It's the god damn music they listen to, and will be listening to for decades.
Let me explain.
A couple of days ago, I was in the Bulk Barn that opened up close to me. (For years I was concerned that BB was owned by Loblaws, which is owned by the Weston family, who is close with the Fraser Institute, who supports private schools. Apparently not, though.) As I walked into the store, their background music was about a minute and a half into "Stairway To Heaven" which is, of course, one of the most famous and possibly the best rock song ever made.
It was released in late 1971, which is a little more than 41 years ago.
The girl at the cash seemed to me as if she'd grown up here -- if you spent your formative years on a walnut farm in Mongolia, you can be forgiven for not knowing about Stairway -- so I thought I'd give her a little pop quiz (and no, there is no "off" position on the teacher-switch). She looked to be about maybe 16 or so.
Me: "The song that's just finishing up now on the speakers. Do you know what that is?"
Her: "Uh... not really, no."
Me: "Yeah, I sorta thought that would be the case. It's called 'Stairway To Heaven,' and it's by a band called Led Zeppelin."
Her: "Oh yeah, that sounds sorta familiar. I remember my dad talking about them once."
Listen... I know we're in good hands with the generations that follow us. There are a hell of a lot of fantastic kids who will accomplish things we never even dreamt possible. They will invent, innovate, think, create and explore, and they'll build upon and eventually surpass our accomplishments. But, for fuck's sakes, they should know god damn Stairway.
This got me thinking about music being released today. I realize that there's a reason "classic rock" radio stations exist, and that's because baby boomers want to hear the same songs they've heard ever since they were 18, so they can relive the parts of their lives that didn't suck, and for a few minutes they can think about that chick Lisa they boned in the back of their parents' Datsun up on Lovers Hill after the Under The Sea dance and it was totally awesome, and oh yeah I saw Lisa at the church pot-luck last month, damn she's put on a bit of weight but she looks good after having the four kids and the spleen-replacement surgery, and I wonder if she still puts out like she did back then, damn that was groovy.
(Not to say all boomers' lives suck. I'm caricaturizing, because that's what an older kid told me writers do.)
But honestly, what are the kids today going to reminisce about when they get older?
- "Wow, 'My Humps' is on the space-radio! That song really had a lot of merit."
- "I think I'll buy and cranially-download the entire My Chemical Romance discography. *blinkblink* Ooooh, now that's a generalized malaise and feeling of ennui I haven't felt in decades."
- "Hey, Ke$ha joined the 27 Club, right? Yeah, I thought so."