Music, personality, and spirit -- and the media
0 comment Thursday, September 25, 2014 |
Okay. I admit it; I don't want to write about controversial political topics right now, so I will write about something a little more trivial.
Following on the blog entry the other day about musical tastes, I notice that over on the 'Stuff White People Like' blog there is an entry called ''#108 Appearing to enjoy classical music".
I suppose the snarkiness in the blog entry title, as well as the entry itself, are among the reasons why that blog makes me uncomfortable. It seems to imply that many of White people's actual preferences, or the art forms or traditions of Whites, are artificial and not genuine. The implication seems to be that nobody, at least no White people, genuinely enjoy classical music; it's all affectation and for show; an attempt to pose as having cultivated tastes. And maybe I am made uncomfortable by this falseness because I realize it exists.
The thread has the usual insane numbers of comments, 300+. I won't even wade through a thread that long; there's more noise and nonsense than substance in any thread that long, regardless of where the discussion is taking place. And the first few comments seem to follow the self-deprecating, self-deriding pattern that I find so off-putting among a certain type of White people. Please notice I didn't say 'among White people', but 'a certain type.'
So is it true that Whites really hate classical music, and only pretend to like it to impress each other? Maybe it's true of those insecure, navel-gazing, hipness-pursuing young urban liberal types.
After leaving the concert hall, white people will immediately begin telling everyone they know about how much they loved the performance and how they plan to "go more often." This is because white people see little to no value enjoying classical music without recognition from other white people. This can be seen first hand by looking at the plaques and bricks around all opera houses: they are covered in white person names.
If a white person starts talking to you about classical music, it�s essential that you tread very lightly. This is because white people are all petrified that they will be exposed as someone who has only a moderate understanding of classical music. When a white person encounters another white person who actually enjoys classical music (exceptionally rare), it is often considered to be one of the most traumatic experiences they can go through.''
I guess the above makes sense to the lost young people of Seattle or Austin or some other outpost of prosperous yuppiedom.
But regarding our discussion of the other day, I was talking with a relative who is a music lover in general, and she says that classical and heavy metal, despite their obvious surface dissimilarities, have some common features. Both styles of music tend to complexity of melody and structure, and lengthy compositions. I am no expert on metal, but I know enough to know that there is a variety of music under that label, and that not all metal is of the 'headbanging' variety; there are many subcategories within that genre.
A few years ago there was actually a 'metal opera' which was performed in Europe.
Incidentally, I note that it seems a lot of metal bands hail from Europe, especially Germany or the Scandinavian countries, as opposed to, say, Southern European countries. I don't know what that's about. Any opinions on that?
Ultimately, I don't know much about metal, other than what my informant points out. I simply note that it is a 'White' musical genre.
It's something actual White people like, as opposed to the Stuff White [sic] People Like.
As far as musical tastes, I notice that younger people tend to be leaning more towards hip-hop, rap, and other black-influenced music than ever before. Most of the young people I know listen to that kind of 'urban' music more than anything else. I notice that this singer has been touted on all the 'news' pages on the Internet recently, so it's no wonder that young people are led towards the kind of music she performs, which is apparently 'R & B'. I would not even know who she is without googling her name. According to her Wiki, she is 'Barbadian'. Again, judging by her pictures, I would not quite know what her ethnic origins might be, except that she appears to have some African ancestry. Her kind of racially ambiguous look is what the media seem to have declared as 'in', these days. White=bad. Racially ambiguous=good, as long as there is obvious nonwhite ancestry visible.
Also according to her Wiki, she is one of the three females tied for first place for the most number one hits this decade. Not surprisingly, the other two are listed as Beyonce and Mariah Carey. Anybody notice a pattern here?
One of the things I found gratifying when I was in Ireland some years ago (before the multicultists went to work on Ireland) was that Irish traditional music seemed to bridge the generations; you could go to an Irish music session and find people of all ages enjoying the music, from the tots and the teens to the gray-headed old folks. In America, by contrast, we already had a generation gap in music, with young people listening to various kinds of rock or black music of some sort, while older people had their own musical preferences which the young scorned and ridiculed. I found that situation sad.
I suspect it's the same in Ireland now; the MTV/Hollywood culture is ubiquitous.
It's still sad, though, this generational divide in our society. I go to a water aerobics class locally and the ladies and I do our exercises to recorded music of various kinds, everything from country to polka music to 'swamp pop' to the Charleston. Recently, a teenaged girl was working a summer job lifeguarding at the pool. Her disdain and intolerance for our music was obvious, and she would usually go and turn down the volume because she plainly could not stand our music, and would sometimes even turn on her own music to compete with it, her music being the usual 'hip-hop' fare. Not only did she have little regard for the old fogy music, but for us old fogies exercising to it. Surely music is music, some good and some bad. Yet we have a generational divide, with music being one of the main identifying marks of the group we belong to, or identify with. Young people, too often, identify with their age cohort more often than they identify with their people, their kin, their heritage. I think that's no accident. It seems the social engineers in dividing us up every which way have purposely created a media-fostered youth culture which sets the young against their elders. It's been going on since I was a child, around the time that the whole concept of the 'teenage' identity was created.
It's true that adolescence has always been a transitional time, in which young people try to find who they are and where they fit into things, and identifying with peers is part of their establishing a sense of themselves. But it's also true that much of what has become this youth culture was largely created by mass marketing; business found that post-WWII, many young people suddenly had a lot of leisure and money to spend that earlier generations did not have, as a rule, and so the teenage image was promoted and encouraged. Now we find teens and their parents and grandparents more estranged from one another than past generations were.
So to some extent, teen musical tastes are artificially created, in order to sell products, and they have divided us socially even further than we were in the past.
In a sense, the kind of musical tastes we have do identify us with a certain group; this is most obvious among the young, who usually cultivate a certain 'look', certain clothing and hairstyle, to signify the group they 'belong' to, and music is a part of that image, and that artificial identity. We can look at young people and guess which group they aspire to be part of and what music they listen to just by their clothing, their language, and their overall image. If we see young people with sideways baseball caps and baggy britches, we know they likely listen to black music, and probably affect black speech styles and slang. And so on.
And even those pretentious people who are the subject of the 'Stuff White People Like' blog (and book) are affecting a certain image by feigning a liking for classical music. It's all part of the NPR-listening, Democrat-voting, latte-sipping, exotic-food-eating, multicultural persona that they adopt.
Much of the 'Stuff White People Like' is similarly shallow, media-influenced affectation, and unfortunately most of us are under its spell to a greater or lesser extent. Even if we abstain from the media ourselves, it's hard to avoid the secondhand influences.
One can only wonder what this country, and indeed the Western world would be like if we were not such creatures of the mass media and of the cynical manipulation of those who want to influence or control us.

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