I’m not sure how long ago I stopped being hip. I have a feeling it was a lot longer ago than I care to think about. But sometime over the past few weeks, I became dimly aware of a person who calls herself Lady Gaga. Apparently I am the only person in the world who had never heard of her. According to Wikipedia, she’s an American recording artist, but you undoubtedly already know that.
It didn’t help the feeling of being totally, completely unhip to discover that the world-famous-except-to-me Lady Gaga was born in 1986, when I was 32. How can someone be born, go to school (including, apparently, Julliard) grow up, and become famous in the time it took me to leap from 32 to 55? I couldn’t name one song of hers or recognize one if you played one for me. And, it seems, there’s whole long list of celebrities of whom I have never heard.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was a hot-rockin’ Top 40 DJ, and, of course, nobody’s hipper than a hot-rockin’ Top 40 DJ. I could name pretty much any song and artist by hearing less than a second of a song. But now, if I happen to accidentally land on a hit music station while the “seek” button is pressed, I feel as though I’ve stepped into an alien world. And I have to admit, I don’t care much for the music I hear.
Just a quick look at a list of modern music genres reveals categories with which I am entirely unfamiliar. Under the heading “Rock” alone, the list includes Emo, Grunge, Post-Grunge (Post Grunge???), Indie Rock, Gothic Rock, Industrial Rock (gee, that sounds pleasant!) and too many more to list. Under “Hip-Hop and Rap,” we find: Alternative Hip-Hop, Crunk, Gangsta Rap, Pornocore (I really don’t think I want to explore that one at all), and Canadian Hip-Hop. For some reason the idea of Canadian Hip-Hop makes me laugh a bit.
And that’s just a teeny sample of the list.
I think maybe this incredible unhipness of mine is partially because I don’t have any kids, nor do I have much contact with them. They’re not there to roll their eyes and patiently explain to me who these people are and what sort of music they play. And it certainly takes me back to the days when I had the stereo cranked up and my parents looked on in horror as In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida blared from the speakers. By the way, have you heard In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida in, say, the past ten years? Contrary to what I thought when I was 16, it is really an awful piece of work. Just terrible.
And I realize that now I’m going into full curmudgeon mode here, and that I have now become my parents, but I really do believe the stuff we listened to in the ’60s and ’70s was, generally, better than the stuff that’s cranked out now. Well, except for In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, of course. Oh, and I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home by Grand Funk. That’s not loud or raucous, but it pegs my inane meter.
I’d write more, but I have to go chase those damn kids off my lawn now.
- This is really cool. It’s a gallery of rooms painted so that seen from the correct angle, they produce optical illusions.
- Here’s a chart of some of the amazing changes that have taken place in the world between 1999 and 2009.
- This is eerie. An article about a cat that lives in a Rhode Island nursing home, and seems to have a talent for predicting who’s going to die next.
- Today’s video definitely has an agenda, but it’s still very, very funny. (Mildly NSFW)