

I Hate My Generation

I wrote this a while ago, but didn't post it. I haven't actually re-read it yet either. You think I would do that before I put it on my blog, but you would be wrong.....

We blew it. We blew it big time. Our generation could have done so much more, but we dropped the ball.

I saw Pearl Jam not long ago, on a giant stage flanked on all sides by giant adverts in front of a crowd of people who left me in total disgust. Boy did they look like a shadow of themselves up there. The band that fought ticketmaster, MTV and mainstream music is now a classic rock band made up of middle age men making millions of dollars. What the hell happened? Volvo was a big sponsor of the event for god sakes. Hard Rock CafĂ©, the main sponsor, sold at least 10 different styles of Pearl Jam t-shirts at their special merchandise stores throughout the festival site for something like 25 pounds each. This isn’t the Pearl Jam way…is it? It appears that now it is.

And the crowd? A drunken mess of frat boys and morons. This was the band of the counter culture at the end of the me, me, me 80's, or at least so I thought. They heralded in a new wave of going against the grain, the antithesis of Guns n Roses type rock bands, and slickly produced pop artists. And here were all of their devoted fans, drinking like they were still 19, perfectly happy going along with the massive mega marketing platform that is the modern mainstream music festival. And, the marketing was brilliant. You could get your hair dyed green by the main beer sponsor, you know, so you could re-live your wild youth when you would defiantly dye your hair to make a statement, even if you didn’t really know what the statement was. Now, there is a statement to be made, and that statement is beer company X is great, I like their beer, and they are radically alternative. You could go over to the Volvo exhibit and sit around strumming guitars with Volvo logos on them…giving that feeling of just making music with your friends while hanging out in a park, only this time when people watch you, they see how much you love Volvo’s!
The revolution was hijacked. Pearl Jam gave up. Now, they play their songs

and do their thing, and that’s it. They don’t inspire. They don’t stand up for anything. They are just another classic rock band with some good songs for kids to “rock out” to while trying to relive their old high school days. Jeremy is no longer a story song with a message; it’s a sing along anthem to get drunk to. And get drunk to it they did. When the night was over, Hyde Park was filled with green plastic beer bottle from the main beer sponsor, people were peeing in the bushes or passed out on the grass and everyone had severely lightened wallets. How very rock and roll. I hate my generation.

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