Friday, September 21, 2012

Is the source of all of this retro-ism '80s schlock?

Inquiring minds want to know. Looking at our thirst for things retro and interesting, it seems that they only started in the '90s, after Reaganism and the Bush interlude had done their job fucking up the country's culture in partnership with fundamentalist Christianity, bad New Wave music, and Debbie Gibson.

The retro preference folks have is very connected to musical culture, and the way I see it, the '80s represented a huge lacunae, where after all of the richness of the '60s and '70s we saw soul-less machine music (as opposed to soulful machine music) dominate everything, feeding into the greed is good, don't worry be happy, culture of the times. After something like that, what's left to build on?  Going backwards to an idealized version of what came before, to what was weird, or interesting could possibly have been a strategy to evade oblivion.

But what do we do now? After all, you can only pursue "retro" so long before what's "retro" is the pursuit of "retro" itself.

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