Monday, February 16, 2009

No Progress at All

That's the status of western civilization, from my perspective, for the last few decades at least. Yesterday I went to a guitar show at Brookdale Community College in Darkest New Jersey, and it seems to me that, while the hairstyles may be different, culture has failed utterly to advance. For example, I watched a college student excitedly play Pinball Wizard on his acoustic guitar in one of the corridors.

As far as I know, that's what eleventh graders were doing to impress their girlfriends back in 1972. So if college kids are doing it now, I don't know what to say. Not only that, but scores of college students were playing Rock Band on big TVs in the student center. Have we actually moved backwards? I mean, there they are, the stewards of our future, playing fake 35-year-old music on fake guitars and fake drums. What's the world coming to?

On the bright side, my friend Paul Unkert, who used to build Kramer guitars for Eddie Van Halen, is now selling his own line of guitars, both in cheap Asian versions and less-cheap American versions (No, I don't own stock in his company). Some people, at least, are buying real guitars. Plus he gave my daughter a cool black T-shirt proclaiming, "Rock and roll is my religion."

All in all, though, I'm less than optimistic.
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