Actually, it's now a sunny afternoon , but that probably won't last. I'll have some notes on the second disc from Will in a couple of days. I'll say this, though. I listened to it today, and it's good. Very good. Will wants to wait a bit before uploading new songs to amaze.fm, and that's actually good for me too. Because I'm totally like, you know, faking it trying to write a music review when I don't know what I'm talking about about music.
So I'm taking a step back, and letting the exchange from over at One Cosmos sink in a little. I already made the faux pax of posting the same thing at Walt's site that I did on Bob's, and ending up with parallel conversations going on the same topic. No point opening a third front in the battle over here. Instead I'll share some observations on the 'coonosphere' in general, and hope that a topic for this ramble emerges in the process.
What struck me today reading Walt's post, and Bob's post, and then listening to Will's CD is that the focus of spirituality, faith, and the culture at large is very much a post middle age focus. I know that not everyone in the crowd is at, near, or past the half century point, but most of us are. And as I move through the business of my day I begin to notice the signs that my own perspective is one of the generation that is holding the reins of established power and influence, but it is also the generation that is being inexorably moved off to the sideline as younger people begin to steer the leading edge of who we are and where we are going as a nation, and a culture. Not surprisingly, I am not altogether happy with what I see.
I go through the supermarket check stand line, and of course notice the women's magazines on the racks. Whether it's celebrity gossip, fashion, or miscellaneous junk directed at the magazine buying demographic, the focus, and tone are just plain low bred, and crass. Every few years the line drawn for 'what they can get away with' gets pushed lower. If there was ever a fine art of female grooming and dress. It seems to have been reduced to showing a lot of skin, and letting 'him' know that you're just as ready to get it on as he is. Television seems to be in a freefall of "pushing the envelope" of crude. I noticed an ad for some product or other wherein some woman's meddlesome mother was encouraging her youngish middle aged daughter to find a man- or another woman, and settle down. Sure. It's all the same. All equally groovy.
Somewhere along the line someone got the misbegotten notion that tattooing is somehow sexy, and cool. It isn't. It looks like shit on guys, and it's an abomination on women.
I see otherwise good looking young people utterly vandalize their bodies in pursuit of- what? Edginess? Cool? It is beyond me, and I find it disgusting beyond words.
And keep in mind here- I watched the whole hippy thing from the sixties and seventies get overthrown by punk in the eighties. And while I was too old to jump on the punk bandwagon, I actually thought it was pretty cool in its deliberate ugliness. I saw the mohawks, purple hair, and spikes, and leather, and I thought- well, this is one fad that won't get co opted into mainstream pop the way the flowers and beads shtick did. The heavy metal thrash isn't going to make it into supermarket muzak. Go for it! Good on ya! Kids need to get a little crazy. Every generation needs to shock the old farts a little, and the punks did a great job of it.
But the purple hair could be cut off. The ugly ass clothes came off. The mosh pit bruises healed up, and even the safety pin through the cheek didn't leave a noticeable scar.
Not so with earlobes stretched out for a 2" diameter plug. Not so for a full sleeve tattoo. And even less so for the moron with "FUCK" emblazoned across his forehead, or on his neck. (I'm not makin' those up).
You see, this stuff goes beyond wanting to make an old fart like me shake his head. It bespeaks a shortsightedness that is more than a little carpe diem on weed. This shit is permanent. Someday grandchildren or nurses will be changing the diapers on those eighty something year old women, and having to look at those sagging roses and skulls on their withered old breasts and backsides. Those hideously distended earlobes, nostrils, and lips will be lost to circulatory disorders, and convalescent hospitals are going to become some serious chambers of horror. Glad I won't be around to see it.