By J’Mel Davidson
Sitting back and thinking, as I often do, of my wasted youth, I had to state an obvious fact: Kids these days don’t know how good they got it.
First of all, they’re complaining about cyber-bullying all the time but when I was little, computers were the size of a Holiday Inn ballroom and were mostly only used to launch missiles and make Dire Straits videos. Back in the good old days, someone would get bullied for years and just shrug it off and go to college. Then again, this was before the “participation trophy” days of child enlightenment. Everyone knew who the losers were. The parents knew. Then kids knew. Everyone was not a winner. Gotta know your place, man.
Some of these brats have the nerve to complain about current superhero flicks. Tell you what, junior—how about we strap you to a chair and treat you to a few hours of Manimal and Automan? I’m sure a few sessions of the Ludovico Technique featuring Spawn and Batman and Robin would make you appreciate Ant-Man a whole lot.
I won’t even get into the current state of hip-hop because I’m strongly assuming that very little of my current readers could even appreciate how sad and terrible the entire process has become. Let’s just say I feel about current hip-hop the way your parents felt about hip-hop back when they should’ve felt the way I felt about hip-hop 20 years ago.
But these kids love this junk! When I was in high school and popped in a Public Enemy album, I was transported to a violent yet rhythmic and educational world. Now, it’s just a bunch of epileptic utterances and product placement. Most modern MCs look dirty. They look like they smell.
The crazy thing is, I wonder what the older version of J’Mel would’ve said about my music and movies and social interactions 20 years ago?
I have a friend who’s a couple years older than me and he swears up and down that grunge ruined rock music. He’s a champion of silly crap like Cinderella and White Snake and Right Said Fred. Most people my age acknowledge that grunge came in and put the final nail into hair band’s coffin and canceled out the terrible pop that was threatening to destroy the 1990s. And sure, eventually rap-rock came along and murdered the ears of anyone who could read or refused to call a friend bro, but for a while there, there was a Seattle-shaped silver lining of mopey guitars and feedback that I loved.
Getting older, man. It’s not graceful at all. It’s a thief. It’s a gradual poisoning of time. And as you manage to slip further and further into the future, closer to death and the great beyond, just try to remember that every year you’re just playing the role someone else played before. Sunrise, sunset, checks and balances, etc.
Also, remember that Alice in Chains will always be a better band than Mötley Crüe.