R.I.P. Monoculture

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about Lester Bangs’ eulogy for Elvis Presley. In some ways, I suppose the career of Michael Jackson undermines his point–but the sentiment has never in my life seemed so true.

If love truly is going out of fashion forever, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each others’ objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation’s many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present. But I can guarantee you one thing: we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won’t bother saying good-bye to his corpse. I will say good-bye to you.

posted 1 July 2009 in Excerpts and tagged , , . 3 comments

3 Comments on R.I.P. Monoculture

  1. Chris M. Says:

    Wow, just realized, he died six months before the release of Thriller. Wonder what he would’ve made of that.

  2. Steve Says:

    My very favorite music writing of all time, that piece is. And how apt.

  3. Rob Says:

    here’s something touching Joe Gross wrote in his MJ obit, the night of:

    When Elvis Presley died, the great rock critic Lester Bangs wrote, “I can guarantee you one thing — we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis.”

    Bangs died in April 1982. He didn’t live long enough to see all of us agree on Michael Jackson.

    I’m glad I was around when we did. You should be, too.


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