If we come together as a nation, we can get through this too

As Matthew Walther points out, rock ‘n roll died years ago anyway:

Fast forward to 2021 and it is difficult to escape the conclusion that rock is dead, and so is the spirit that made it possible. Today popular musicians are just an extension of the professional and managerial classes. Their job is to reinforce the elite worldview, not to question it. Try to imagine Keith Moon of The Who, whose hobbies included driving sports cars into swimming pools, taking masking seriously, or Janis Joplin eagerly announcing that she had been injected with something other than heroin because the president told her she should.

What the death of rock shows us is that the cultural revolution to which it was among the greatest contributors is over. There is a new establishment in place, and popular music exists to prop up the consensus it has established, not to overthrow or even to question it in the mildest possible terms. This is why instead of praising her as a rebel, the liberal media establishment has heaped scorn on Nicki Minaj for expressing doubts about vaccines, which are widespread among African Americans.

Walther’s essay is worth reading in full but he falls into a trap now snaring a lot of tyranny-fatigued commentators of a libertarian bent. The fault in seeing the Moons and the Joplins as exemplars of a more freedom-loving time is that it was narcissistic relativists like them who destroyed the ideal of abiding social cohesion in the first place. Their heirs – whose talents have diminished with every generation since – view society as nothing but a confederation of ‘identity’ festishists aggrieved by what remains of reality.

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3 Responses to If we come together as a nation, we can get through this too

  1. John H. says:

    Rick Beato on Youtube makes a similiar lament. When I go to the gym Spotify is blaring out. The music is so bland. Popular music today is consumed by market imperatives. Many of the great bands in the past ignored the market and carved out their own style. Another aspect to think about is that the genre has been around so long now that it is mostly derivative. Apparently there are studies which indicate since the turn of the century the complexity and originality of popular music has declined. It doesn’t worry me because there is so much good music to be heard.

  2. rosie says:

    Musicians are not my role models , most lyrics are nonsense and their opinions are no more profound that those of the man on the Clapham bus.
    I get that they are a form of royalty.

    I’ve heard of Silverchair though I couldnt identify a single tune, the Silver Chair by C S Lewis is more my thing.

  3. Shy Ted says:

    Time for electric chair. For you know who. What’ the plural of who? Dictionary says there isn’t one. Pollies and journos and selected public servants. I’m happy to select.

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