Friday, September 09, 2005

cultural re-enactment and the american dream

p0rnst0rm says:
heh this another funny thing about the suburban dream: have a good job to pay for a nice house in a safe pretty neighborhood so that you can then be free to go to the movies manufacture the emotions (fear, excitement) you've worked so hard to get away from. heh "i can't even remember what it is i came her to get away from." haha.


daybrown answers:
Because all the land outside New Orleans was swamp, early on folks got into fixing up old houses. I lived in a lot of them, and did some of the fixing myself, but when you down thru 7 layers
of wallpaper, it occurs to you, that whatever you do to the wall, will in time be redone by another.

Only in recent decades has the freeway system enable folks to move far enough out to 'develop' the usual sprawl, with the usual notion that some dude will 'improve' the landscape with his own house. But you havta be blind not to notice all the water you drive over on the way into New Orleans, and be dense not to ponder whether it will all stay where they put it.

Thucydides:"People marveled at their successes, whether their means were adequate or not, and the day came when they confused their hopes with realities." Luck always runs out.

Back in the early 70's, I thot it was pure hubris, when "Rock & Roll will live forever" played on the radio. When I was young, I new nothing of the Big Band music my mom's generation listened to. And as time has gone on, I am constantly reminded by all the young people now listening to, and knowing the lyrics of music from a bygone era. Young folks know the words to old songs that I never did figure out. Bizzarrrr.

But it was the technology; the electric amplification opened up new ways of expression, and the media developed to spread that expression further than ever, around the globe... cheaply. It has, by now, somewhat run the course; there is, after all, only so much you can do to a guitar string. And
I detect a certain envy, a kind of reconstructionalism. just as there are Revolutionary and Civil war re-enactors, so there are neo-hippies, poor as always, outcaste, non-conformist. But they are not making music that will be listened to decades hence.

American culture has passed its classic era, is now baroque, rococo, with snippets of old art spliced together as if it'd then be new art. Nobody gives a fuck what you put on vinyl or canvas any more. Cubist oil painting became acrylic abstract expressionism, and now its just pixels.

The American dream went on like fireworks, amazed people, but now the show's over, and we're standing around saying how good it was.

4 comments:

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