“And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?”
-Pink Floyd from Wish You Were Here
I’ve been thinking about rock and roll (and actually all music directed at our youth – punk, metal, grunge etc.).
The best rock and roll is that which inspires rage at the system. That’s its job. You are supposed to listen, and get pissed off, and then go out and change the world while you are young and still have some energy.
By the way, I’m not talking about the glorified disco music of Britney Spears or N sync. Donny Osmond had more to say than they do. I don’t know what cheesy dance music is supposed to do for society besides make antacid companies rich, rich, rich.
Certainly, it would be a wonderful world if we attacked all it’s problems with vigor and enthusiasm. And if, as young people, we dedicated ourselves to all the worthy causes. So, why doesn’t the rock and roll = wonderful world equation work?
Why do we still have pollution? Why do we still have 72,000 nuclear warheads? Why is Jewel still allowed to perform publicly?
My theory is this. Teen energy is all used up in sex and drugging.
That’s right. Overshadowed by its necessary counterparts sex and drugs, the sociological benefits of rock and roll are almost never seen. (There is the occasional funny bumper sticker, but is that enough?)
All the hot rage that could be used in fighting political wars and sending Jewel hate mail is fizzled out after getting stoned or drunk or laid � or maybe all three if one is particularly upset at the world situation. Here is a sample conversation I’ve contrived to convey my point:
“Man, Jennifer, that was a really cool Chili Peppers album. True men really don’t kill coyotes. We should do something to stop people from killing coyotes.”
“We should stop them from killing whales and dolphins too, Rob. But, right now I have all this energy, and you look so cute when you are angry, I was wondering if you’d like to see my new clit ring?”
“Yeah, right I forgot you were getting that done. Does it hurt?” Pause. “Never mind, tell me later. Lose the panties.”
One premature ejaculation later:
“Man, I don’t feel so angry anymore. Wanna’ go to the mall? I think I wanna’ get you a ‘Going Steady’ clit ring.”
“Really? You’re so sweet.”
Game. Set. Match.
Establishment fascist, corporate f*ckin� America One, Angry Youth Zero.
So anyway, the conversation is basically the same for pot , only substitute Hohos and the tattoo shop.
My thinking is that the war is not lost. Someday maybe all the Lawrence Welk fans out there will take to Hallucinogens. (Hopefully, laced with speed.) Then, once they get past their initial intrigue with the pretty bubbles, they’ll see the world’s problems in all their clarity. Naturally – since they’ve had no need for sex up to now – they’ll use what little energy they have left to save us all.