I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that things were better back in my day. Hell, even though I have kids and couldn’t name three EDM superstars, I still kind of consider today to be ‘my day.’ More to the point, back when I existed in a coveted and tastemaking demographic, I liked ridiculously stupid shit. For example, I spent hours listening to Murphy’s Law, who are essentially a funk band dressed as punks singing songs about pouring beer on tits. For the record, I still think Murphy’s Law is great, but I’m under no illusions that the reason I love them is anything more than because they came along when I was dumb enough to like just about anything and they happened to be there and imprinted their party-theism on my soul. It’s the same reason we all love our parents. By the time we figure out that they’re gross, dying versions of us with tons of mental problems, we’ve already invested so much time into looking up to them that it’s too late to stop. Anyway, the thing is, as we navigate the world, it becomes easier and easier to see things as fads or dumb ancillary ideas, rather than parts of a huge tidal wave of culture that we, as reckless youth, are genetically bound to. This separation from the zeitgeist inevitably makes us distant and jaded, regarding new cultural advances. “I climbed on board for KISS, so I GET IT, but the Insane Clown Posse is just total bullshit,” is something that a dumb, old mongoloid who totally doesn’t get it at all anymore may say. Calling something “total bullshit” implies that it has no redeeming qualities (unless your feelings on the feces of male bovines differ wildly from mine), and the fact is, if something is really, really popular with a different generation, chances are the X factor that is keeping you from enjoying it isn’t the thing you hate, it’s you. SO, without any further ado, here’s a little primer for my peers. I’m gonna explain to you exactly what’s so good about a lot of the shit that your nephews love, that you claim is garbage. Ready? Good. First up:
Twerking: This is women shaking their asses and simulating intercourse in a dynamic and robust way. IF you can ignore the visceral thrill of butts bobbling around like that (and how can you?!?!?) you should still probably appreciate it from a perspective of pure athleticism. Here’s a little test: Get some of your friends in their 30s together. Get kinda drunk. Next, put an instructional ‘how to twerk’ video on youtube. Marvel at how not easy it is to do once everyone starts trying. Now watch the girls in the video. Feel that? That’s your dick being terrified by the dick equivalent of the worlds fastest, most awesome roller coaster. Twerking wastes no time in physically implying that dicks stand no chance. Asses have all the power in the twerkiverse and dicks lucky enough to get invited aboard should just hold on for dear life, and expect no mercy. That’s as subversively anti-penis as a hip hop dance about butts gets. It’s also super hot, and that’s enough to make it great art in my book. Yes, it’s sleazy. When did you get too good for sleaze, you fucking nun?
Dubstep: This shit sounds like noise, sure. It’s not Foghat. Here’s the thing though: Foghat stinks. Classic rock sounded like screeching cacophony in relation to the totally boring music that came before it, and dubstep is just taking that to the next level. I’m not suggesting you need to put Skrillex on and love it or anything, but if you can’t at least understand why music that bums out everyone over thirty and sounds like a rhythmic, danceable version of a bunch of robots killing themselves is appealing to weirdos then your imagination is dead.
Mumford and Sons (etc): I guess this one is out of place because plenty of dipshits my age like this garbage. Here’s what I can say about old Mumford and his brood of incredibly dull progeny: They’re like a dinner theater version of A Mighty Wind without the sense of humor, and watered down, overly emotive versions of things that were good fifty years ago are essentially new again. Look, I guess these guys shouldn’t even be on this list. My aunt likes Mumford and Sons. I see why she does. The lady that grooms our dogs likes Mumford and Sons. They’re older women with adult children. You like mom music. Is it worse than Skrillex? Nah. Is it better? No. It is not.
Those Assholes With Beards and Mustaches and Monocles and Shit: Aaaaaah, the hipster. Everyone hates the hipster, whether it’s the beardo, the twirly stached, the barista, the bike shop dude, or the mixologist. They’re all the same: they wear those annoying sleeve bands and have tattoos that are half oldschool army tattoos and half nonsense (an eagle clutching a steak in its talons with a banner that says ‘Spring Break’ is a tattoo idea that I just came up with that I think one of you should get) and generally they look like 1920’s hobos riding around on pennyfarthings and they think you suck. Well, here’s the thing: they kind of look cool. The 20’s were awesome and the only decades in recorded western culture where facial hair on dudes wasn’t coiffed and maximized for radness were the 50’s (super lame), the 80’s (awesome, and we’ll get back to this), and the fucking 90’s (nu metal, modern hippies, alt rock, fred durst). Hipster face culture has just returned to the sanity of every other decade minus the two turd decades (50’s and 90’s) and spruced in TONS of 80’s for good measure. The 80’s had incredible music, movies and subversive culture. Imagine if they’d been smart enough to keep their uncles’ 70’s mustaches around for all that? Well, these hipster kids are showing you what that mashup may have looked like. I know. They’re dicks. Are you trying to tell me you weren’t a dick when you were 23? Pfft.
Insane Clown Posse: I don’t really like the smell that my nose invents when I think about what it would be like to stand next to a juggalo or two. I’m not a huge fan of junk food or disgusting, drippy sloth or wiry, beef jerky looking dudes asking to see my old lady’s tits, but man, oh man, how cool is it that they all found each other and exist in an easily quarantinable subsect of humanity where they can get super high and listen to mind numbingly dumb music together in the middle of the woods? I had my face juggalo-ized recently for a music video, and putting that paint on was fun. It didn’t look or feel ‘cool’ to me, but I can see why it may to someone else. I also back the notion of inclusion and family that ICP espouses. It’s way better than any other message I’ve ever gotten out of pop culture. ICP is okay with me. Whoop…ahem…Woop, indeed.
New Scary Drugs: Krokodil isn’t real enough to be scared of and it’s not new. People have been melting down pills and trying to shoot them and fucking themselves up with under-the-sink home pharmacies forever. Krokodil ain’t nothing but a good old fashioned media scare. So is Bath Salts. Bath Salts are just clean meth with a slightly different compound that makes em a little harder to ban. That guy who ate that bum: he was high on weed and homebrewed craziness. There were no bath salts. That was a media narrative that was conveniently dropped when his toxicology reports came back. No kids are doing anything any scarier than they’ve always done. They’re still driving drunk and shooting heroin and cooking meth. Those things are all bad. They’re also not new, and not in danger of being replaced by things made with pee, or things that make you eat strange faces. People like you and me (marketing dipshits in our 30’s) make up stories like those to terrify our parents into watching the news. That’s all it is. Relax. Remember jenkem (google if you dare)? Krokodil and bath salts are one click more real than jenkem. No more being scared of bullshit, kay? Good.
Those dumb super high waisted pants everyone is wearing: Nah…can’t back these. Sorry. That shit just doesn’t look good. Eh, prove me wrong, I guess.
Listen, I gotta go, but this was a good start. The Lawrence Arms is leaving tomorrow for our Midwestern tour. You should come out and hang. Personally, I think it’s gonna be a real gas. Okay, love you guys! xoxoxoxo