One of the most amazing hypocrisies of the Modern World is, that while some in our society dream of a mass return to Nature, there is a great reluctance, often, to let Nature take it's course.
Which leads me to believe that all this talk about "holistic" this, "Save the Planet" that, and the fetishization of all things "natural" and "organic" is just another means by which bullshitters attempt to hide the smell of their own bullshit.
Case in point: Old People.
I will preface my remarks, thus:
For all the power vested in me as self-proclaimed Overlord of the Galaxy, potential Master of the Universe, and Superior Being Above All Superior Beings, I, too, have a weakness. For the moment, we shall call her "Lady Overlord", a female mirror-image of myself, who has vast powers of her own. Prime among these is the ability to make my life a living hell if I cannot manage to feign interest in what interests her, and occasionally, "take her somewhere nice".
Unfortunately, Lady Overlord's overriding passions in life are a like of old-style movie musicals, C-grade Chick Flicks, Game Shows, Reality Television, and an unusual and bordering-on-psychotic devotion to the musical genre known as "Doo-Wop".
For those who may not be familiar with this archaic form of -- I guess you can call it "music" -- I will provide a short introduction.
"Doo-Wop" refers to a musical genre which stresses simplistic and repetitive musical composition. The subject matter is specific to the cares and interests of the teenager of the mid-to-late 1950's, that is to say, sexual confusion, feelings of unrequited love, snippets of the cultural landscape -- high school, the malt shop, American Bandstand, blue jeans, the All-American Beauty Queen -- broken by occasional forays into the nonsensical, fantasia, and just a hint of muted rebellion against the Status Quo Ante of the time. This all takes place against the backdrop of multi-part harmony reminiscent of an old-style Barbershop Quartet, with a liberal smattering of the unintelligible youthful patois of the day.
To give you some examples:
Sh-boom, Sh-boom yada, yada,da, dada, dada, da...
Shoh-doh-ten Shoh-bee-doh, Shoh-doh-ten Shoh-bee-doh, Shoh-doh-ten Shoh-bee-doh, Shoh-doh-ten Shoh-bee-woh....
Complete gibberish, naturally, but when set to something that can be charitably called "music" it suddenly (don't ask me how, because I could give a flying fuck) becomes meaningful to a certain (weak) mentality from a specific culture espousing a particularly lame mindset.
Your Overlord does not like it. He despises it. It offends his sensibilities across a very broad spectrum -- it assaults his ears, it offends his musical tastes, it disturbs his aesthetic sense, it generates a vile revulsion which induces nausea. However, in order to protect his domain from the Limitless Destructive Power of the Lady Overlord's Menstrual Cycle, for the good of his peons, he subjects himself to several hours of live performances of this disgusting caterwauling every year.
Complete with dinner.
However, it isn't just the so-called "music" that so mightily exasperates so much as the bewildering assortment of people these events attract.
When I was younger, when one referred to a "forest of chrome" it meant the amount of metal structural support needed to hold up Neil Peart's or Alex Van Halen's drumset: now, the phrase is inextricably linked to the massive numbers of walkers, canes, wheelchairs, and crutches one finds at one of these shows, each one belonging to a fossil of a by-gone era that should damned well remain by-gone, for reasons I've discussed in another post.
This shit brings these people out from under their rocks. By the hundreds.
Suffice to say, that this sort of performance brings out the very WORST in American Life, and if one were not to witness it first-hand or be engulfed by it through simple proximity, one would scarcely believe it.
As closely as I can summarize it, this is a communal experience of nostalgia by a sub-set of the population that by all rights should be dead. Returning to my opening sentence, had "Nature" been given the kind of sway those who screech the loudest in it's favor would like to bestow upon it, then Evolution would have ensured the following:
1. Those who like Doo-Wop would have died and been reclaimed by the Earth, and
2. Those who perform Doo-Wop would have become extinct, considering Darwin's theory that organisms that fail to adapt to changing environments are doomed to death.
There is nothing sadder, I think, than watching a bunch of octogenarians in matching orange blazers who can no longer carry a tune in a backpack doing 2 hours of cover versions of someone else's "hits" until they finally get to the ONE SONG that made them the Talk of Coney Island for three or four weeks in the summer of 1958, before the entire genre was crushed by the Beatles, cremated by Motown, and finally buried by Janis and Jimi, before the oddities of Disco and Bubblegum Metal erased all sense of musical taste from the American Public's collective consciousness, and relegated the entire thing to the Dustbin of History.
These groups, with some rare exceptions (and most of those exceptions being black, because at least their version of Doo-Wop had some SOUL in it), passed into a well-deserved obscurity.
Now, that is NOT to say that The Grim Reaper hasn't taken it's toll on the Doo-Wop era, for it most certainly has. It's not unusual to see an act which has but one or two of it's original members left, human frailty and mortality having done their level best to eliminate them. In fact, in two different shows I've been dragged to in which "Jay and The Americans" were the headliners, you find that only one or two of the original "Americans" are alive, and the frontman is just some guy named "Jay". In fact, two different guys named "Jay".
Now, the Overlord has, himself, just turned 50 years of age. And my sincerest hope is that when he's in his 70's, if any of you catch him going to see , say, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at a local dinner theater, and there's no original Heartbreakers (some having actually died of defective hearts, in a bit of irony), Tom himself looks ready to keel over from the exertion of lifting his own guitar, and they're serving second-rate, mass-produced wedding catering food at $80 a pop, that you'll do the merciful thing and BLOW MY FUCKING BRAINS OUT.
The people who show up to these events fall, broadly, into several categories:
The Main category is their Age. They are all ancient as hell. I mean like older-than-dirt-but-only-slightly-younger-than-the-sun old. If you look closely into the faces, you'll find dust and cobwebs in their crow's feet. These are people who went to school before there was any such subject as "history". If they went to college, they were likely to have studied "fire", "flint-napping", and "bison hunting". Their Social Security numbers are expressed in Roman Numerals. They didn't have television, they watched cave paintings for entertainment.
Yes, I exaggerate, but not by much, I reckon.
The Second Category is determined by Physical State. There are those who are obvious devotees of plastic surgery, fighting a futile battle against the forces of entropy, decay and gravity. There are few sights as disturbing as a 75-ish woman who has had her sagging jowls, her turkey neck, and upper back-hump stretched over cheekbone implants, her lips full of collagen injections, and you just know she's mainlining botox by the simple observation that blinking seems to cause her great discomfort. It gets worse when you realize she has applied her make-up in the Bozo the Clown fashion so that she appears not so much as sophisticated-lady-out-on-the-town as potential-source-of-a-child's-nightmares. If none of this has given you a clear mental picture yet, then consider this: the same woman who spent so much effort and (probably someone else's) money destroying her face in an effort to achieve Perpetual Youth, has apparently given no thought to the rest of her body, when you notice she has elephantine-like legs (complete to color and wrinkles) and somehow thought she looks attractive in a skin-tight, cut-above-the-knee skirt with see-through top more appropriate for a younger woman.
For some reason I cannot fathom, all the Ladies of a Certain Age in these parts take to coloring their hair with the same shade of red that reminds one of Cesar Romero as the Joker in the old Batman TV series. It's fucking disturbing.
The lesser sub-set of this second group appears to have one foot in the grave. They are hunchbacked, disfigured, shuffling along on weak legs, or supporting themselves on walkers and such. They are bald or balding, even the ladies. The Poster Children for Euthanasia. The sheer cacophony of phlegmy coughing, the gasping, the wheezing, the dentures falling out after a particularly violent sneeze, leads one to conclude that Old Age is something to be avoided like Ebola.
And yet they persist. Mostly, I reckon, because keeping themselves alive doesn't really cost them anything, in terms of Medicare and Social Security (spare me the e-mails! Most of you will take far more out of the system than you ever paid in, hence $20 trillion in debt!), but I cannot find out what they are keeping themselves alive FOR. Certainly not because continued living is easy for them. One need only experience the Men's Room at a gathering of people with creaking prostates, leaky bladders, and spastic bowels. Sometimes, not only do you need to be mindful of where you sit, you need to watch where you're walking, as well. Because some of these poor bastards just don't make it to urinal or stall in time, and even if they do, they might have poor aim due to deteriorating vision.
The whole, sordid thing is a Great Big Mass of Depression: you are confronted with the vision of human mortality, the idea that this is the ultimate fate that awaits us all, to be cursed with physical infirmity and lost youth. Something that makes the experience somewhat MORE depressing (as if?) is the idea that most of these people are here to re-live their past through a medium of dead music and nostalgia where one associates a certain song with a milestone in a life long gone; this was the tune on the radio when you got your first handjob in the back of Daddy's Caddy; this was the song playing somewhere when Johnny fingerbanged you for the first time in your mother's basement; this was the song that encapsulated what it was to be young, carefree and happy in an age of Mutually Assured Destruction.
And then you remember: the generation that thought "Sha-na-na, sha-na,na,na,na" had great meaning was the same generation that dodged the Draft in Vietnam, that put all their hopes into Kennedys, that became the vanguard of a two-decade descent into Hell that is the proximate cause of all of Modern America's Troubles. These are the folks who, until recently, were our teachers, CEO's, the Politicians, the Students against ______, the Professors, the Media types, the legions of brain-dead bureaucrats.
They can't die fast enough to suit me. That they aren't dying fast enough is indicative that Nature has been fucked with. That for all the lip-service paid to the Power and Majesty of Nature, given the ability to do so, Man will defy even Death for no other reason than he can.
No matter if it bankrupts the grandchildren.
They can take their ridiculous music to the grave with them, too.
"You All Suck" is a Featured essay which highlights the incredible stupidity of the Human Race. Stay tuned for future installments.