July 14th, 2010

Baby and me

Internet win! (Wish I'd Written It Department)

"I wouldn't even mind the lack of originality if they weren't so heavy-handed about it. Apparently we're supposed to believe that in the middle of the war the Germans attacked their allies the Russians, starting an unwinnable conflict on two fronts, just to show how sneaky and untrustworthy they could be? And that they diverted all their resources to use in making ever bigger and scarier death camps, even in the middle of a huge war? Real people just aren't that evil. And that's not even counting the part where as soon as the plot requires it, they instantly forget about all the racism nonsense and become best buddies with the definitely non-Aryan Japanese."

Someone called called Scott has reviewed history as if it was fiction." Very much worth your attention.

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Random gloats: Groping, past and present, and teenage nonsense, remembered

There's something on the radio, CBC Ideas, about teenage sexuality and the "culture of sexuality" which influences it. I'm not listening closely, but my sense is that the tone is of the intellectually alarmist variety.

But I tuned out when the narrator talked about groping in the hallways as if it is a new phenomena, arising out of gangsta rap, Britney Spears and the uber-availability of internet porn.

I tuned out, because groping was rampant — mostly boys groping girls, but a significant minority when the other way — in my working/middle-class elementary school in Sudbury, Ontario, back in the late 1970s. Similarly, boys and girls being alternately fascinated and appalled by the burgeoning sexuality they see in others and feel in themselves is nothing new.

(It shouldn't need saying, but this is the internet. Groping an unwilling body part isn't a good thing. I'm arguing that it is not a new thing.)

Anyway, when an intellectual notices a phenomena for the first time and so decides it is new in the general sense, I tend to tune out whatever else they have to say.

Which isn't what prompted me to post, actually.

Sometime after the late 1970s, when I was in high school, I remember more than one late-night conversation about music. Most of the kids I hung with had a, shall we say, kind of retro taste in music (not to mention style and fashion — see my icon, above) and artists like the Beatles, Dylan and Stones (or The Who, or Joni Mitchel, or even The Velvet Underground, you get the idea) were held up as the gold standard when new artists came into our range of hearing.

And, as sagely drunk teenagers are wont to do, we would proclaim that rock and roll would never die. "The Beatles, man, there's nothing come since that matched them."

I know man, I know. You think there's gonna be some totally new kind of music that's going to replace it?

"I don't think so. I can't imagine what it might be.

Er, yes. Hip-hop/rap had been coming up the back streets for an easy decade by then. Why do you ask?

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