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A Few Words on Music and Culture
by Death


 Hi, it's me, Death again. You probably know me from that episode of Beverly Hills 90210 and the war in the Balkans. Today, I want to talk to you about something that everyone should take an interest in; culture. Specifically, I want to discuss music and its place in society. In a general sense, everyone is aware of a certain amount of culture. If nothing else, in this modern day you are inundated at every moment by a continuous stream of information. It is this information which makes up the culture of which you are a member. The most basic forms of information and entertainment which are enjoyed by the largest group of people is what the experts call "popular culture." Those forms of entertainment accepted by a smaller segment of the population but still recognized on the whole as being artistically worthwhile are called "high culture." And no, I'm not talking about hippies.

 Basically, all information and especially all art is divided into one of these two categories. I don't feel like getting into some long argument with you about what exactly art is, so take the definition they gave you when you were first taught to fingerpaint and leave it at that. Since music is an art form, that means that music is also divided into these two categories, so there is popular music and high music. I'm still not talking about hippies.

 In every era, there is some music that is popular and some that is artistically significant. The problem is that the music you've been churning out lately fails on all levels to satisfy the qualifications necessary to get it inducted into the category of high culture and most of it barely qualifies as anything other than noise. Sure, sure it's popular, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck. And when I say suck, I do mean suck. Like a Hoover vacuum cleaner powered directly by a radioactive core. What I've been hearing come out of recent bands makes me want to create a whole new category for music outside of the two we already discussed. That category is crap. So now we have popular music, high music and crap.

 Just for fun, let's go down the list and see where everything goes, shall we? Hmmm, first off, Rap. Well, that obviously goes into the crap designation. Hell, you can't spell crap without Rap, right? Next up, Country. Yep, that's in crap. Then there's Alternative Rock. Also crap. Traditional Rock, Disco, Hip-Hop, Techno, Blues, Jazz, Lawrence Welk. Gee, it sure looks like everything goes in the crap pile. In fact, now that I'm looking at all of this music, it looks like everything turned out this century has been heavily sub-standard.

 Face it, you people wouldn't know a good song if it jumped up and bit you on the ass. Modern music has no melody, it either sounds like a couple of guys spewing lyrics that barely rhyme and don't make any sense over a bunch of heavily loaded bass or like a bagful of cats and metal pans being smacked against a wall. I think Tom Jones is probably the biggest offender of the first school of music. His heavy beats and moronic lyrics cause brain damage in all who hear him. I mean, what the hell does "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone" mean? Am I supposed to feel something from that? How can I identify with this drivel? And I have no desire to see him baring his manly neck in those low-cut leisure suits of his while the women drool. You used to have to pay money to see something like that. Now it's okay for him to go bare-necked all over the place. It is obvious to me and, I think, to everyone that Tom Jones and his "phat, stoopid posse" are corrupting today's youth with their message of loose sex, drug use, and violence. No right-minded person can possibly see Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra or Snoop Dogg as representing true artistic talent.

 The last great rock star we had was one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Perhaps you've heard of him, you cretin. Like Tom Jones and Dr. Dre, the ladies loved him, he was manly in all the right ways, but unlike today's "stars" Mozart was always tasteful. He knew how to dress with flash in his almost scandalously short knickers, his profusely laced ruffles and his neon stockings. He was the bad boy of Germany and even though some people thought his music was unorthodox, inharmonious, and just flat out too loud, the young people recognized his vision. Mozart's music inspired a whole generation of youth to leave their parents' houses, get drunk on cheap wine and experiment with alternative forms of agriculture. I don't see any of today's musicians doing that. In short, Mozart was the last great rock star that the human race produced and I am utterly disgusted that you have fallen so far from the greatness that he represented. Where is the rebellion against the status quo for the sake of rebellion? Where are the outrageous fashions and vast sex appeal? Where is the music?

 So you kids go ahead and listen to your "rock and roll." Have your "parties" and your "sock hops." Go ahead and act like a bunch of degenerates. When you grow up, maybe you'll realize what all your music really sounds like.

Thank you for your time, you philistines.

 If Mozart wasn't in hell, he'd go back to the index