This young generation of singing and dancing pre-Madonnas was really cute until NOW. It’s gone too far. They really don’t even know who Madonna is. I’m starting to be embarrassed for them.
American Idol is coming up on its 11th season. The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Glee, Nashville, Smash, and So You Think You Can Dance dominate our tv stations. High School Musical will be etched into my substance forever, especially that part where Vanessa Hudgens sings “TROYYYYYY” to the top of her lungs during Zac Efron’s basketball game. I was like, You’re making a scene!
Even all the talk show hosts have goofy dance-offs at the beginning of every show. YouTube stars can achieve celebrity status overnight. My kids’ favorite show is iCarly, which is about teens who run a successful internet show. The digitally connected have a 24-hour voice on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and blogs. Everyone’s a star!
I write this as I sit at guitar and voice lessons for one kid, and the other is probably playing with his green screen, camera, and video editing software. I was onboard with this singing and dancing entertainment culture; it’s cheerful and optimistic. It’s all anyone under 15 years old even knows. Half of my kids’ friends are starring in theatrical performances every weekend; the other half is in show choir. These children have not heard of grunge; they know not its understated and melancholy ways. But I was okay with that—even happy about it—until now.
I think the song and dance culture is affecting this generation in ways we can’t even comprehend yet. The ramifications are severe. Flannel shirts are at risk of extinction. Guitar music is losing out in favor of trumpets; some pop songs even include the whole brass section. Kenny G. is almost cool again. Mine eyes have been burned by the lights reflecting off the sequins.
This all hit me like a theatrical slap to the face when I read an article about gangs. Cops are now tracking gangs on Facebook because even criminals want their moment in the limelight. Gang members post status updates on their latest heists. But get this: The name of one of the most feared gangs in Brooklyn is Rockstarz. Yes, Rockstarz. What do they steal—glitter? iTunes gift cards? Hair styling cream and extensions? Lacey gloves? They probably even bully people online. (Can you believe that’s a real thing?)
I just want to laugh at them. I bet they even wear skinny jeans. Does that hamper their ability to get away? How do they jump a fence while wearing low, tight jeans, in a Euro color like red?
I’m so embarrassed for them. Our youth have gone soft. Their young, fleshy, unscarred organic muffin tops spill out over their bamboo fabric skinny jeans, and they are no help to us, unless we need somebody to write a jingle or act in a play. And then the play would probably be about actors and producers and YouTube stars. Or Rockstarz.
They pander for our attention.
But me, I would never do that. Just kidding, I totally would. Also please sign up for our new gang, the Hooliganz. An online sign up sheet will be going out soon (cc’ing the cops on that) and everyone needs to learn our song and hand jive dance number before we go jack some people up.