Wednesday, 10 February 2010
You are a C**T
False nostalgia is not a beast that rears it's revisionist head too often.
In fact, it might not even exist, as its entirely a term I've created (which also means it may be everywhere, just it's referred to by another legitimate name that I'm unaware of), but I digress.
The best case study i can proffer for this phenomena is the subject of the "Flock of Seagulls" Haircut, or indeed any instances involving the inclusion of "Flock of Seagulls" as an 80's reference.
It's quite common to see either the Haircut or The Band being used by all and sundry as the seminal touchstone for poor 80's style, but here's the thing...
NOBODY IN THE UK HAD A CLUE WHO "FLOCK OF SEAGULLS" WERE IN THE 80's!!!
Everybody namechecks them now of course, but no one will admit the simple fact that they hadn't heard of them till Adam Sandlers Bergmanesque 80's mood piece "The Wedding Singer" or, failing that, the episode of friends were the writers lazily copied the joke.
Yes, I'm sure that "Flock of Seagulls" probably made quite a splash in American youth culture during that decade, but really, are young Brits that starved for their own embarrassing musical heritage that they have to get it second hand from US Media?
The latest example is that pissing song by Journey (pissing in the pejorative, not a song about having a tinkle),"Don't Stop Believing".
The song has been afforded some sort of classical status almost over night.
You can't walk past (or in, as happened in an unfortunate moment of drunken bad judgement on sunday) any student / ned / lowest common denominator club or bar without hearing the MOR strains of the song, despite the fact that it should have long since become the soveriegn property of naught but Trailer Park Grandparents in their late 30's and the occasional CAMRA enthusiast.
Well Winston, seeing as you've learned to love Big Brother, i suggest you stick this in your memory hole...
YOU HEARD THE SONG ON "SCRUBS" FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!
Yes, that's right, you've sold your soul in return for a slice of the mawkish denoumant on a prime time show.
It's not something you heard when you were growing up, your mother did not "make out" with your dad in a Journey T-shirt, the song did not soundtrack your transit to the Senior Prom with the Coach's daughter in the back of Brad's Camero.
Those are not your memories, YOU ARE A REPLICANT!
You may have thought that the ultimate example of this high fidelity heresy was "Wor Jo's" version on everybody's favourite mass opiate X-Factor, but if I'm honest, I didin't mind them singing it.
If anything it just stopped them from brutalising a song I actually do care about (see Jedward's hate crime against "Under Pressure" for example).
No, the ultimate signifier of this songs birth into legitimate false consciousness was the 50 year old Taxi Driver who drove me to work the other morning.
The fact that he somehow had convinced himself that the song was and had always been close to his heart was more proof of the impermanence of memory than any of Dali's soggy clocks.
The fact that he had taken time to learn (or in his mind, re-learn) the LYRICS was cacophonic reminder that when it comes down to music, most folk are just plain naff.
The only other False nostalgia I'd like to point out is Velicoraptors.
No one had heard of them till Jurassic Park.
Before that the only dinosaurs were the T-Rex (the Gaffer), Brontosaurus (Diplodocus if you were posh), Tricerotops (which was the sworn enemy of the T-Rex according to Ray Harryhausen), Pteradactyl (Pteranadon if you were posh) and the Stegosaurus (the spiny one which ate plants and i suspect was only there to make up the numbers).
Basically, the Dinobots from the Transformers.
The fact that the Velociraptor is now the go-to Dinosaur has no social significance whatsoever... it just pisses me off.
I suppose I better stick some Music in to make sure you come back
Prime Numbers Mixtape