Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Essay: "Our Generation"

I was laying in bed sick for two days this week. This means I had almost zero interaction with anyone but my immediate family and my doctor who doesn't even remember me. This led me to do very boring stuff at a very limited pace and time since, well, I was sick and could not move very well.

It was also time for me to catch up on the old DVDs I bought for my mom and dad that I haven't seen yet. I saw the Simon and Garfunkel Live in Central Park Concert DVD on tuesday. I knew that S and G were for the least part, THE Poets of their generation. I didn't realize until then how much of poets these two really were, until I saw them play 10 straight songs. A few weeks ago we also saw a Peter, Paul and Mary DVD. I was also witness to the power and relevance of their songs and how they represented my parents' generation. My mom would often comment on my musical taste saying "our music" was just noise and senseless lyrics. I always dismissed that as a case of the much balleyhooed "generation gap". Upon further inspection... and introspection. I think there may be a chance that mom was actually right. In fact, I believe now, more than before that she was.

Their generation's music was full of heart, inspiration, rebellion and hopes for a better future. Simon and Garfunkel have a song called "America" which speaks of one's undying devotion to their motherland despite the deconstruction of it's government and ignorance of it's people. It's a song that believes in itself. P, P and M have a song that talks about "...their nation's children living in fear". A very accurate prophecy considering the burgeoning culture of fear that's dominating the minds and hearts of the free world. Our generation's songs are full of jaded words written by corporate lyricists or narcotic induced self proclaimed artists . Topics range from how it "SUCKS TO BE FAMOUS" or "how I hate my mom (or myself)". And if it's not about that, its about "going to the disco, getting stoned, and/or getting laid", you know...the important things in life.
There are exceptions, of course (guys like Josh Groban and those Corr sisters) . Talking about peace and love in this generation will seem corny and "untrue", and may be accused as corporately inspired. But why?

Let me show you what I think.

"You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your f***ing khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."
-Tyler Durden ("Fight Club")

Anyone who has seriosly followed "Fight Club" and the writings of Chuck Palanhiuk knows when and where in the movie (and book) this quote was stated by Tyler Durden. Whe was he referring to? Sadly, He was referring to us. The MTV generation.

My parents were in college during the Vietnam war. They were also very active (being UP coeds) in speaking the Marcos regime. In a time when there was so much oppression and opposition for what was good and true, they were in the forefront, our folks, our uncles their friends and drinking partners. They had buddes who got killed in rallies, brothers who got shot in the jungles by the "Charlie". They loved their songs because to them, they were more than just songs. They were the expression of their most real desires. Freedom. Peace and Love.

What did we have?

"How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?"

"Our generation has had no Great Depression, no Great War. Our war is a spiritual war. Our depression is our lives"

-Tyler Durden ("Fight Club")

MTV. That's what we had. We had our silly heads glued to that set all day. The violence that we know is second hand knowledge from Oliver Stone and CounterStike. The rush of freedom that we felt came from hearing Mel Gibson screaming his lungs out. We never had wars of our own to fight. We just saw them on CNN.

But why all this angst and frustration? We're free aren't we?

"We're designed to be hunters and we're in a society of shopping. There's nothing to kill anymore, there's nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that social emasculation this 'everyman' is created."

-Tyler Durden ("Fight Club")

We are no different physiologically and psychologically from our predecessors. We're just trapped in the malls and cant get out.

TV has promised us that if we drink Ginebra we can get jiggy with Mau Larazzabal and that if you use Ponds you can be as cute and pretty as Karel Marquez. MTV has promised us that we can all be rockstars. Now that we're all grown up working 9 to 5 in Ortigas, we realize that we've been had. And now we're pissed.

That's where, in my opinion, the angst is coming from. That's why our songs are so full of anger and hate. The thing is we really don't know what we are angry about. We're just punching into air.

That's why our songs suck.

I think I'm popping in that Simon and Garfunkel CD again....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are the blessed generation.

All that's left for us to do is to conquer the seemingly unconquerable... ourselves.

4:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

call me old or corny but hey I love peter paul and mary and simon and gurfunkel!!! i used to have their TAPES (hahahaha!)

btw, Gay got me hooked with this chinese stuff...can i borrow your Sympathy for lady Vengeance dvd?

7:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

oopppsssiiiee -thats me hundun :)

7:44 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ang cheesy naman ng remark nung nasa itaas ^_^

Anyhow, Jacob Paul's musings are very interesting. (I'm a big fan of S&G and PP&M myself.) Nagkataong ang binabasa ko ngayon ay ang "Olive Tree and the Lexus", maagang analysis ng globaliseysyon. 'Yung analysis ng author ay akmang akma sa henerasyong dinedeskrayb ni Jacob Paul. Inaanalays ng may-akda ang cultural brainswashing sa pagtatapos ng Cold War, kung saan ang dalawang sentro dati (democracy vs. communism, America vs. Germany, "advocacy" vs. "personal development", etc.) ay naging isa dahil sa pagsesentralays ng ideya ng "economiya" at "pagunlad" ayon sa mga adhikain ng mga Amerika, na di maitatangging nagiisang "power" sa kasalukuyan. Sa tingin ko, ang comment nung nasa itaas ay pagpapatunay lamang na at least dito sa Pilipinas, successful ang nasabing brainwashing. Walang kalaban. Walang problema. Magsimula sa sarili at magtrabaho para umunlad ang buhay mo.

Wala akong problema sa ganitong pagiisip. Ako man ay isang empleyado lang. Ang maitatanong ko lang siguro, wala nga ba tayong problema? Wala nga bang gera? Wala nga bang "pinapatay?" Baka naman meron, hindi lang natin pansin dahil in the process, nagiging "maunlad" ang buhay. Sa Vietnam noon, umalingawngaw ang protesta ng mundo dahil kitang kita na buhay ang kapalit. Ngayon, tahimik lang tayong lahat dahil, well, nakikinabang tayo pansamantala. May trabaho tayo. May pera. May pantustos sa pangangailangan.

Kung sisilipin mo nga lang sa mas malawak na pananaw, anong uri nga ba ito ng "pagunlad?" Hindi ba't foreshadowing ito ng mundong napapanood natin sa pelikula, kung saan ang lahat ng tao ay well-fed clone, na sumusunod sa "iisang sistema?" Maganda tignan ang mundong puno ng mga passive. Lahat ng mga tao'y hell bent sa "pagiimprove ng kanilang sarili." Hindi lang nila nakikita, ang pananaw na ito ay para lamang sa kapakanan ng nagiisang sentro, na hindi friendly sa reklamo.

Empleyado ako sa isang Amerikanong kumpanya, gaya ng libo-libong tao na sing-edad ko. Kailangan ko, dahil kung hindi magugutom ako. Pero hindi dahil sheltered ako't nakikinabang sa ngayon ay hindi na ako magiisip -- at magiilusyong sa akin umiikot ang mundo. Dahil alam kong hindi. Dahil maski sa pagbili ng mumurahing cellphone ay hindi na ako makatulog kapag naaalala kong hanggang ngayon inuutakan pa rin ang mga magsasaka't 'di nakapagaral. Gusto kong isipin, o magilusyon (walang masama roon) na balang araw, ang anumang mapagaralan ko ay mapapakinabangan rin ng mga hindi nakapagaral.

Pinagisip ako ng sinulat ni Jacob Paul, at binurat ng passivity nung nagsalitang una. Ang dami ko tuloy nasabi ^_^ Hindi ko maipaliwanag kung bakit ang umaalingawngaw sa isip ko ngayon ay 'yung dulang "Death of a Salesman." Mas mahalaga ang taong patay kaysa taong buhay.

- Allan and Jane

8:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Yun nga palang sinabi ko ay reksyon sa nagsabing "We are the blessed generation...", (si Len ba yun?) hindi sa sinabi ni Hundun, unless siya nga ang nagsulat noon. Nampotsa, mas mahaba pa pala yung comment ko sa blog entry ni Jacob Paul hehe. Sori Jacob Paul (and Jane...)
-Allan and Jane

8:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do i feel guilty all of a sudden?

it just shows how 'mababaw' our generation is. i personally am guilty of getting my brains fried from watching mtv or too much violence in movies. we are nothing but shopaholics, mtv-addicts, gimmickeros, computergame freaks, etc. sad, but true.

pray tell, what can we do about it?


10:43 PM

Blogger drei said...

i really like fight club. kasama sa top 10 of all time!

regarding our generation's pop culture, i don't think it's that bad. i of course love a lot of the old ones, esp sa jazz, but i still find time to appreciate the great culture of the present. kanya kanyang style lang.

sana magaling ka na. :D

1:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dami nagreact ah. Madami guilty. nice. fRANCh

6:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

uy hanep sa hugot ah...from s&g down to our culture and thinking.
that's what we call does reflect our times...our ways and our means.

gen x nga kung tawagin."tayo" ang bida. i think it was a means for us to indulge in the trivias of life and not on the main issues...

hindi man natin maisip at maramdaman ang pangangailangan ngayon, i think darating din ang panahon (oi! narinig ko na to!!!!) na mauuntog na lang tayo sa katotohonang nakapalibot sa atin... na hindi nga "tayo" ang bida.

just my dos sentimos...for all its worth.

-mabuihay ka allan and jane...san si sarah nga pala? :D

4:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey paul! way to go mannn...u'v got style..tumitindi ang pagsusulat natin ah... bow me sau :)

4:05 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home