Sunday, March 20, 2011

These kids these days...

I'm still busy on my projects, but I wanted to take this opportunity to make an observation and ask for your feedback. (This is a weekend non-political post.)

What's with these kids these days?

That question marks one's entry into duffer-hood. In my case, the question isn't "Why do kids go for these bizarre new clothing fads?" -- instead, it's "Why do today's kids go for familiar OLD clothing fads?"

While traveling around Balmer, one will occasionally spot young adults dressed in punk regalia. They probably think that they look very daring and dangerous and renegade and edgy, what with their mohawks and painted hair and torn clothing and safety pins and spikes and whatnot. Some of the girls, I admit, do look cute. It's a classic look.

You know when I first saw that look? At Filmex (the Los Angeles Film Exposition) back in 1976 or '77. Roughly 35 years ago.

Imagine a young person in 1969 visiting the hot spots of that era while adorned in the regalia popular among young people in 1934. Everyone would have laughed. Retro was ridiculous.

The goth look is another classic, one which comes and goes in popularity, but which always seems to be lurking around some corner of youth subculture. I admit that I like it -- at least, I enjoy looking at girls wearing slinky black quasi-Victoriana with plunging necklines and lacy gloves and all of that. I have enjoyed looking at such girls for decades now.

Even African Americans have run out of inventiveness. Hip-hop has always annoyed the hell out of me -- but what really annoys me is that black kids haven't come up with any new ways to annoy me. The styles and the music haven't changed in decades.

One still sees young guys wearing pants with the beltline at the groin and the crotch at the knees. This must be the stupidest street fashion idea ever. I thought it was stupid when I first saw it, during the first Clinton term. Or was that during the Bush I presidency...?

Come on, kids. My hair is graying. Your job is to come up something so shocking that it goes completely white. Your job is to make me sputter and fume about how horrible and debauched and worthless the new generation is.

And ya got nothing. Nothing!

Why ape your parents and grandparents? Where's the creativity? Where is the shock of the new?
And why in the name of the muse do young folks keep forming bands and writing songs, when they can't write a decent song to save their lives?

Young people today have virtually no sense of melody whatsoever. In forming bands and writing songs, they seem to be slavishly imitating our generation. But they don't have the ability. They're beautiful kids, but their sucky songs have ruined many a movie soundtrack for me.
We got one guy at work that does the Goth thing. Dyed black hair and black nail polish. One girl has dark red hair, I can't tell if it's Anime, Goth or whatever.
As to Creeping Old Fartism the local oldies station doesn't play Doo-Wop or Surf anymore. I guess those of us who grew up with Dion and the Belmonts, Del Shannon, the Del Tones aren't a viable demographic because we are all in nursing homes or taking a dirt nap.
Another style that doesn't seem to change much is the stoner hippy look. You can find kids at gatherings and stuff that you could drop in the time tunnel to 1968 Haight Ashbury and no one would bat an eye at their appearance.

In a weird way it's comforting to assume that "kids today" are parroting the styles of the baby boomers or 80s rappers, because on a deep level aging representatives of those time periods are left with the feeling that their style was the correct one.

But I don't buy it. Fashion styles change over the years. One of the big dominant ones I see in kids now - at least in Texas and the midwest - is dressing like you are about the sing a song at the country music awards or latin grammies. Not sure how else to describe it - lots of cowboy hats, boots, short short skirts, wranglers, lee or blue diamond jeans, expensive western shirts/blouses, among younger anglos and hispanics I encounter.
My mother always told me I'd grow out of the "goth phase." I am thirty and have yet to grow up, it seems. Let's face it: my combat boots from the army surplus store are nice and comfortable and black on black simply can not be mismatched.

My baby girl giggles and smiles whenever I play The Cure or Siouxsie & the Banshees. I'm sure she'll find something crappy to listen to and wear or whatnot to irritate me as soon as she hits thirteen.
O tempora. O mores. -- Cicero

Oh, the kids these days! -- Geezers (multiple citations)

Well...Lady Gaga is sporting some (fake) subdermal facial and shoulder implants that help make her look even more alien that she does already. I predict that implants (and maybe amputations!) will be the next big freak-out-the-parents thing.
What do you expect of a generation that mars their flesh with grotesque body piercings and tattoos? And who thought Obama would be a great President...
I guess you'll want to put a twitter icon to your site. I just bookmarked the article, but I had to complete this by hand. Just my advice.
Yeah, I've noticed the lack of innovation in "styles" since the 80's. Thankfully, mullets have not come back in style (though here in central PA, I see plenty of them on older guys). The low riding pants thing amused me when I was the same age as the kids doing it when it was new, and amuses me even more now. I think the difference between now, and when it was a new thing, is that white kids do it a lot now, but not so much back then. I suppose, as someone mentioned, that the tattoos and piercings are somewhat new, though I guess that was big in the 90's. We are basically following the path of the Roman Empire, politically and socially. Extravagance and copying past innovation rather than blazing new paths is the standard now. Decay and decadence are all around us.
make your hair go completely white?

How about left wing race realist National Bolshevik "white socialist skinhead" music?
In the tradition of Jack London and the early unions? Let's project
the music industry promotes rather than suppresses this particular ethnic chauvinist art form. Yeah right. Oi!
"Thankfully, mullets have not come back in style (though here in central PA, I see plenty of them on older guys). "

"We are basically following the path of the Roman Empire, politically and socially. "

There is a section of Robert Graves' "Count Belisarius" where he notes that the fashion among Byzantine dandies at one point during the reign of Justinian was for hair cut in the "Hun-ish style", which was apparently short at the front but long at the back. Sounds like a mullet to me!

Lorenda Starfelt 1955-2011
basement angel Lorenda Starfelt
Sat, 03/19/2011 - 4:38pm — basement angel
My name is Brad Mays and I'm the husband of Lorenda Starfelt, AKA Basement Angel. I just wanted to let Lorenda's friends know that my beautiful wife passed away on Tuesday, March 16, 2011 at roughly 8:00 PM. Her death was the result of uterine cancer, which ultimately spread to her liver. She and I were in pre-production on a new feature film, "Beginning Blue," for which Lori wrote the story. We will continue work on the film without her physical participation, while honoring all of her intentions. A memorial service will be held for Lorenda sometime in mid-April.
Brad: Oh my god. This hit hard and fast. I was given no clue. Brad, I am so sorry.

I don't know what to say. Our thoughts are with you, of course.

Jeez, this is horrible news.
Just have to give my 2 cents on this topic since I live in the trendy retro ghetto and love style. What I'm seeing is not only a lack of innovation as you pointed out, but a complete lack of "struggle for fashion."

There simply is no need to be creative. When you can buy the latest retro trend at the local Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, etc., you don't have to scavenge through the second hand shops to create your own look. Unless of course they are new trendy vintage shops where they make the retro outfit for you. I can't tell you how many times I see college kids just buying a complete set off the mannequin without scarcely a thought to experimentation. And that's for the ones who actually go out to shop.

jeesum, you can even buy a complete retro outfit via an iphone app or from your cell phone at the local coffee shop without needing to get your ass out of the chair.

This new bedside consumerism of "vintage" is suffocating any innovation that results from what I endured as a kid-- desperation to find anything that is not found in a store at the mall. Instead of buying to look different, you buy to look the same as the chum sitting across the table from you.

I agree with the upthread comment that fashion basically died at the end of the 80's but I was too young to enjoy it. During the late 90's at least retro wasn't popular yet, and the internet was still too new to form new types of consumerism slavery. And that's what the youth of today is even more than we were -- slaves to technology which tell them what to buy, how to wear it, and ultimately how/when to express it. And they have no desire to really be unique. Another casualty of the I can buy that image from my computer mentality. Even the Mods, who created a lifestyle of consumerism and adopting a singular look, still fought to out-do each other.

So sorry to hear about Basement Angel. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
You crack me up!
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