Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Friday, September 10, 2004

Failure of the Day: Culture at Large

I am in a fit of pessimism these days and all but certain the unthinkable is not only thinkable but less than 8 weeks away from becoming old news. It dawned on me this morning that the 21st century aughts (our current decade—who knows what to call it?) is turning into the anti-1960s.

Now, I am no 60s worshipper—my basic view of that decade is that some white guys got high, made some largely mediocre and overlong rock and roll, stopped bathing, and figured out how to stop being financially or emotionally beholden to women, while still getting those women to cook, clean, and put out for them. The civil rights movement was unquestionably righteous, but the Vietnam protests continue to be vastly over-rated in their effectiveness at ending that war.

But none of that is to say that progress wasn’t made during that time; clearly it was. Attitudes shifted, and "consciousnesses" were "raised," as it were. People could at least conceive of changing their minds. And the music, although plenty of people woke up finally sober a few years later and went “Eww!,” was at least inspiring and progressive in spirit. So sure, I’ll pile on with boomers about that: Yeah, yeah, weren’t those the days.

I don’t have to point out political parallels in negative to anyone, certainly not anyone who reads this blog. I also think the cultural parallels in negative are pretty clear: however many progressive hip hop acts there are underground, mainstream hip hop—black, white, male, and female—is as right wing as you get. It’s sexist and homophobic, and it worships wealth above all else. Until someone wins a trophy, then it’s all glory to God, dontcha know. It’s the Republican party with curse words.

If someone wants to point out what I’m missing or the ways I’m wrong about this, I’d love it. But from my perspective right now, it’ll be about 40 years before my beloved moronic Left gets its shit together enough to figure out how to convince anyone other than itself of anything.


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