As we discussed earlier, we have been set adrift by our modern culture. There is no one geography, no one religion, no political sensibility, culinary…
As we discussed earlier, we have been set adrift by our modern culture. There is no one geography, no one religion, no political sensibility, culinary tradition, or ethnic background that can accurately and distinctly be called “American.”* And yet, that is a part of what is at the core of what is “American,” this idea of it meaning anything and everything, the all-inclusive, the all-pardoning, Red White and Blue! And so, without any foundational elements to communicate with other people about, we draw around cultural experiences. Art, film, music, books, photographs, cruise ships. Now, David Foster Wallace, who I referred to in my earlier post, has this to say about these experiences: “The very best works construct a bridge across that abyss of human loneliness.” This is why Lady Gaga is such an immensely American figure, because regardless of how you feel about her, you do Feel about her. Her central theme, her whole reason for being, is to attempt to connect with You. Not a massive, crowd-centric you, but with You as individual, an attempt to say, “I want YOU out on the edge with me.” She has spent a lot of time attempting to portray herself as a ‘weird kid’ or an ‘outcast’ in high school, despite reports to the contrary. She knows very well know one is coming to the edge unless they believe she has been there.
A few years ago there was a sudden surge in movies based on the lives of Hip-Hop artists, the two most prominent amongst them being “8 Mile” featuring Eminem, and “Get Rich or Die Trying” featuring 50 Cent. The primary goal of these films was not to establish an origin myth for these two artists, but rather to act as verification for the myth they had already presented in their lyrics. As a consumer, when we hear 50 Cent say “I click-clack thats that I don’t flash, I mash I wave the Uzi at ’em, I make a movie out ’em” we want to believe that he really does know the weight of a gun, that he knows the scent of a spent cartridge, has felt the sear of lead through flesh.
*Apart from Jazz. We will always have jazz.