A couple of events have happened in the past 48 hours that have made me wonder if the world is just getting younger, or if it’s just plain uninformed.
1-Like most ofAmerica, we were watching the Super Bowl the other night. I didn’t really give a rat’s ass who won, because I hate both the Patriots and the Giants, and I usually don’t buy into all the “Super Bowl Commercials” hype. But this year, I decided to actually pay attention to the commercials. There wasn’t anything that really blew me away, but when my daughter came into the room and said, “How are the commercials? Any really good ones?” I thought for a minute and said, “Well, the patriotic shot-in-the-arm that Clint Eastwood just did for Chrysler was a little cheesy, but pretty compelling I guess.” I was taken aback at the next words out of her mouth:
“Who’s Clint Eastwood?”
WHO is Clint Eastwood? My mind was racing, trying to find a frame of reference for her. Rowdy Yates from Rawhide? Nope, that’s almost before MY time…The Good, The Bad and the Ugly? A Fistful Of Dollars? Hang ‘Em High? Nope, she’s never seen a spaghetti western…Dirty Harry? Nope, I don’t think she’s ever seen a cop movie…Every Which Way But Loose? Nope, I would never subject her to that. I finally mentioned “Gran Torino”, but that didn’t even register with her. All of a sudden, it made sense. Why on earth would she know who Clint Eastwood is? Sure, he’s been acting for 50 years or more, but he’s never done a Disney movie, and hasn’t been on TV for years.
2-Every morning at work, we get our creativity going by playing an ongoing game of Family Feud. Yesterday morning, the question was “name a rock band with a single word name”. There were several good answers: Rush, Yes,Chicago (the number one answer was “Beatles”…guess the people who took the survey don’t consider “the” a word). My answer was “Genesis”. I was taken aback once again when a member of our group in their early 20’s said:
“Who is Genesis?”
I said, “You know, the band…Genesis…Phil Collins? Mike Rutherford? Tony Banks?” She responded that she knew Phil Collins from doing a couple of Disney soundtracks. I started in on what a sell-out I thought Collins was, and how Genesis used to do great music, especially when Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett were still in the band, but it was no use. She associated Phil Collins with Disney, and try as I might, I would never convince her that “Trick of the Tail” was probably their last great album. It was recorded about 15 years before she was born.
We need to do a better job. The youth in this county have to be educated. Remember, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. And nobody wants another Dexy’s Midnight Runners, right? So find a young person, sit them down, and right some wrongs. These quick tips will give you a head start:
-Ozzy Osborne wasn’t always a dimwitted reality show star. He was the lead singer of Black Sabbath, one of the coolest metal bands of all time, before embarking on a controversial, yet awesome solo career. If you need an example, make them listen to “Black Sabbath Volume 4” and turn the volume up to 11. Nuff said.
-The word “cool” was invented to describe Steve McQueen. Although he never made any really GREAT movies, he was a good actor, raced motorcycles, smoked pot before hippies made it trendy in the late 60’s, and hung out with gorgeous women. If you need an example, make them watch Bullitt…if for no other reason than to watch the best auto chase scene of all time.
-Clint Eastwood was not always an old man whose voice was so raspy you could hardly understand it. He was a tough guy in the movies, but you always wanted to be on his side. Have them watch a Dirty Harry movie (The Enforcer is my favorite). You’ll soon hear them throwing out catchphrases like “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? Punk?” or “Go ahead…make my day”.
-If they think Adele is soulful (I’m not knocking her…I like her stuff), have them listen to an Aretha Franklin or Etta James album. Yes, ALBUM. They should hear that music the way it was meant to be heard.
-Steven Tyler should never sing the national anthem. Why? Because he’s a wanker. Those two country hacks the other night at the Super Bowl should never sing the national anthem, nor should Katy Perry or Kelly Pickler or any current flavor of the month. Why? Because they suck. Instead, hop on YouTube and play them Marvin Gaye’s Star Spangled Banner from the NBA All Star Game…or better yet, give them a taste of Hendrix at Woodstock.
That’s a good start…I’m looking for more suggestions, so please feel free to submit them. It’s up to all of us to educate the youth of America…our future depends on it!