This morning I was trying to find footage of AC/DC playing the Grammys last night. I didn’t watch the event. I don’t have cable, but I also know that if I was to watch the event as a whole, some small part of my soul would die. Anyway, I stumbled upon some well known blog where they made a comment that AC/DC was appealing to parents, but also recognized by kids who played Guitar Hero. Well there may be some small sliver minuscule truth to that, overall I call horseshit. The guys in AC/DC are 25/30 years older than my friends and I, but we always listened to them in high school. I would imagine that there are high school kids listening to them now, whether or not they play Guitar Hero. In high school we listened to the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Beach Boys, and a whole variety of musicians that were technically my parents music.
Not only does great music not age, but one of the way in which society and the media tries to divide people is through age. This is done all of the time, but is more openly acceptable than the equally ridiculous divisions created by race, gender, and sexual orientation. Although AC/DC are just a rock n roll band, albeit one of the greatest, often this is used to silence people that speak truth to power. However, anyone with even the slightest amount of brain power knows that there are twenty year olds who have nothing to say, while there are grandparents who keep towing the line for truth and justice. Even the physical side of aging can be misleading. Their are twenty year old couch potatoes, while my dad still runs several miles a day.
Anytime the media tries to group people I am suspicious. There is some use in grouping people. It can be used a kind of shorthand to get a point across. However, one must always be thinking. Sometimes I even get caught up in this myself. I often talk about corporations and the harm they are doing to our democracy. I am using it as shorthand for the kind of multinational corporations that have the money and power to influence our politics. But even most bands, that are at least somewhat successful, are corporations. It’s fair to talk in terms of generations, as each generation has a sort of big-picture experience that is different from the one that comes before or after it, as long as one is also able to keep in mind that within a generation are an almost infinite number of personal experiences, views held, etc.
Although one should always keep in mind what is good for the group, realize that everyone is in this life together, one should also try to judge people as individuals whenever possible. It’s true that many people willingly or unknowingly take on the behavior of a tribe. It is fair to criticize a tribe, as you are criticizing a set of beliefs. This is not the same as criticizing individuals. Many of the most insane politicians are Republicans, but not all Republicans are insane. Like most of life, it’s complicated.