The evolution of music seems to be going backwards. I know every generation supposedly has its own sound and form of expression. Although with the advent of American Idol and UTube, there’s a lot of strange expression going on. I’m not saying that many of these kids don’t have talent, but so do a million others.
In the past, the great ones stood out from the crowd. They had to actually have singing ability, not just an abundance of risqué tattoos or brightly dyed hair. The one-hit-wonders soon disappeared off the face of the earth. Today, so many young people seem to get record deals with little or no talent. It must be who you know. “Your mother was on season three of The Amazing Race? Then by all means, you must know how to sing.”
In the late fifties, Elvis Presley began his reign as King of Rock and Roll. In the sixties, the Beatles took us down Penny Lane for a ride on the Yellow submarine. I was just a baby then, so I don’t recall much of that trip. In the seventies and eighties, Michael Jackson’s pants kept getting shorter and shorter and he lost one of his pretty sequined gloves, but he could thrill us like no other with his moonbeam walking and crotch grabbing flare. Then his nose fell off and he started wearing that strange Johnny Depp hairdo from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and things definitely spiraled from there. The only music I remember from the nineties is country. Shania Twain and others like her turned the old twang on its ear and started a country revolution.
Now it’s a new century and instead of greater musicians being discovered, we have children barely out of diapers, cute little tots with big eyes and terrible acting abilities (perfect specimens for the Disney channel), given lucrative opportunities they have certainly not earned, and subsequently turned into bratty, little, overnight millionaires.
What really bugs me is when you have to hear a kid—who has yet to hit puberty—sing about a broken heart and relationship. That’s just creepy. Twelve-year-olds are too young to have “relationships.” They’re too young to have experienced much of anything besides collecting Happy Meal toys and getting into amusement parks for a reduced price because of their short stature. I don’t want to hear them sing about things they’re too young to understand.
Justin Bieber is a prime example of this absurdity. I heard he was sixteen, but I don’t believe it. He doesn’t look a day over ten. Who listens to his music?? Second graders? He’s too young to have zits yet, and his voice isn’t even close to changing. He has cute little bangs that hang over his eyes—sort of a miniature Davy Jones from the Monkees. His picture is plastered all over magazines in grocery stores like a little pet up for adoption. Maybe they’re hoping some harried housewife is shopping for a fifth child.
Then there is Miley Cyrus, a girl without acting or singing ability, but with a daddy who obviously knows how to grease palms. She started out on a silly Disney channel program and became every ten-year-old girl’s fantasy – Hannah Montana. Now she seems to be moving toward becoming every teenage boy’s fantasy by slowly morphing into another ex-disney-girl clone. If you don’t have talent, just fake it, dress trashy, and party till the cows drop dead.
They say middle-aged folks have all the money, but they promote these underage entertainers as though grade school children and twenty-something deadbeats control the purse strings. And I guess in some respects, they do. They don’t earn it, but they definitely get what they want.
Sometimes I feel like we’re living in the Disney Magic Kingdom where no one ever ages. The names change, but the faces all look about the same. Just keep spinning around and around and around in that giant teacup, singing, It’s a small, small world. The g-forces will wipe away all your cares and wrinkles in no time.