“The womb has spilled us into a sewer”
Perhaps it was that last Lucky Strike, or one swig of stolen parental booze too many, but lying there now, strewn across a canvas pool chair with my swirling head pressed against my forearms, all I can manage to groan is a melodramatic, “WHY?” A friend stands over me, gathering the hair at the nape of my neck and tugging at curls that have fallen loose as I motion for a trash can and muffle against my coat once more, “HOW’D THIS HAPPEN?” She shrugs, starting to braid together a few strands, “Well I don’t know, you’ve been drinking for a good few hours, and well shit, c’mon, you’re fourteen.” Shit. And thus the vomiting began.
1991. Fall of communism. Palindrome. Gandhi died. All sorts of cool shit. Fourteen years and a few months later it is 4 AM and I am awake, the disdain on me as surely as the Mistreaters on my stereo. These are the essential components my life has broken down into as of late: 4 AM school bus rides and weekend babysitting sessions slowly and surely funding my record collection. In between these two dismal activities, however, is sandwiched high school, which I’m beginning to doubt is any better or worse than the elusive “real world” we’ve been threatened with since grade school. People have not become less disappointing, and I’m afraid that I will never stop settling for less. And considering most of my life has been a perpetual attempt at some (false) sense of maturity, 9th grade has proved to be a tremendous disappointment.
The only thing more devouring than the dread of walking up Las Vegas Academy’s (of Visual & Performing Arts. Read: ART SCHOOL) stone staircases every morning is the ultimate realization that this is the generation I am congealed to, well into adulthood. Crippled by their own mediocrity, it is an almost fascinating (but not really) blend of student body. Part lunatic nymphomaniacs, part left wing overachievers, 100% socially inept mutants. This is kindly ignoring the blatant truth that teenagers are truly hideous, as if made so on purpose, to counteract their constant compulsion to fuck. But sexual dysfunctions and bacne aside, the most heartbreaking observation is that they just don’t give a shit.
You’d think with a downpour of future musicians, artists, and film makers (most of which will undoubtedly fail, and all of which deny affiliation with mainstream culture) there could exist a fraction of students who would find themselves irate enough to seek out something past that of which they hear on their local alternative rock station. Such is not the case, unfortunately, and the thimble of hope I had for the future of rock n’ roll drains dangerously close to nothing as I drag home each day. Perhaps modern radio has by now actually mastered a formula trite enough to satisfy their teenage listeners. Maybe the fabricated promises of RELATING to something are satisfactory for their core audience; so much so that quality and legitimate passion have taken the back burner.
If it is true that people don’t ever really change, that the coming generations are not at all truly different from their predecessors, then I cannot help but wonder, as I eat my lunch or sit in detention, which of these seemingly hopeless peers will I be buying albums from, or looking up at on stage at concerts many years from now.
What is most offensive about their apathy is that in our modernized world, when music pirating and garage rock resources should be at their most accessible, it is instead abused and neglected for hard drives full of masturbatory guitar work and rap-rock hybrid albums. Maybe there still exists a reliance on rock n’ roll mentors, and although we should be able to feasibly take our musical enlightenment into our own cum-stained palms, there is a certain missing link to shove us down the right path.
The Horrors self-titled album was the first that allowed me to click off my radio that notable summer night, and I have since then wondered if I could’ve perhaps been happier never having heard it. Had I been kept in the figurative dark, I may have gained from my cluelessness some variation of adolescent friendship, rather than a mild substance abuse problem, and a not-so-mild case of contempt driven insomnia.
It is not so much that their record collections do not match mine that keeps my headphones permanently grafted onto my ears, but more so the passivity that leaves them completely uncritical; hearing, taking, buying without a second thought that there could be something else.
Even despite all this, I managed to find hope and potential in the epiphany that maybe they just haven’t caught on yet as I saunter onto the bus one hazy afternoon. I slide in next to a girl in my grade, headphones around her neck and a walkman at her side.
“What’re you listening to?” I inquire and almost immediately regret it.
She hesitates and following a reluctant shrug, “My Chemical Romance.”
I have learned by now that arguing, attempting to explain anything aforementioned in this article to them is futile. More often than not they will stare until their eyes glaze and I am left shrill and Neanderthal-esque. (“NINE INCH NAILS BAD!!”)
I nod and begin to dig through my bag for my own CD player, when she interrupts my frantic search, sensing my disinterest, “Yeah I know. But what else is there, really?”
And for the first time in that grueling school day, I smile.
Contact Dasha: darucy-at-hotmail.com
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