Thursday, February 09, 2006

Smells Like Teen Spirit, by Nirvana

Those were the years, the age of wonder, our fifteen minutes.

There was a Revolution (with capital R) going on. Everyone knew it. An it had its epicenter on Seattle, a formerly dull town which had become an overnight world capital. Suddenly everything, from Microsoft to SubPop records to Peter Bagge’s Hate comics were happening there, just across the street from Vancouver.

I was barely 19 when heard for the first time the initial riffs of what was to become a generational anthem. Tam-ta-ram Tam-tam-tam Tam-ta-ram… and then the drums blasted into sheer anger. Those were the nineties and I was still young and angry.

“Generation X”, they used to call us. That was how the media labeled the twentysomethings, those “without a future”, the sons of the hippie baby boomers, a by-product of the summer of love. A teenage wasteland.

Soon, teens all over the world were wearing flannel plaid skirts, ripped jeans, baseball caps and Doctor Martens lookalike boots. Every week, a new grunge band would hit the radio waves. Tad, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Thelonious Monster, The Raincoats…

…and Nirvana.

Gina Arnold wrote on her book Route 666: On The Road To Nirvana that in a perfect world, The Ramones would have topped the charts back in the seventies. Twenty years later, it was happening. Punk culture was taking over. Grunge music has actually topping the charts. And for fifteen beautiful minutes, Nirvana was The Greatest Band on Earth.

We weren’t ready. Not for Smells Like Teen Spirit. Neither for its deeply disturbed lyrics nor for its raw music. Not for the rest of the Nevermind CD, probably the first punk record ever to be produced and massively distributed by a major label.

I still can recall the first time I saw that video on the Mexican version on MTV. “Just what the hell is that?”, I thought. It was one of those moments in life in which somehow you know you’re just not the same person you were a second ago.

Almost fifteen years later, it seems to me like the Miracleman “Golden Age” comics written by Alan Moore in the eighties. It was an age of wonder, those were wonderful times. Of course, ther weren’t meant to last forever.

Nothing is.

And just then, the bubble bursted, just as Kurt Cobain’s skull. It ended with a bang, just as violently as it started.

Suddenly, we all noticed that it had been a corporate hoax all the time. That we’ve bought it. And no matter how hard we tried to believe, grunge music was only a hype.

Nowadays no one uses the “Gen X” term anymore. My fellow GenX’ers all junped into the ring. A few idiots died of AIDs, OD or shot themselves. The rest? Got domesticated.

Despite all our rage, we’re still just rats in a corporate office, doing Mcjobs forever.

And missing you, Kurt.

You idiot.


Bef said...

Gracias por invitarme a jugar. Me siento muy honrado en tan buena compañía.

Y perdón por tardar tanto en postear.

Saludos a todos. Muy bonito blog.

Ernesto said...

Bef! Y en ingles!

Ladies & gentlemen, Bef walks among us!

Qué chingón, Bef-o. No cualquiera se saldría con la suya escribiendo de esta canción.

Te quiero.

Ernesto Sandoval said...

juro que pensé hacerlo. pero dudo que me hubiera salido tan chingón. felicidades.