As a jaded and pop culture-scorned non-biodegradable byproduct of the 1980’s, one of those MTV/GenX-ers that, according to New York Magazine, are more attached to our i-technology than the “M” generation, I can’t remember which brain matter I’ve left on which train in which neighborhood, but I can remember the lyrics to 30 year old songs that once were anthems and are now just background fillers in obscure cafes. A gem of 80’s anti-excess is the R.E.M. song “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine),” which is exactly 30 years old this year, and has gone beyond classic status into full-fledged antique. Like, that’s a totally long title for a song, for sure. And why the parentheses? The “and I feel fine” part is symbolic of the end of the eighties (end of the world as we all knew it) and the parentheses are the ultimate nonchalant acquiescence to wasted youth, like, yeah, we’ve had our fun and fucked everything up and snorted away all possibilities of what once passed for the American Dream, so what? Total afterthought. I was never a big R.E.M. fan. If Michael Stipe were to ask me my top five bands of my high school experience they’d be: Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, The Cult, and Van Halen, because, as David Lee Roth once said, I don’t feel tardy. Yeah, wasted youth, that was the eighties. I know I’m leaving out Siouxsie & The Banshees and the other alt bands (imports) which we in the tweedy clove cigarette Wayfarer club danced the night away to, but Stipe asked me for my top FIVE and as anyone who knows me can attest, I am nothing if not compliant with the demands others put on me.
I also never cared for Winona Ryder, found her to be annoying and pretentious, even in the classic film “Heathers” where her character forcefully utters: “You’ll be another statistic in US-FUCKING-A-Today” which, in the hands of let’s say Marisa Tomei or Lisa Bonet, might have been a little more pleasantly memorable, only made me dislike her more. Flash forward to award show season 2017 and Winona is having a career resurrection on Netflix and gave some instantly viral meme-worthy facial expressions during a collective acceptance speech at one of the awards shows, none of which I watch anymore. The trolls are all over Winona’s alleged idisyncratic mental health management and I, not a fan, wonder in contrast if maybe she was just trying to fuck with those watching, well aware of the power of social media to make or break a bitch with one meme. Like, did Leo really get cooties from Lady Gaga? Is Kermit the Frog really drinking tea or is it something stronger? This is the most attention Winona has gotten since her unfortunate incarceration from years ago. Winona is another leftover from the 80’s, another dillentante hiding behind facial expressionism for reaction’s sake. I suppose the reason I am ragging on Winona here is because she does represent the parentheses of my generation, what we settled for when nothing better got the plum parts, the proverbial Rhoda to Molly Ringwald’s Mary. Reality Bites? No shit! Dave, won’t you tell me, where have all the good times gone?
I realize anyone reading my rants must be coming to some sad conclusions about me. Here I am with everything going for me in the greatest city in the world where in February the mildest of global warming alt-facts make the Miami Beach winter seem even more irrelevent and I can only think about two things; the hazy glamour of dirty glass retrospect and getting high on my own self-loathing. Perhaps I should be medicated? See a pro? Find a breakthrough to the other side of personal contentment while I still have the capacity to do so? But why? I go on and on about the cultural apocalyse and the constant battle with my own demons and nothing seems worth looking forward to anymore. I find no joy in anything. Even writing this down, purging my feelings in words I would never dare utter aloud, I can see that I’ve come to the inevitable fork in my pathway to the meaning of life. The reason I write and take a multitude of photos is for future reference only. The “likes” are nice but really I only create all this content for my own sake, to prove to myself that I was indeed here. Maybe I’m just a virtual crybaby. First in line at the George Carlin Complaint Dept. All the judgement and none of the cure. I used to think that the simple word acceptance was the most important part of my vocabulary, right after zero fucks and byee. I am starting to not like the word acceptance. It’s an A.A. thing. Shit happens, etc. My reaction is my only responsibility. My reaction lately is complete apathy. I don’t read the news anymore because of Trump. I hate watching TV and movies, well, we know movies are basically dead until Tarantino comes out with his next masterpiece in five or ten years. What to do in the meantime? I can only take so many photos of NYC street scenes before they start to lose their meaning. Yeah, it’s art. But what is art?
Morale of today’s diatribe? Michael Stipe and Winona Ryder and David Lee Roth have their qualities, they’re fellow members of this human race to nothing. But really, I give less than zero fucks. It’s finally happened, I have become the nihilist I always knew I was. How much longer can I pass this off as artistic angst? Morale of diatribe doesn’t exist. beLIEve it.