The topic of yesterday’s post got me rummaging about my enormous science fiction collection to pull up some of the works of the late Grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein, pictured to the left. Heinlein was a visionary and fearless writer who never talked down to his audience, even when writing children’s books. His The Star Beast (1954) was the very first sci-fi novel I ever read by myself (I think I was 8 or so) and featured the first and only fictional character I ever fell in love with: the protagonist’s girlfriend, Betty Sorenson. Yes, my romantic inclinations peaked at 8 and it’s been downhill ever since.
But Betty Sorenson is an aside. Heinlein had a particular character, the seemingly immortal Lazarus Long who, like so many of Heinlein’s characters in his latter novels, held a fascination for consensual adult incest. Methinks Heinlein had some issues he wanted to get off his chest.
Since today is a day of fluff posts, let’s talk about pop music. I’ve been watching TV’s Rockstar: Supernova, ’cause I’m a fool for that crap. (Ever notice how people trying to be socially rebellious all seem to rebel in the same scripted way?) One of the contestants mentioned a song that was “the anthem of his generation”. It was Radiohead’s Creep. That got me thinking: what are the other anthems of recent generations?
Of course, this sort of fluffy question is culture and geography dependent, so I can only discuss this from my context, having grown up among the white folks in the Toronto inner city in the 1970s and 80s. Having said that, I’m not sure what the pop anthem for my generation was. But I think the anthem for the present generation of mainstream Americans might be this catchy tune by The Killers: All These Things That I’ve Done. Check out the original of two videos for it here. I think it’s the modern equivalent of Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody (which, by the way, is one of the few Western pop songs embraced openly by Iranians; something to do with the word “bismillah“).
Now, I like The Killers, I really do. And I like that song. But there’s something about that little lead singer of theirs that makes me want to kick sand in his face and give him a wedgie. Maybe it’s the steroids talking, but I would have liked to have seen Eric Roberts slap him around a bit on that Mr Brightside video .