ZZ Top, MTV, and Modernity
Yeah. I love these guys. That’s what i call style. Off-the-beaten-track, don’t-give-a-crap-about-trends, assertive....in other words, ‘cool’.
(following placed as comments on youtube)
ed: “Whilst i love ZZ top's semi-anarchist style, and the above vid, i do wonder how much of western music would be as popular without music videos to embellish what might otherwise be taken as just another run-of-the-mill tune.”
TwinPower3000: I love how they molest him and then throw him out of the car. LOL I love this song...
ed: Reverse the situation and show a girl getting molested and thrown out of the car and people'l be yelling 'sexploitation'! Anyway, I don't think the chicks 'molested' him. He came off without his boots. Perhaps a pedicure and foot reflexology.
I suppose the existence and prominence of ‘rock icons’ is paved by the decline of philosophical ones. That is paralleled, and I suppose, symbiotically complemented by the reduction of the ‘citizen’ to a ‘consumer’ and ‘fan’.
When I look at history vs. the present ‘modern’ times, I dare say that the essence of ‘progress’ in present times basically enables the masses to more successfully compensate for a shitty socio-economic status quo. That isn’t really progress is it. It’s just that stupefacients are now widely and continuously available and the dosage has been upped. You could call it modern serfdom.
Music videos. Certainly entertaining - especially 80s ones since the people then had more individualised personalities than the current similar-sounding and similar-looking rip-offs of each other. It’s no wonder that jackasses like Simon Cowell can be as popular as he is. But all that said, it is the power of association that american music now seems to rely on. Something like various brands being associated with vitality, vibrancy and vivacity. Yes, i love ZZ top stuff as it appeals to the anarchist within me, but i also know that the imagery that is associated with it does eke out a tad bit more of my liking than it otherwise would.
The lame-brains, or what i would like to term, intellectual paraplegics, out there would probably retort with a, ‘why think so much, just enjoy it.’ Well, if we aren’t acutely conscious of the negative effects of that which we enjoy, than we won’t be able to allay its impact on ours and humanity’s progress. Nothing wrong with sin, i sometimes think, so long as we are aware of its effects and protect ourselves against it. That way, we can get more out of sin without being laden with its problematic byproducts.
I suppose MTV, like visual effects in american movies, rather than complementing great music/storylines/dialogue, gradually compromised it. If I can get your money with a simple hammer-tap on your knee, why the hell would i bother to really work my brain for it.
On another note, i have to say that 'anarchism' at popular levels, as illustrated by ZZ top's 'doing it my own way' stance, is sort of a way that top-down authoritarianism, enforced by a host of inconspicuous means, is put up with. All revolutionary or radical tendencies are confined to arenas acceptable to the powers-that-be. Juvenile vibrancy is vicariously expressed through pop/rock affiliations, people take up arms against fonts like 'comic sans', and are communistic within 'work improvement teams' within capitalist organisation. Perhaps its not that people have no reason to get revolutionary, but rather, they are taught to express it at subsidiary levels. And once they are taught to do that, they will naturally feel that we live in truly progressive times as they would be underdeveloped enough not to deem anything amiss in overarching arenas. In that ZZ top, amongst a harem of others, are culpable.
But I still love 'em. But the point is, once we're aware of it, we can then love 'em blamelessly by way of compensating for what they lack via other means. If we aren't aware of it, we'll just end up being, well, another mindless fan, and fodder for the PTBs. But once aware, we can actually get some primitive fuel out of such experiences for use in other more significant pastimes. In that, ZZ Top, amongst others, have their use. In that, and in this context, i'm not here to teach you how not to sin, but how to make the most out of it to the point that it turns to virtue.