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Cultural Decline

January 5, 2011

A young co-worker just admitted that she was unfamiliar with Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London. As I commented here long ago, this is inarguably the greatest rock song of all time. My co-worker is well read, a graduate of one of the top high schools in the country and a prestigious liberal arts college, how is it possible to have gone to schools like that and not know something so elemental, something so important, something so enriching? How can one not know this song and claim to be an educated and cultured person? You can’t. Yet she probably does, and probably is. How do these monumental works of art disappear, and where do they go?

More interesting than my moaning about being old, which is really what I’ve been doing, is how things slide into anonymity and irrelevance. I am not sure how such a process could be recorded, I’m not just talking about sales figures, but how it fades from our internal play list, how much less it is heard through car windows and in bars, but it would be interesting to see. So much spins around us and through our world and so little sticks. Why do some last, and what weakens their hold on us so that they finally flitter away?

Final thought: What the fuck is wrong with me that I write shit like that? Werewolves of London is an awesome song, the best really, and the fact that some snot nosed punk has never heard of it is not my fault, it just is another proof that everything was better in the past. So, without further ado:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 1:14 pm

    Warren Zevon was a genius and it’s sad more people don’t know about him and his music. I will always respect David Letterman for championing him. I love “Werewolves of London” but this is my favorite Warren Zevon lyric:

    “And if California slides into the ocean,
    like the mystics and statistics say it will,
    I predict this motel will be standing, until I pay my bill.”

  2. Katie permalink
    January 5, 2011 1:39 pm

    Re-ordering the process is maybe the role of the cover…and I’m quite sure you don’t want to see a Gaga does Zevon interpretation!

    • January 5, 2011 2:44 pm

      Don’t be so sure of that.

      • January 6, 2011 8:26 am

        I’d like to see a pantless Lady GaGa version of “Gorilla You’re A Desperado.” But then again I’m on my third drink in the airport and it’s not even 8:30 in the morning. I wonder if they’ll let me on the plane?

        • Fat Al permalink*
          January 6, 2011 4:20 pm

          Jet Rock Bar & Grill reprise?

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