The Geek Icon
Rock 'n Roll, rebellious, crazy... I've got a loud angry soul.
Stickin' it to the MAN
If I can't be a pirate when I grow up, my "Plan B" is to be an indie rock star. Hopefully more Metal Steve than Indie Rock Pete. Tuesday night's viewing of The School of Rock renewed my zeal for such a career path, coupled with the crazy Mancusian grooves from a rented 24 Hour Party People last weekend.
Party People was fun and interesting; School was both silly and inspiring. Both were pretty different in style and intended audience. Both boiled down to how music transforms the listener. Party People traces hugely popular New Wave bands like New Order and Joy Division and raver culture spawners Happy Mondays back to one small Sex Pistols concert in Manchester, with an audience of some forty odd people. And of course a big part of the plot of School involves a bunch of prep school kids turned rock band led by Jack Black loosen up their frenetic ambitious parents and wound-tighter-than-a-spring school principal, reminding them of what it was like when they used to have fun and express themselves.
And we all know how rock 'n roll is supposed to transform us. Rock's about rebellion, but I really enjoyed how School took it a step further and made it about rejecting those values in our culture that need to be rejected. I got caught up in the spirit of that. Screw you, George Walker Bush, and your big hard on for corporations and making more money for you and your friends. Screw bad commercials that pretend we don't have a brain and expect us to sell our dignity for useless products. Screw materialism, greed, cynicism, superficiality.
The other thing that made both School and Party People great was that it wasn't just the musicians themselves that made rock happen. Everyone has an important part to play: managers, people funding the bands, fans & groupies, roadies, band security. Rock is about a community, and we don't just have to glorify the music makers, because they'd still be in their languishing in their garages without all the other people to make it happen. One of the things that's distasteful about pop superstars à la Britney S is that it's all about the diva (or divo as the case may be? what's a male diva, anyway?). Fans of Britney don't seem to recognize that she requires a large team effort to make her who she is-- songwriters, instrumentalists, backup singers, stylists, etc, etc, all funnelling money and effort into her musical presence. Bah, I say. If rock stars get so out of touch that they think they are the center of the music then they're not rock 'n rollers anymore.
So back to me. Heh. Yes, that was ironic.
But no, really. I'm having a spiritual moment here. I've been transformed, exalted-- I've seen the light and it is rock 'n roll. I've got a new direction for my creative output. I don't know how, since my guitar is still on another continent, but from now on, I want to rock. Maybe I can just work on writing lyrics.
Don't worry, I'm still keeping my day job.
Pirate captain. That's my day job. Yeah.