By the end of the decade it had become obvious that perhaps the one constant of our variegated and strung-out peer groups was a pervasive sense of self-consciousness that sent us in grouchy packs to ugly festivals just to be together and dig ourselves and each other, as if all of this meant something greater than that we were kids who liked rock 'n' roll and came out to have a good time, as if our very styles and trappings and drugs and jargon could be in themselves political statements for any longer than about fifteen stoned seconds, even a threat to the Mother Country! So we loved and loved and doted on ourselves and our reflections in each other even as the whole thing got out of hand and turned into mud and disaster areas and downs and death.
The ultimate sin of any performer is contempt for the audience.
All the proliferating falsifications of what I and everyone I know experienced once in what it is now so convenient to call the "fifties" or "sixties," as if life was really measured or lived in arbitrary decades, when the history books are sold like comix.
A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Noise
John Lennon at his best despised cheap sentiment and had to learn the hard way that once you've made your mark on history those who can't will be so grateful they'll turn it into a cage for you.
I'm not saying that all college students are subhuman I'm just saying that if you aim to spend a few years mastering the art of pomposity, these are places where you can be taught by undisputed experts.
You see, dear reader, so much of what's doled out as punk merely amounts to saying I suck, you suck, the world sucks, and who gives a damn which is, er, ah, somehow insufficient. Don't ask me why; I'm just an observer, really. But any observer could tell that, to put in in terms of Us vs. Them, saying the above is exactly what They would want you to do, because it amounts to capitulation.
Realizing that life is precious the natural tendency is to trample on it, like laughing at a funeral.
A hero is a goddam stupid thing to have in the first place and a general block to anything you might wanta accomplish on your own.
What all this posturing and fake glamor results in is a vast detachment and cynicism on the part of the artists. Since it's impossible to have respect for an audience that'll take just about anything you care to dish out, and the impassive demeanor is so central to the role, a general numbnose is all that can be expected.
The extravagant and ostentatious lifestyles that pass for charisma in a time when almost anybody talks about charisma but if you think about it there's precious little to be seen.
The top rockers have a mythic aura about them, the "superstar," and that's a basically unhealthy state of things, in fact it's the very virus that's fucking up rock, a subspecies of the virus I spoke of earlier that infests our culture from popstars to politics.