2012-04-15

 

Respect my Authenticitah!

I believe the genesis of generation X is the Disco/Punk attitude: an ingrained disdain for authority. Disco and Punk kids alike, who were often the same kids, rejected the authority of self-indulgent Rock Gods and post-war politicians and social codes alike. That's why the musical god for both Disco and Punk kids is often Bowie. He rejected the idea of being a Rock divinity by constantly changing, thus avoiding the Rock pretense of holier-than-thou authenticity, which is how it establishes its authority. Bowie was interested in exploring different roles, never authenticity---which is often shitty as Chilly Gonzalez would put it. So, instead of cashing in on his authority as the Ziggy Stardust rock god, he switched to pre-Disco music for "Young Americans". Some never understood how the Ziggy character itself was a mockery of Rock stardom, and felt betrayed.

 Gen Xers are like that. We find authenticity and the authority it demands to be phony. We were the first truly global generation, rejecting both the authority of nationalist politicians and the local-activism of hippies---both a form of self-aggrandizing authenticity. This is why the same punks who were behind Rock-against-racism, made Live Aid, not Woodstock. Not to establish some authentic definition of ourselves, but simply to try to achieve palpable results. Who cares if it is real? Just make it work and let me be.

 I am afraid I am Gen X for ever; this Disco/Punk rejection of the authority of authenticity is deeply ingrained. That's why it is so hard for me to fall behind the "diversity" line. It is so phony, especially in academia; I reject its authenticitah and its authoritah, as those great Punk/GenX comedians would say:


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