Sometimes history is hard, you guys. I mean big history. Like, Hegelian sized history. History that spans across entire civilizations and generations. It’s hard for us because sometimes that historical meta-narrative is forever just out of each. There are moments, though, when we are thrown a little bone by the gods; we are given a fragment in time that simply defines a generation, nay, an entire civilization. Roman antiquity had Caligula naming his horse as his consul, Early Modern Europe had the Defenestration of Prague, The Victorian Period… was just depressing, and the 1990’s had Sockem Boppers with arguably the greatest commercial jingle of all time.
But what about our generation? Where’s our summarizing event? Sure, some might argue it’s Radiohead’s Kid A in long, pretentious, essayist reviews. Others might even claim this war, or that war, or the internet, or other such fads. I will not mince words: these are all horribly inaccurate. I know these suggestions are inaccurate because I myself have seen the very moment that defines our generation.
It has a little bit of everything: fat men breakdancing, rastlin’, grown men in silly costumes, historical inaccuracy, hypnosis, hillbillies, borderline mental deficiency, music that isn’t even from our generation, overzealous commentators. In so many words, this is our generation in a nutshell. A glorious, glorious nutshell.
Roland Barthes theorized that there are two types of text: the text of pleasure and the text of bliss. The text of pleasure is simply that which washes over you in an aesthetically pleasing manner; the text of bliss, however, forces you to question your very being. This video is clearly the latter, and as so I will help guide you with some, possibly, FAQ:
1) What does this have to do with music? A: Apparently you missed Rapper’s Delight and breakdancing in the video.
2) I feel different, what does this mean? A: It means you have just had your entire life summarized.
3) Will I ever be the same? A: No. Irrevocably, no. I will never hear The Sugarhill Gang the same way again.
4) I can no longer see…? A: Your mind just imploded, exploded and re-ploded. At the same time.
5) Was that heaven? A: Yes.
As a final word, before the very document of our lives; I find it fitting that it includes music as an integral part. Music, actually from 1979, which is really very telling of our contemporary scene. But these things and more, next time.