Where Have All the Boomers Gone?

Where Have All the Boomers Gone?

Where have all the pillows gone, long time passing?

Where have all the pillows gone, long time ago?

Where have all the pillows gone?

Justice served by every one

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Where have all the Beatles gone, long time passing?

Where have all the Beatles gone, long time ago?

Where have all the Beatles gone?

Gone with Lennon and a gun

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Where have all the Hippies gone, long time passing?

Where have all the Hippies gone, long time ago?

Where have all the Hippies gone?

Dead and buried every one

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Where have all the vinyls gone, long time passing?

Where have all the vinyls gone, long time ago?

Where have all the vinyls gone?

Gone to downloads, every one

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Oh, when shall we forget them?

Where have all the Boomers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the Boomers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the Boomers gone?

Pillows silenced every one

And now we can forget them!

Thank God we can forget them!

Boomer Patrol

We had a good time on the Darkstream last night, playing both of the great John Bradley’s Boomer songs. You’ve probably already heard his inspirational Hand Over Fluffy Pillow, and his heartfelt rendition of Hush Now is even better.

The beautifully ominous third verse is definitely my favorite:

Now I’m walking in time to the beat of your heart

And I’m counting the steps to the door of your room

Only shadows attend, as the pillows descend

Get to know the feeling of liberation and release

Hush now, hush now, don’t breathe now Boomer

Hush now, hush now, the pillows come

Hush now

An ode to the inevitable, inescapable Day of the Pillow.

There are Boomers within, there are Boomers without

We’re silencing a wicked generation

There’s a shape on the bed, I see pillows ahead

As they’re booming right up to the day

The pillows descend

Hush now, hush now, don’t breathe it’s over

Hush now, hush now, the pillows come

They come, they come, to put a world between us

We know silence wins

Now I don’t have a job, just a degree and a name

Dispossession is causing me suspicion that you’re to blame

From the young ones today, tales of anger and rage

But you prefer believing the Fox News page

Hush now, hush now, don’t breathe it’s over

Hush now, hush now, the pillows come

They come, they come, to put a world between us

We know silence wins

Now I’m walking in time to the beat of your heart

And I’m counting the steps to the door of your room

Only shadows attend, as the pillows descend

Get to know the feeling of liberation and release

Hush now, hush now, don’t breathe now Boomer

Hush now, hush now, the pillows come

They come, they come, to put a world between us

We know silence wins

Boomer Suicide

Inspired, of course, by the greatest movie in the history of moving pictures.

Feel the peace of your vaccines

Your body crawls with spike proteins

Your doctor swears it won’t do harm

Just stick that jab into your arm

Boomer suicide, just do it

Boomer suicide, they knew it

Boomer suicide, jump to it

Boomer suicide, just do it

You don’t believe they’d lie to you

It’s getting hard to breathe

So lay your weary head to rest

You failed the final Darwin test

Boomer suicide, just do it

Boomer suicide, they knew it

Boomer suicide, jump to it

Boomer suicide, just do it

In the event that you happen to find this amusing to some degree, please note that it is not an invitation to tell the same joke again.

Police it or lose it

Country music has been converged:

MEAWW reported that one-half of the Grammy-winning country duo “Big & Rich” recently dished on the disconnect between the country music industry and its fans.

Rich says that while most country music fans are conservatives, those who actually run the industry are mostly liberal. He says its this conflict that leaves conservative leaning country artists in a difficult situation.

“The industry of country [music] is, I would say, I can’t give you a percentage but let’s just say the majority is very liberal,” Rich said. “They’ve been that way for a long time. It’s interesting that the industry that puts out country music doesn’t really align with a lot of the audience.”

“A lot of folks that listen to country [music], and again I can’t give you a percentage but I can tell you a majority of the audience probably leans conservative,” he continued. “So you’ve got this gulf, kind of, between the two.” 

Rich went on to say that he has seen things change in the industry to swing even further left over the past few months.

“Over the years, the industry has never really come out really strongly about their liberal edge that they’ve got until recently, maybe in the past six to 12 months,” he said. “They’ve started coming out more and more and the problem you get is if you’ve got artists that are conservative but their record label, their publicist, their manager, a lot of the radio stations are being overseen by liberals.” 

Conservatives and everyone else to their right have to learn to stop taking the money bait and stop working with those who hate them, particularly when those who hate them are in the stronger, more defensible position. Nothing good is going to come of any such collaborations in the long run even if you are strong enough to refuse to sacrifice your principles.

I was told that I’d never be signed by Tor Books, but that was irrelevant because I never made any attempt to be signed by Tor Books. And when Thomas Nelson, a supposedly Christian, right-wing publisher tried to convince me to change what I was writing, I refused, and declined every subsequent approach from their editors.

It’s hard for young artists with stars in their eyes to understand that compromising at the start, even if it is a reasonable compromise, is going to lead to being controlled, if not owned outright. But you can’t sell just a piece of your soul.

Gen X’s music

Since we openly mock the Boomer obsession with their music, particularly the whole The Beatles are the greatest band in human history nonsense, it occurred to me to think about what music is most representational of, and influential for, my generation. Keep in mind that a generation’s music is not necessarily produced by its own members; John Lennon was not a Boomer, but The Beatles were most certainly not the Silent generation’s music. This is not a science of any kind, much less precise analytical engineering, but it’s surprisingly informative, as I think you’ll find if you contemplate the subject yourself.

Everyone knows that Gen X is generally considered to be prone to apathy and despair. But it also has a strain of resilience, and even irrational optimism, albeit an optimism in which it has no confidence. I think this is the result of the great disappointment of 1989-90, in which unexpected hope was rapidly transformed into disappointment and heightened cynicism after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union did not prove to be harbingers of a better and more peaceful world.

I suspect one reason Generation X and the Zoomers will relate well is that both are heavily traumatized generations; Gen X by childhood divorce and the AIDS crisis, and Zoomers by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been much harder on them than most people realize. But both generations are survivors at heart, which is a theme that persists through even Generation X’s happiest, poppiest melodies.

Anyhow, here’s my list of ten songs, in no particular order. I would include Prince’s 1999, but that might be more of a Minnesota thing.

  • I Ran, A Flock of Seagulls. The first big musical departure plus a familiar lyrical theme.
  • In a Big Country, Big Country. Too early and not popular enough to be THE Gen X song.
  • With Or Without You, U2. Like them or not, U2 is the Gen X Beatles. I prefer Streets myself.
  • Right Here, Right Now, Jesus Jones. It’s almost painful to recall that short-lived optimism now.
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana. Musical and lyrical sarcasm plus the definitive Gen X lyric.
  • Blurry, Puddle of Mudd. Exemplifies the Gen X perspective on divorce and children.
  • You Get What You Give, New Radicals. The writer could be the generational poster boy.
  • Living on a Prayer, Jon Bon Jovi. Sad, but true. I prefer Metallica, but we have to be honest.
  • Killing in the Name Of, Rage Against the Machine. A succinct response to Boomer advice.
  • Loser, Beck. Says it all in just six notes.
Anyhow, your mileage may vary, but I think these 10 songs give about as good an idea of understanding the Gen X mentality as you’re going to get. This is not a list of my favorite music – there is no David Sylvian, Duran Duran, or Disturbed on it – but it’s music with which nearly everyone my age can more or less identify. There are some big names missing, but mostly for a reason. For example, there is no Madonna or Michael Jackson, but Jackson was a literal continuation of Boomer music while the closest Madonna ever got was actually down to William Orbit.
However, if I had to pick just one song, it wouldn’t be any of these. The one song that seems to combine all the emotional strains, including the contradictions, is Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind. Correction: it would HAVE to be Epic by Faith No More. No idea how I forgot that one.
On a tangential note, why did no one ever tell me that Razorfist used to play keyboards for Faith No More?
If New Radicals are more properly considered a Millennial band, I’d substitute Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds. It’s a good example of a borderline song, as the general theme is very GenX, but the music and the concept of “dreamer’s disease” lean Millennial.

Books and classical music on UATV

Starting today on Unauthorized, we are replacing the Good Gardening subscription with the Castalia Classics subscription. This is to support the existing library of audiobooks on UATV as well as the development of the classical music channel. We are in the process of substantially adding to the audiobook library, beginning with the complete A Throne of Bones, and expect to have the classical music streaming in a curated radio-style format in 3-6 months.

We will NOT be removing the existing Good Gardening badges on SocialGalactic, but will add a new Classics badge for new subscribers instead. If you are already subscribing to the Good Gardening channel and wish to continue supporting #UATV, you do not need to do anything and will continue to have full access to the existing 18 channels. The Good Gardening channel will be removed the first week of April.

And since the question is inevitable, I might as well address it up front. No, there isn’t any drama or bad blood behind the scenes. David the Good is simply leaving both UATV and Castalia House in order to focus on building his own multimedia gardening platform and we have no doubt that it will be successful. Thank you for your continued support!

Time to build up the repertoire

The attack on classical music has begun in earnest:

The University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being ‘too colonial’ after staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in music curriculums.

Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

University staff have argued that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period’, according to The Telegraph.  

Documents seen by the publication indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses.

It claimed that teaching musical notation had ‘not shaken off its connection to its colonial past’ and would be ‘a slap in the face’ to some students.

And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire’s focus on ‘white European music’ causes ‘students of colour great distress’. 

What this means is that classical music on public radio from the likes of NPR and the BBC are unlikely to survive, as those institutions are immediately proximate to the elite universities, from which they hire most of their employees.

This is why UATV will be adding a classical music channel later this year. We’re already beginning to build the FLAC library required to support it now.

The music front

How Western Civilization has been destroyed through Music and the Arts

One of the significant aspects of the current revolutionary madness sweeping the nation is the unrestrained assault on the cultural artifacts of Western Christian civilization. In effect the attack on monuments and the nomenclature of Army forts, schools and streets, and on so much more is emblematic of something more profound and irreparable, an assault on what those symbols signify.

In a broader sense, this assault portends a basic denial of the richness and nourishing fruits of our culture and what that culture has given us. For that denial goes far beyond visible symbols in copper and granite or in place names. We have seen this in the increasing demands for a Taliban-like “cultural cleansing” of our society. And thus the mounting attacks on our artistic heritage—on those works of art that remind us of what our civilization has created and, indeed, of its bounty, goodness and creativity that have helped fashion who we are as a people.

In this climate of nihilism the remarkable art, the superb literature, and the great classical musical heritage which have held us in delighted rapture, are being despoiled, even withdrawn from accessibility like the film classic “Gone With the Wind” (now no longer available via HBO video platforms). In some cases this has resulted in de facto or outright banning. And if a work of our heritage is simply too significant to be erased, then it will be re-cast and reinterpreted to support the revolutionary agenda.

Penalties are now routinely meted out to the guilty defenders of the two millennia of inherited Western culture. Thus, as we watch statues memorializing Confederate heritage destroyed and symbols commemorating Washington, Jefferson, Christopher Columbus, Father Junipero Serra, and others brought down, we also should understand that this vandalism encompasses far more: the abolition of the historic inheritance and rejection of twenty centuries of civilization.

The guardians of our patrimony may utter a mild demurrer, but more commonly, they accede to and go along with this radical transformation of Western culture. It is not as much for fear of being called “racist” or a defender of “male privilege,” rather, too many of our cultural elites are possessed of the same “wokeness” that dominates the streets, if a bit more rarefied.

The effects are particularly dramatic in performance music. Our musical expression gives voice to our joys, our sadness, our triumphs, our beliefs, and how we view ourselves; it is critical to our understanding of the civilization around us. Yet for decades there has been a constant effort to undermine and reshape that expression to fit a progressivist, post-Marxist mold and agenda. A concentration on race and gender is all-consuming. “Anti-racism” and “feminism” have become the benchmarks for this transformation.

Over the past half century and longer progressivists have been largely successful in restructuring what is sometimes termed “higher culture”—an appreciation and understanding of the role in our society of inherited art, literature, music, and architecture—and altering its relationship to most average citizens. When I was a boy, for instance, classical music was programmed regularly and popularly on commercial radio—the major local station at that time in Raleigh, North Carolina, WPTF, featured both the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on Saturdays and a classical music program every night at 8 p.m. Network television offered us the long-running “Voice of Firestone” and “The Bell Telephone Hour.” Widely-viewed programs like Sunday prime time’s “Ed Sullivan Show” would feature Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson and coloratura Joan Sutherland.

While many of my school chums from sixty years ago didn’t really get into classical music like I did, they at least recognized its significance and resonance in society, that it was an integral part of our inheritance, and that it surrounded and annealed and helped define our culture and made that culture more complete. Maybe they didn’t listen to the Met, but we all knew the themes from those popular TV programs like “The Lone Ranger” (with its use of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”) or “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” (with the “Donna Diana Overture,” by Reznicek). And who can forget Elmer Fudd belting out a cartoon version of Richard Wagner—“I killed the Wabbit!”

This is one area where a lot of us Gen-X parents have failed. Too many of us grew up where our Boomer parents filled the music space by leaving the television on, and thereby failed to instill our children with the habit of a classical soundtrack to their lives. The average Gen-X or Millennial probably can’t even name their five favorite composers in the way they can readily name their 20 favorite bands.

I was fortunate in this regard with regards to my parents. My mother had one Beatles record, one Beach Boys record, several Bill Cosby comedy records – she had been friends with his wife Camille in college – and a whole collection of various symphony recordings of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi. She would also take us to the symphony from time to time, and I eventually developed a taste for Dvorak, Haydn, and Wagner.

But it’s never too late to get in the fight. A few years ago, I decided to give Leoš Janáček a try after reading about his work in a Haruki Murakami novel, and while his Sinfonietta leaves me cold, his Complete Piano Works are in the regular rotation, and in fact, are playing on my music system right now.

And on a totally tangential note, this beginning of an interview with Murakami is a hilarious classic.

 “I prepared for my first-ever trip to Japan, this summer, almost entirely by immersing myself in the work of Haruki Murakami. This turned out to be a horrible idea. Under the influence of Murakami, I arrived in Tokyo expecting Barcelona or Paris or Berlin — a cosmopolitan world capital whose straight-talking citizens were fluent not only in English but also in all the nooks and crannies of Western culture: jazz, theater, literature, sitcoms, film noir, opera, rock ’n’ roll.”

I’m wondering how we can use UATV on this front. It occurs to me that if high-quality public domain recordings can be found, or permissions can be obtained, we could create a classical music channel that might be of some utility in this regard.