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June 18, 2024

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A Brief Exegisis on the State of Affairs
By: Bernadette Giacomazzo

Let's face it, I'm stuck at the tail end of the decade whose post-metal anti-hero, Kurt Douglas Cobain, killed himself before the world could appreciate the fruits of his labors. A shame, too, because now the younger generation will look upon him the same way that people of my generation look at someone like Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix -- two men who were larger than life, lives cut short by a drug-induced end(well, at least we know for certain in Hendrix's case; it's been inferred that Morrison's former flame had a bit more to do with his untimely demise than some Doors fans would like to believe), and whose only testimonial to the men they once were is the revolutionary music they left behind -- music which, by all accounts, can take us to another world within our minds, with or without the help of psychedelic drugs.


No one born after 1980 will be old enough to remember what it felt like to listen to Kurt speak -- that raspy voice that seemed to induce orgasmic ecstasy(or whatever they knew of it) in the preteens, the exposure of angst buried by the years of Reaganomics, cocaine, cock rock and disco in the young adults, and the death knell for all we knew before in the popular culture in the older adults.

Kurt Cobain brought forth a sound that hadn't been heard outside of Seattle--the Sub Pop recordings cloaked in flannel that eventually became known as GRUNGE MUSIC. These days, the kids think of Days of the New and Silverchair as grunge music, as though Generation X would even consider spending its collective free time drooling over a slack-jawed cretin named Daniel Johns(for the record, you brats, we were too busy being self-absorbed. One of my generation could not give a rat's hairy ass about some pimple-popping preteen's centerfold in *Tiger Beat*). These kids will never understand the importance, the beauty, and the soul that the music of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Mother Love Bone brought to us.

Kurt Cobain and the early forefathers(and before my feminist friends jump on my hide, foremothers -- you really can't forget the music of L7, Seven Year Bitch, and the Gits) of grunge rock sounded the death knell for the cock rock bands like Poison, Twisted Sister, or -- Goddess be with us --Motley Crue. Kurt didn't give a shit about what music fit the format, and he certainly wasn't up for shaking his penis in the face of barely-legal fans or trying to get a quick piece of tail; he, in fact, kicked the collective cock rock machine in the balls the hardest when he married Hole front-bytch Courtney Love, a woman who was the antithesis of every pretty remora in teased hair and slouched socks that populated the arenas of hair bands(and were supposedly the women of every one of the frontmen's ultimate sexual fantasy; I could never imagine Courtney's decidedly feminist outlook complementing Brett Michaels' rampant misogyny). In his music and private life, Kurt Cobain stood to topple the hair metal machine that was fueled by the disco era as much as it was by Reaganomics--and did it all with such a quiet regard, you didn't know it was being destroyed until the machine actually collapsed, and then it landed with such a sonic BOOM that you couldn't help but notice it.

And if he could see what was happening now, he'd shit.

Consumerism, on account of the booming economy, is back in good shape, and none could emphasize this better than the mass Spice Girls machine. On one hand, you can't help but applaud them for being their own Svengalis and even showing a sense of humor about it(dig Sporty Spice's naively acerbic comment to Rich Bitch Spice about her clothing predicament -- 'Must be really hard to decide whether to wear the little Gucci dress, the little Gucci dress, OR the little Gucci dress.' -- suffice to say that she and the Scary Spice display the most talent of the quintet), but you also can't help but smack them stupid whenever they attempt to explain how *smart* they are -- no, *really*!

Here's a hint, girls -- the truly intelligent minds speak for themselves. And while I applaud you good-hearted(but naive) attempts to permeate the prepubescent subconscious with chants of GIRL POWER and a Brit-pop like awareness of the world, just remember that it's the ACTIONS that speak louder than the words(or songs, whatever you prefer). In other words, if you admire Diana Princess of Wales so much, do as she did and get your hands dirty in the fields where no one else would dare to go if you want to earn the respect of the world community. Just be sure to ditch the Rich one first, since we don't want to risk breaking a nail upon detonating a land mine.

And please, let Gloria Steinham and Betty Friedan (and Bernadette Giacomazzo!) be the voices of feminism. We'd appreciate it, since we don't normally have to put our foot in our mouth after we make a statement.

Then we have cases of nepotism, i.e., the Wallflowers. Now, Bob Dylan was, and always will be, the Allen Ginsberg of music. He was attractive, arguably gorgeous in a neo-beatnik sort of way, and could dictate verse and poetry like none other, with rhythm and blues and rock and jazz and pop and soul. Think "All Along the Watchtower". Jakob Dylan is attractive, but if "One Headlight" is his "Highway 61 Revisited", we don't have much to look forward to on the Wallflowers third album. Yes, Jakob is talented--definitely has a richer voice than his father--but the content of the music is strictly AM radio. Bob Seeger has more breadth.

Jakob--perhaps we should consider focusing on the music than batting our eyes for the latest Rolling Stone shoot. And instead of riding Daddy's wave of success, perhaps we should consider making our own wake. Your voice is good--put it to proper use.

Finally, and most importantly, we come to the greatest pimple on the collective ass of the music world--Gwen Stefani and Her Pimps, aka No Doubt. I don't care if they WERE around before the Red Hot Chili Peppers--they HAVE NO TALENT. For the love of the Gods and all that are sacred, LISTEN to the shit they call ska, and then try to find the TRUE ska of the early Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Specials, and even early XTC. Comparing the two is like comparing Mr. Ed with Secretariat. Gwen and her toadies neither have the style, the finesse, nor the talent to purport themselves into the legendary of the Specials, per se. If she would spend more time prepping and less time primping, she might have a chance.

But I always found it interesting that No Doubt didn't become famous until the subsequent release of the gynophobic "Just a Girl" and her subsequent relationship with Bush front-bauble Gavin Rossdale. A real convenient mix to propel her to stardom and admiration of the under-15 crowd. Notice how it never focused on her talent.

Gwen, Gwen, Gwen. Three words, honey: GET A LIFE. And another four: SHUT THE FUCK UP. Some of us have more things to worry about than our boyfriends, our hair, our nails, and our makeup. Some of us have this little thing called RESPECT, and you can scream about how you're "on our side" all you want -- it's not gonna happen to you. You're too focused on being a bimbo, a tits-and-ass show, a revele about the stretch marks around your mark from blowing Gavin and the rest of Interscope records until you couldn't taste sweets, a disgrace to the REAL wymyn of rock --Janis Joplin, Courtney Love, Pat Benetar, Joni Mitchell, Selene Vigil --consider going back to your original job as dime-store mannequin. I'm sick of your whining us back into the Stone Age with your "pretty and petite" proclamations and the focus on your hair rather than your brain.

Oh, Kurt, we hardly knew ye.

And that, friends and neighbors, is the state of the world today.

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