Friday, September 16, 2016

I MADE YOU A POEM



Photograph by Dimitar Denev


I've been trying to write an essay about Generation X and popular culture since I saw School of Rock in 2003, but it always eluded me. Then in a fit of insomnia, it came to me as a poem for some strange reason (I'm an English major, but I'm very picky about poetry and don't like most of it). So here it is, enjoy. 


Song of the Aging Gen X-er


I'm old and I'm tired
Of defending what I like.
Once it was too odd
Now it's too popular,
Yet still weird somehow.
But why wouldn't I like it?
We put weird on the map.
We gave you the "graphic novel",
I'm not gonna see the movie version?
Once it was "Psychotronic" --
King Fu, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic.
Now they get awards.
And why ever not?

Some of us are mad.1
We had to work so hard to find it.
Scour second-hand stores, send away by mail.
Self-addressed envelopes.
Ask for a ride to the city.
"Is the new L & R in yet?"
They say, "Death to the Internet!"
But I don't want it that way.
Let the kid in the boonies
Find what makes her happy.
Let the boy on library Internet
Find his club of weirdos.

Some of us were sad 2
We only got a few years of pandering
Instead of two decades.
Then came the millennium.
Clean-cut teen pop, clean-cut teen soaps,
Clean-cut teen comedies.
We thought that the wholesome
Would last forever.

But guess what?
Twelve turns to thirteen
And cool big sis comes in,
Or that fun young uncle
Sends you a mix.
We fill the credits, live behind the scenes, make the taste.
We have the keys, baby,
To the shadow factory.

Maybe we didn't invent it,
But who does really?
As Mr. Sturgeon says, 3
Most of anything is crap.
It's all about keeping it going
(The good stuff).
We are a small cohort, but
What we lack in size,
We make up for in tenacity.
Just like those in the past who
Bought The Velvet Underground & Nico,
then started a band.
Just like those "90s kids" who
Will build on our bones.

Maybe you don't want anything
After your "golden age".
That's so sad.
Maybe you missed it the first time,
That's too bad.
Maybe you were born too late.
Oh well.
But's it still all there for you.



You're welcome.


Notes:

1. Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die" -Patton Oswalt.

2. "Sturgeon's Law" - TV Tropes.

3. "Generation Ex" - Eric Weisbard.




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