quote:Originally posted by Vox:quote:Originally posted by HonestBrother:quote:Originally posted by Vox:
A baby born when that song came out is 18 this year.
So I gotta acknowledge, the song is kinda old...
I'm sorry. I'm not gonna let this one go.
If 18 years is enough to make the song "old" ... is it enough to make the teenager "old"?
Hmmm... Interesting point. I guess it's a matter of perspective. Are a pair of shoes from 1990 old?
The other day, I happened to be flipping thru radio stations. One of the hip-hop/r&b stations introduced Promise, by Ciara, as a "back in the day joint." I damn near had to pull over. The song came out in like 2005.quote:quote:
When I was 18, "Tears of a Clown," which came out around the time I was born, was ANCIENT!
"Tears of a Clown" is neither ancient nor old. It is a classic.
You seem to see these terms as mutually exclusive. Can't it be both? In fact, doesn't it HAVE to be old in order to be classic? If it hasn't stood the test of time, how can it be a classic? My absolute favorite songs of today, no matter how great I think they are, can't be considered classics yet, right?
I'm partly being silly and clowning here. But, in regards to the part of me that has a straight face on, my insistence has a lot do with wider reflections on black culture and art.
We've had some of this debate on the board before. For instance, my insistence that we specify "corporate hip hop" in discussions decrying the state of hip hop.
The more I've thought about it, the more sense it makes. Why? Because there are tons of instances which parallel this one but in which no one makes the mistake of confusing the part with the whole - no matter how big the part happens to be.
For example, there are far more trashy novels out there than there are Jane Eyres or Beloveds. But no one takes the preponderance of trashy novels as an indictment of the "novel" itself. This is the effect that mass commerce has upon art. So people don't wring their hands and bemoan "the novel" per se. They're specific about the genre.
Which brings me to my point: Because of the relative youth of African American culture and because so much of what is great about that culture is intertwined with "pop culture" and so is particularly susceptible to market forces, if we have an eye towards promoting cultural health and vitality, I think we need to be that much more aware of the language we use with regard to our own cultural production.
No one (or at least very few people) would call Imagine by John Lennon "old" (at least not among white folks). Not even the teenagers. At least not the cool teenagers.
So why is Tears of a Clown "old"?
The other day, I happened to be flipping thru radio stations. One of the hip-hop/r&b stations introduced Promise, by Ciara, as a "back in the day joint." I damn near had to pull over. The song came out in like 2005.
I find stuff like this extremely disturbing (I'm not kidding). Why are we (African Americans) so ready to chuck our own cultural production into the trash bin of history?
By the way, the question is rhetorical. I think know the answer. I just don't think we should be happy with that particular state of affairs.
Anyway ... please excuse the ramble.
Actually, I really was mostly playing up above.