Thursday 22 September 2011

I have to admit it.

I was a hipster at age 7. 1984. The year that brought the world not Big Brother but Little (Peter) Pan; Michael 'Thriller' Jackson. India tended to lag behind Western pop culture by a few years at the time. Actually for more than a few years and not just at that time, but I grow dilatory. Michael Jackson cut through; all the big pop spectacles did, I now realise: Madonna, Live Aid, Sam Fox pin-ups and Bruce Springsteen bellowing 'Born In The USA' on an Indian stage in the 80s. We didn't have Pepsi and Coke but Michael Jackson cassettes and all sorts of bootleg merchandise started filtering through: dance moves discussed eagerly by teens after attending Sunday school in the Mennonite church next door, the kids in the street behind mine added a small alien element to their usual round of kirket heroes and Hindi film matinee idols, classmates humming Jackson tunes etc.

Even then I was convinced enough of the superiority of my own tastes (Beatles, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Stones, all picked up from my parents' collections) and the utter despicability of anything that was so popular that people who didn't know from good music, who didn't care about what had come before, could latch on to this new sound and claim it and let it claim them.

I haven't grown up. I'm still that elitist 7-year old. I distrust the popular, look away from the spectacle, criticise the widely-acclaimed. A.R. Rahman the Mozart of Madras? Clearly you have never heard Mozart or been to Madras. And this (not at all) new rock that calls itself 'indie' and is perhaps not the mainstream but is certainly a mainstream fills me with instinctual contempt for all those whispy voices, those jangly guitars, mannerism as method, quirk as quorum. I listen to so many different kinds of music but I make a point to identify as a metalhead just to piss off the hipsters. I've become so hip I look down not on the mass audience but on other niche audiences.


NSB said...

Like when the Trekkies piss on the Bronies?

JP said...

Stricly speaking it's more like a Bronie pissing on the Trekkies.