Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I grow old, I grow old, /I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

When I was much younger than my current measure of 4 decades, I berated the generation ahead of me for their sleeper hold on the culture. I was tired of Gilligan's Island reruns, Grateful Dead shows, and Abbie Hoffman running around telling me I had to stick it to the man (rest in peace, Abbie). I was part of the ascendent culture and felt smothered, out numbered as we were, by the vast mass of humanity spawned by returning GIs. I recall reading an essay in Time magazine wherein the BabyBoomers were described as a neurotic generation for whom every twig they step on becomes fodder for a therapy session. How vindicated I felt. I was part of a valid culture that needed to be heard, and someone was hearing us.

So now, here I am, some twenty-years later watching David Byrne, one of the idols of my young adulthood, grey-haired now, diminuitive, and far more sedate on stage, crooning his way through one of the most beautifully sublime of all love songs, "Naive Melody." And what am I feeling...? Old! I want to drag the past into the future, grab the youth of today and expose them to the amazingness of Jonathan Demme's collaborative masterpiece, Stop Making Sense. I want to show them the brilliance of Byrne's performance there, his sublime dance with a floor lamp. I want to deny the Byrne of now and conjur the big-suited Byrne, pencil-necked Byrne, champion of all cultured nerds of the 80s.

Ah but christ sake! What does it matter? And who am I anyway, to inflict my culture, fading as it may be, upon the progenitors of tomorrows visions and art?

So you take a look. Compare the two versions, 20 years apart (or so). And then tell me I'm wrong, or at the very least, point me to something new to get my mind off this....


Oh, I should have been a pair of ragged claws/scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

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