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talking about my generation. (who have goop for brains)

January 9, 2011

WHO’D YOU RATHER. ROGER DALTREY OR ROBERT PLANT? you have to pick one. the year – 1975. make a choice:

Daltrey circa 1975


Robert Plant circa 1975

tough choice. i know. maybe you thought i would include bowie in this post but no because bowie is not a ROCK god. he is just a god. i think my choice would probably have to be robert plant, because, as my mum said – “i saw him on that album cover with those tight pants and i thought ‘this guy is HOT.'” thanks mum well put.

oh wait i just asked my dad. he answered “as a man i would pick roger daltrey. as a woman i would pick robert plant.” hm. how interesting.

why did i go on that train of thought? oh duh. roger daltrey from the who from their hit song my generation from the idea of our generation having porridge for brains.

i was reading a globe and mail article the other day about the future of publishing and it got me thinking. (you can see the article here, and be sure to check out the rest of the globe’s book section because it’s pretty righteous.) right now it is kind of a scary time to be an “up and coming” writer because while MFA programs are expanding and lots of people want to write, (i feel like there is a glut of young writers right now, and while it’s cool and groovy that we all want to be able to sustain ourselves through writing, it is also shitty for us all because now we are all competition.) – the book world is also kind of dying. with the birth of the ipad, the kindle, the kobo, and other “readers”, i have a feeling that the world of book print is really going to diminish. in a way, digital book sales are awesome because they are accessible and easily spread, much as mp3s work with the music community. in another way, i fucking hate the idea of paper books dwindling, and it pisses me the hell off, because are we such a lazy generation that we are eschewing BOOKS!?

my mother mentioned that this move to ebooks and ereaders was a byproduct of my generation, and i did agree. not entirely my generation – i was born in 1987, so i feel that the generation she is referring to is just a BIT younger than i am – my brother’s age (he was born in 1991), but perhaps that is just my personal bias coming through. i often refer to the readers of my blog as having the attention span of “tse tse flies,” but it’s true. with the advent of all these new pieces of technology – android phones (what ARE THOSE?) smart phones kindles ipods ipads iphone blackberries reddit digg (also i don’t know what those two things are) twitter facebook tumblr (not quite sure of the point of tumblr) flickr kobos nanos blah blah blah people want to get their information in fast, convenient bytes. they want something that will fit on the 3 by 4 inch screen of their… whatever. this is my generation, yes, but i find that this is especially the half-generation after me – the people who are just now entering into high school. cell phones in class? that never happened in my time in high school, and now dalton mcguinty is touting the idea of it.

this is not a rant to say “i am old and distinguished” because i also sometimes have a short attention span – but i’m also a bit of a luddite, too. but what worries me most is how this translates to the book world. magazine sales are dropping, and so are newspaper sales. and book sales. the idea of the printed book is quickly becoming quaint, which blows my mind. why improve on a thing that has existed for thousands of years just fine? we want to hook the youngest generation by providing cool things – movies have been made 3d and animorphic or whatever, and music has been made into mp3s and now you don’t even have to buy a full album on itunes you can just pick the song you want, and music videos are becoming short films with lots of plot changes, and so i just wonder how the book world is going to adapt to this, if it chooses to. pop up books!? holographic books!? 3d books!?

bah humbug. some things are supposed to be left sacred.

Uhhh.. Robert does not want. He likes books just fine thanks.

okay sorry on another note, i had a friend tell me once that led zeppelin – that robert plant – was “performative”. this was said in a derogatory way, just as he also slandered bowie. and i wanted to say “fuck you. all music is performative, and it is all about spectacle. every time you get on a stage to sing or play, it is spectacle.” and also, my friend, plant had the voice of apollo. and bowie was bacchanalian. they were gods. you are not.

i very much would have been a groupie if i had been alive in the 1970s. and i am not ashamed to say that at all.

viva la books and viva la rock! or something like that. viva la zeppelin.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Janny permalink
    January 11, 2011 1:56 pm

    Ok, Annie…you hooked me. Since you are talkin’ bout my generation……

    Zepplin “performative”? Well yeah. But that simple statement (without context) rings of reductionism to me. Sniff. Sniff. But, hey, I am biased.
    How about ecstatic music that pulsed with complexity, sexuality, possibilities , pent up emotion. An auditory tapestry that channelled the minstrel via electric sound. Pulsing parties, long hair (men and women), tight pants (men and women) , dancing and singing (men and women). Not necessarily better days….just different days. When hair on men was virile, not disgusting. And lots more people danced.

  2. January 12, 2011 8:23 pm

    Performative as derogatory? That’s ridiculous. Everything is performative. That doesn’t make it devoid of meaning or skill or beauty. Performance enables meaning, skill, beauty.


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