Monday, August 06, 2007

Hip 2 B²

CD in Play: Charles Mingus, Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

This weekend was a confounding one for me. Never mind hanging out on the Drive listening to people wishing one another "Happy Pride", never mind my overhearing the confused conversations and seeing the posted propaganda of the zealots of the Cult of Cannabis, what still confounds me is the obsession with all things 1980's.
I have written about this before, but I am absolutely amazed by the idealization of the 1980's by the people born in or just prior to the 1980's. It isn't that the decade was all bad, not at all, but the stuff that people cling to are the things that should have been locked away in the steamer trunk of shame. Skinny ties, leg warmers, head bands, wrist bands, wide stripes, and flipped up collars have all had their day. To quote from Blade Runner (a gem of the 80's) "Time to die". ABC, Culture Club, Human Leauge, Animotion, Falco, ad nauseum should have been laid to rest and denied a shot at ressurection.
What is it abot the crap that people find so appealling? Why reveal in, at best, mediocrity? Take a long hard look at the 1980's, it isn't a decade worth reliving. I was pretty sick of the 1960's obsession after a while, but at least their was more meat on those bones to pick. At least the 60's had something that made them worthwhile, even if it is simply debating the merits of the counter-cultural movement of the time.
Some acts from the 80's mainstream were worthwhile like Elvis Costello, The Police, U2 after 1985, ect. However, what made the 80's interesting is the stuff that was the stuff that was just under or completely off the mainstream's radar like U2 before 1985, Metallica, REM, Dinosaur Jr., Fishbone, Sonic Youth and Daniel Amos. (who the furthest off the radar being Christians) I like Fast Times at Ridgemount High too, but I wouldn't want to relive that world for a second.
Soon there will be a 90's revival and, despite what some people may believe, I am not looking forward to that either. What I would like to see is for us get out of theis cultural rut, get out of reverse gear and start moving forward. Good drivers always check their side and rear view mirrors, but they do so while moving forward. Culturally speaking, we need to keep an eye on what came before us but we need to always be pressing ahead.


Blogger Thoth Harris said...

Hey, what's wrong with skinny ties, leg warmers (which young people in Taiwan wear), and wide stripes? I agree about the other stuff.

For me, headbands, but particularly, popped-up collars are absolutely vile. And the latter have, for some mysterious reason, come back into fashion. I see so many stupid-looking people look even more stupid by walking around with their collars popped-up in Montréal. Horrible.

Yeah, I am in agreement with you about everything else you said, Magnus.

What is "Happy Pride?" It must be the gay and lesbian parade, since it's about that time. If I am incorrect, do enlightenment. Otherwise, that must be it.

06 August, 2007 16:35  
Blogger Magnus said...

You are correct sir. Last weekend I had thought the GLBT Pride thing was at the beginning of July but was led to believe it was last weekend. (27th-29th) Turns out it was just this past weekend.
I just don't understand how a sexual preference can be a point of pride? Whatever, I should start a parade for out of the closet curmudgeons. It could be called the Snide Day Parade.

07 August, 2007 08:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


07 August, 2007 09:18  
Blogger Magnus said...

No, no, no... "big gut".

07 August, 2007 11:23  
Blogger Thoth Harris said...

Great comeback, Magnus. You're absolutely entitled to your feelings/views. If everyone went at me about my non-pc views, I wouldn't know what hit me.

Was anon being sarcastic or just being impulsive. I guess we'll never know.

07 August, 2007 18:40  
Blogger Magnus said...

Either way, Anonymous needs a dictionary.

08 August, 2007 08:57  
Anonymous Delwyn of the Yukon said...

Ah, the 80's. Rampant prosperity (deficit) continuing to bite us on our collective behinds and more style than you could shake a stick at. Sort of neo-Baroque. I remember desperately craving a flourescent green denim jacket. Flourescent colours were new then. Strobe lights, black lights. Colour and hype, eh?

Why the recurrence of styles? Could be second-hand shoppers or kids of 80's kids in the basement boxes. We have black light bowling in Whitehorse on Friday nights for a couple of hours - hugely popular with the 10 to 14 year olds - or it was four years ago. (Getting old...). And Nazareth played the local convention centre last October (and so did April Wine). I tend to see patterns anywhere, but music, style (not taste), markets all seem to be cyclic to me - 10 to 15 years. The backlash against the 80's hype (was the angry "Poor Me" early 90's (Pearl Jam, Jann Arden) which led to the upbeat boy band bubble that fell to songwriter girls with pianos and guitars (Chantal Creviazuk) and now the rap "hip hype machine in full effect fo' shizzle". The current language and style are equally laughable ... and painful... as anything the Eighties gave us. Maybe there is a correlation, with rap having 80's roots.

P.S. On the subject of pride, I hear you. What if someone started a parade for people that sexually preferred young Asian women or ... Scottish sheep? Some would happily participate, and some would go out of town for the weekend. But, then, who doesn't love a parade? The "Take Back the Night" always is satirically amusing. I'd ignore a Pride, Snide, or I-Own-A-Doublewide Parade just as readily as I avoid the Canada Day Parade. "I thought that was yesterday," I might say, " Traffic is really backed up. Why are all the stores closed?" But then, most of my ignorance is willful.

Pride or Recognition Days for (any minority group) are strange enough without a parade and generally ineffective as a promotion-teaching tool - e.g. Autism Day (Magnus mentioned in an earlier post) or National Aboriginal Day (Every day seems like that up here, so what's the point? Like Peanuts stated, "Why do we have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day but not a Children's Day/"... "Every day is Children's Day".)

For any Recognition Day ... "I recognize you. You're there, I'm here, and tomorrow we will go back to contentedly ignoring each other."

09 August, 2007 14:28  
Blogger Magnus said...

"...just as readily as I avoid the Canada Day Parade. "I thought that was yesterday," I might say, " Traffic is really backed up. Why are all the stores closed?" But then, most of my ignorance is willful."

Traffic jams in Whitehorse?

10 August, 2007 01:01  
Anonymous Delwyn of the Yukon said...

Of course we have traffic jams! Sometimes , one has to sit through 2 whole stoplights now (oh, the Horror!) at 8, 8:30, 4:30 (Federal workers) and 5.

Truly, for big parades, they barricade all the cross streets downtown and stroll around the two main drags: 2nd and 4th Avenues. Just nowhere else to go.

10 August, 2007 10:06  
Blogger Magnus said...

Del, me thinks you need to live in the Lower Mainland for a bit. And our traffic jams are nothing compared to some places.

10 August, 2007 12:05  
Blogger Glen McKay said...

Magnus you may want to rethink that statement about culture should be moving forward and not looking back. That's what the 80s did, and look how that turned out? Lace gloves, garish makeup, big hair, "totally tubular", girls trying to look like Madonna and guys trying to look like MJ or Duran Duran.

11 August, 2007 06:03  
Blogger Magnus said...

Actually, that's not a bad point. Okay no more looking bacwards unless it over 90 years and the 1980's are banned outright.

11 August, 2007 10:38  
Blogger Geosomin said...

Personally I'm waiting for the electronic music of the mid 90s to come back...that was the good stuff...

16 August, 2007 09:19  

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