If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Sergeant D in his many years of divining for MetalSucks, it’s that what kids love today will see a wave of nostalgia tomorrow. When the teens of yesterday mature into their mid-twenties, the age at which they can for the first time fully exercise their power and influence over culture, nostalgia will set in and the media will suddenly watch a with a good eye the trends of yesteryear, they were unbearably creaky. or packaged with lasting artistic merit (but generally of the cringe variety).
The history of metal is littered with such examples. Korn. Suicidal silence. Attack attack! Jungle rot. The list goes on. The young musicians of yesterday who were mercilessly laughed at at the time are now presented as heroes.
With that in mind, get a load of this tweet I came across while scrolling through my Twitter timeline over the weekend:
young kids don’t know anything about going to multiple blogs trying to upload and find crap that you all spotify and when mediafire crashed and you need to find mirrored files for mediafire. forget that.
– String Cannibal Corpse (@ SKI_MASK45) June 14, 2019
Wow. Lots of things to unpack here!
First off, I remember the days of Blogspot .rars (and the myriad of other sites that hosted illegally downloadable albums), and they sucked. Pages would be overwritten by their hosting companies one after another, and any MediaFire, MegaUpload, or SendSpace links they had plugged in would be removed just as quickly. They were hard to navigate (good luck finding the download link among all the ads), and you never knew if what you were downloading was what it said. It was an endless game of Whack-a-mole. Why would anyone feel nostalgic about doing this? It’s so much better now! Almost all the music you could want is available with the click of a button in high quality audio, sortable and searchable the way you want!
Second, the “youngsters don’t know” attitude has always been, is, and always will be, crap. Ten years ago, people of my generation complained that “young children” didn’t appreciate the dedication of going to the record store on release day to line up before coming home and to engage in the ritual of opening the cellophane and pressing play. This the generation, it was said at the time, was indebted to inferior bullshit CDs; vinyl was the best way to enjoy an album, with its “warm” tone and large format artwork. I don’t know what the previous generation said about their version of ‘kids these days’, but that line of thinking ultimately brings us back to young kids don’t know nothing about having to ride a horse and buggy to get anywhere and take care of feeding it and damn you have all these fancy cars now. forget that.
Here’s the thing: being a music fan is so much better now than at any time in the past! Why have any nostalgia for the past other than a picturesque memory? In ten years, a 26-year-old will try to argue that Spotify and YouTube were REAL, man, and this new brain implant music listening technology is bullshit!
Finally, it’s just weird that we’ve already reached the point where nostalgia for Blogspot .rar is a thing. Ain’t that time only to arrive? It wasn’t that long ago! Aren’t people still arguing over the merits of CDs and vinyl?
The crux of the matter here, I think, is that witnessing the full cycle of .rar blogging, from realization to uselessness and back to nostalgia again, makes me feel old. Guess the lesson here is that I should really take my own advice and stop complaining about it. Yes, the Blogspot .rar era has arrived, yes it sucked, yes things are a lot better now, and yes, as you would expect, there is a whole generation of teenagers who have grown up on this and who now fondly remember that time. It’s all part of the process.
Now, about that brain implant music listening experience… how far away is that? Sign me up.