Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lamentation for a Generation

With scorn engraved around the circumference of my irises I pulled away from my eMachines, short intermittent flames emanating from inside the caverns locked under the scalp. Doves of veneration drowning in my tears of brine, carcasses ripped asunder by Osiris himself, screams silenced by an echo in the key of fuck you.

It had been an adventure, an exploration in how stretched boundaries can become; limits left behind on a bus heading for Copenhagen. “King Diamond,” shouted the travellers, high on coconut and symmetrical molars, “you broke the oath, you adjured nothing. Now we’re packing six and twenty, plus a sneaky fifty, each complete with monikers stolen from Mercyful Fate song titles.” They had Eddie Vedder tattooed on their knuckles and were last seen crossing the Belgian border.

Turned out it was Bebo all along, and Charlton Heston was not pleased.

Bebo staggered through the fogs carrying with it a large crate labelled 16 to 25. It rocked occasionally, and sometimes recognisable flutterings were heard from its interior. Desert rot had set in by the time it was deposited on my lawn, fungi copulated in its far-reaching corners, and a putrid odour graced the extremity. I had no idea as I searched for my crowbar what contents I expected to release. Connotations derived from Hammer Horror and Basketcase made me lean towards the negative, but I was curious. Never had such a monstrosity been in my possession; I was compelled by King Diamond’s imprudent oath, it had me by the jangleys rendering me helpless.

The Bebo crate took little labour to rupture, once its northern edge was splintered the rest sheepishly followed suit. Only the engulfing mass of Hades could have truly prepared me for the substances bursting forth, atmospheres of molten degeneracy seeped, no, streamed out from its residence. It attached itself to me within seconds; I could feel the perverse titillation stirring everywhere.

Inside that Bebo structure was the horror of a generation. It was those poor souls spurted out the wombs in the 80s, raised on Transformers and Mega Drives, now populating higher educational facilities across the western world. And what of them?

Hunter S wrote of the Generation of Swine, the money-hungry architects of Reaganomics and proxy conflict, now we have a generation of shit jumping up and down in our laps. Who are these persons? They are the vast majority of the inhabitants of Bebo, born generic and raised as monotonous drones, they rove the digital landscape posting comments about how much alcohol they consumed the previous evening, or how they’re bored and oh so mad. “Look at me,” they holler, “I’m just a big pile of frenzied insanity!”

Culture absent from all but the most rare individual. Music consisting of “oh, anything really, James Blunt, rap, dance, and stuff, I’ll listen to anything really.” Translated this roughly equates to “I don’t like music.” Film choices revolve around Anchorman, and those films by those guys we can’t talk about. Sport categories are often burgeoning with various throw, kick, hit games, what joy. Books? Well anyway. Usually these things are topped with “I do marketing at university, and it’s crap, and I can’t wait till I finish.” Far be it for me to suggest that there may be interesting subjects in the realm of tertiary education…I’ll leave it there.

Dancing effigies of Family Guy and shots of mass-produced alcohol were the last things to gallop their way out from the shadows. It was then I realised this is the new generation of middle management, drab and dull, feasting on trips to Ayia Napa, and discussing exploits so banal as to cause fissures in the anatomy of Coldplay themselves.

This May afternoon, with tea leaves burning my hands, and Pain Of Salvation orchestrals gushing from nearby speakers, I do nothing beyond despairing at these people, misanthropic atoms engulf my keyboard. Although I must let it be known that I’m mainly musing over the UK portions of this generation, what with them being the ones I’m most accustomed with. And also I should state that there are exceptions to this model, there are people who are interesting, witty and intelligent, and I praise them. Plus I’m aware that being my age puts me precisely at the centre of this generation; I can only hope that some football-loving jock somewhere is blogging up a commentary on pretentious culture-whores.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Duke De Mondo said...

ha! my god, what misanthropic splendor! i doubt i've encountered such a venemous screed on Mugwump, and oh what glorious venom!! hah, "the janglys" "pretentious culture whores"!!! alive with Alive and disdain! marvellous.

4:33 pm  
Blogger Miss Templeton said...

Golly! Only last week I had to register at Bebo to retrieve the photo files of a young Cork garage band called Physical Graffitti -- and I'd better post those soon or there will be terse emails demanding instant response in my inbox, won't there? -- and I thought "Ah...another one of these Virtual Social Networks that is part of the phenomenon of Web 2.0. (First Conference on Web 2.0 was October 5.7, 2005 at the Argent Hotel, San Francisco).

But back to Bebo. You capture well the mock-humble profile of the person desperately wanting not to seem to care if we care, but caring very much if we don't.

It all opens up the questions of discovering one's personality in this age of instant emoticons, profile gifs, and so on. And that just gives me the excuse to plug a book recommended by today's Powell's Books (Seattle) Review-A-Day which is entitled Hello, I'm Special: How Individuality Became the New Conformity by Hal Niedzviecki.

So just an elaborate way to spread a little Northwest promotion.

Hope the dissertation went well.

11:30 pm  
Blogger Aaron Fleming said...

That sounds like a good book, a 'fair ole read' they might say. And that's interesting about the relations these internet social devices have with issues of identity, there's a thesis in that for sure.

And the dissertation went satisfactorily, thank you.

4:07 pm  

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