Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Legends

Blockbuster movies can make millions, and bands can sell out stadiums, but they are no more legendary than the serial novelists who outsold Ernest Hemingway. Few masterpieces break through the centuries like Beethoven and da Vinci, but those that do are a window into a certain time period. I don't want my time to be marked only by politics and war. I want future generations to see the creative passion of my time.

What happened to our legends? Were the Bob Dylans and John Lennons born from some perfect melding of post-war establishment rebellion and LSD induced creativity? Is today's society, run by former hippies, which encourages free expression and questioning authority, actually hampering the rise of a new generation of icons?

Did the paparazzi kill them? Was the mythology behind Hendrix due to the fact that there was still mystery and every move he made wasn't captured by a horde of photographers?

Is the market oversaturated? Recording used to be expensive, but can now be done by any twelve-year-old with a computer. If every laptop could start printing out gold bars, even a mountain of gold wouldn't look that impressive.

Has everything been done? Has popular music run its course? Is even the most innovative music just taking old songs and dressing them up in new ways?

Maybe my kids will look at today's stars and wished they had lived now so they could see them play. Maybe it just takes time.


jq said...


Maybe you missed a little thing called "Hanson" back in the nineties.

Mark my words: generations to come will be MmmBoppin' their way through their late 20th century musical arts courses...

Not This God said...

Sure, bands like Hanson and Ace of Base will always live on in our hearts, but I sometimes wonder if they were just too good to be appreciated for what they are. My only hope is that in the decades to come, documentaries about life in the 1990's will show clips of the Gulf War, internet boom, and Clinton impeachment while MMMBop is playing in the background.

Along those same lines, you can add The Jonas Brothers to early 21st century musical arts.

Anonymous said...

Thank-you, NTG. Music to my ears! :)

Mene Tekel said...

It depends on what you TELL your kids. You want a legend, you got to spread it.

Banksy, Britney Spears and Trent Reznor will be remembered, assuredly, tho not necessarily for the right reasons.