Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I Know You

Forgive the rant ala Jack Black from School of Rock, but for fuck’s sake rock and roll used to mean something.

Let me explain.

My boss just got a record of Pink Floyd’s The Wall with a signed jacket matted and framed nicely behind glass. It’ll go up in the office somewhere near his framed Nirvana concert tickets. Now, I understand that a body has to find work so that a body can make money, but it just seems wrong to spend what must have been a pretty penny on a lousy piece of rock memorabilia. And the guy’s an attorney. Not quite the rock and roll job to have, really.

I suppose I just adhere to some weird version of culture that dictates that rock and roll is supposed to be for the young and rebellious and angry and drunk. Not the rich and well-fed who pop a Stones disc into their Lexus’ CD player on the way home from merging businesses and trading stocks. It just seems incongruent.

Look whose talking, right? My 35-year-old ass still drives around in a Jetta blasting Cramps and Melvins and loud Japanese noise-rock. I suppose I’m one of the aging punk dolts who still think they’re angry enough to be cool. And Naked Raygun played a reunion show and I skipped it because it was a weekday and I had to get up for work the next morning. Sad. Sadder still is the singer’s rumored illness, resulting in a short set and a tear in my eye as my favorite local punk band from the 80s is clearly old and getting older, as am I.

Okay, but still, I’m not pulling in gobs of cash. I live on peanut butter sometimes (not even bread, just a spoon and a jar of Jiff). I’m still a student, I still struggle. I’m still pissed at “the man” and like to stick it to him via The Who and The Ramones. But as Bonzo goes to Bitburg and goes out for a cup of tea, I opt to join him, as coffee is too strong for my sensitive guts and liquor, well I have to be in the mood. And even then it’s “just the one.”

My boss, on the other hand, is pulling in some serious dough and can afford to buy Pink Floyd’s signed records. He can also afford to by a Hunter Thompson memorial by Ralph Steadman, signed by numerous celebrities and hangers-on of the good dead doctor. He can also afford to buy a huge house in the snotty suburbs and can afford to impregnate his wife twice over and ensure the kids have a good life and never miss a meal. All well and good, I say. I have nothing against people with money. Fuck the “yuppie scum” protestations coming form the mouths of angry suburban kids who emulate their dead idols. They’re next in line for the gravy train to yuppiville anyway. So if you want to screw over the next guy to get a bigger piece of the American dream, well there’s little one can do to stop you. But don’t do so while clinging to your rock-n-roll roots, which you probably just used as a means to a licentious end. Yeah, I know you, the guy at the party wearing a black concert T-shirt you just bought at Urban Outfiters. The guy with the messy hair that got messy after 20 minutes of blow-drying and product. The guy with the jeans that got ripped by a factory and not from years of wear and tear. The guy who can afford a new pair of jeans. The guy with the Docs who still thinks that makes him punk rock. The guy with a trust fund. The guy with the expensive weed. The guy who will grow up to wear suits. The guy who loved Nirvana and didn’t realize that “In Bloom” was about him. The guy who is looking to screw some dead-eyed young thing on his way to growing older and screwing many, many people, literally and figuratively.

Yeah, you, you bastard.