As someone who hasn’t listened to any new music since 1998, I tend to assume that things are going steadily along. I just take it for granted that Fiona Apple is still being overlooked because of her sometimes oppressively surreal streak, Courtney Love is still a talentless hack, and somewhere teenagers are rolling down the highway screaming along to “All Star,” blissfully unaware of what a sad tableau it is for all concerned.*
Yep, nothing changes. Certainly not Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins lead singer and that one kid from high school who screamed that everyone in the lunch room was a murderer for eating meat** and who insisted on adding “fucking” to every sentence to show how totally fucking serious he was about every fucking issue that not enough people fucking care enough about, turning into a lunatic right-wing conspiracy theorist. And yet here we are.
Turns out that climate change—was global warming, but since the earth is actually cooling, they can’t call it warming anymore—is a hoax, Obama was part of the group behind the H1N1 propaganda campaign, and Bernie Sanders and his supporters are Maoists.
[On that last point, I’d like to weigh in—while I do support the government taking over all private property, forced marches, reeducation camps, and mass summary executions of counterrevolutionaries, I see no evidence that other Sanders supporters do.]
*-I am convinced that this one is, in fact, still going on—in the kitchen not long ago, “All Star” came on Pandora, and immediately about half of the 18 year-olds in the room started singing along. This is the legacy of the 1990s. So the next time you see an enlightened, experienced Gen-Xer whining about those stupid Millennials just not getting it during this election cycle, point out that anecdote, remind them that this is what we’ve given the world, and tell them to fuck off.
**-I would have pegged him as a “meat is murder” type, but I actually saw Corgan once in one of those Brazilian steakhouses where they keep bringing you meat until you tell them to stop. He was there with two young ladies. The more you know.