Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Kids Today": Gavin McInnes on Today's Youth culture and Boomer Hypocrisy

From Taki's Mag

I have always been a bit of a "fogey": from my late teens to about 35 I could qualify as a "young fogey," and now that I'm settling into middle-age fogeyhood, it won't be long before the adjetive "old" will apply. The common denominator, of course, is "fogey."

My taste in clothing has always ranged between 1925 and 1960. I prefer wearing fedoras and donegals depending on what suit or tweed coat I'm wearing, and my "casual" clothes are casual by 1945-1955 standards: button-down shirts, sweaters (depending on the weather), . My taste in music ranges between Gregorian and Byzantine/Slavic chant and Renaissance sacred polyphony, to Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, with a good rendezvous through the Big Bands: Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. I also have a good, soft spot for Cole Porter.

But I also have some interest in what my students are up to. My students tend to be conservative, but by far not unaffected by contemporary youth culture (college coeds all) and articles like this one by Gavin McInnes peak my interest.

For the most part, he is spot-on. Many Boomer "critics" of modern youth culture complain about how "kids today" are so "materialistic" and "culturally void," but in reality they're just pursuing the same things they did: sex, more sex, some drugs, more sex, music, sex, music, more music, and then more sex. They are about what youth movements since the sixties have always been about.

This gem is my favorite from Mr. McInnes' article. He, as a participant in a panel discussion at UCLA on youth culture, tears into Professor Corey's own presentation, "The History of Cool," where she talks about the "White Negro," "Bourgeois" appropration of  lower class culture, and how youth culture has (again, bourgeois in it's essence" has always been stealing from the poor. Here's where he let's her have it:

"I interrupted her by asking if there was anything more bourgeois than being a professor—being paid to pontificate about leisure movements and then taking off every seventh year to go ruminate in Paris. Hearing today’s kids called mindless consumers drives me nuts. They get their clothes at secondhand shops, and the ones they do buy have fewer logos than when I was their age. They don’t buy music. They steal it. They can create their own band out of nothing by mixing samples and genres and new instruments, and they get these songs to their fans without a record label. They’re not stealing anything from blacks. They are black. Mailer’s essay is a half-century old, and today’s incarnation of cool is more inclusive than any before it. We all know how misogynist the hippies really were. The Free Love movement was only a groovy way to take advantage of women. Punk pretended to be open to everyone, but an Afro Mohawk was about as common as a well-respected white rapper. Today’s kids couldn’t care less who’s black, gay, rich, or poor.

Spot on, indeed!

Read the whole article here.

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