Modern Life is Rubbish

I’ve been listening to a lot of old music lately, more than usual. It makes me think of how funny the 90s were. I grew up in the 90s, and there a lot of bands and musicians I remember listening to, like the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, the Black Eyed Peas (yes, their songs released in 2000 were quite funky and I suppose hip-hop hadn’t really touched the mainstream side of things yet), Oasis, Linkin Park and, well, above all, Blur. I’ve recently become obsessed with Blur all over again. I suppose it’s that sense of nostalgia that drags us back to those times.

Which brings me to “current” music, which I barely listen to. Whatever is mainstream now doesn’t appeal to me anymore, and it’s not just because I can’t stand the hip-hop that’s taking over, or the overrated teenage singers. It’s also because I’ve found a sort of ‘comfort zone’, in which I listen to all the artists I enjoy listening to time and time again, taking their music in, enjoying it for what it is. Even if they get “old”, I still love them. Even if these bands broke up years ago and never record anything new. Even if Damon Albarn is old now, even if Kurt Cobain is dead, even if Armor For Sleep have broken up, even if Poets of the Fall’s new album sucks and I’d rather listen to their old.

I think you’d get overplayed songs by listening to the radio, listening to mainstream music. I believe that’s why I began to get sick of it. It’s almost like the contemporary mainstream music is dying to be squeezed through your ears. It’s not the music that is rubbish, most of the time, but the way society expects it to be dragged through your brains.

News is rubbish. Current affairs is rubbish. We spend hours on end on social networking websites and often find out about world events and disasters through our friends and family on Facebook or Twitter, and that is only slightly more valuable than the rest of the crap that pops up. People often complain about other people complaining in their status updates. People post useless photos and tag people when the photos don’t even have those people in them. Twitter often has trending topics of useless hashtags like #ileftyoubecause and #replacebandnameswithpenis. We might pop onto Digg or Reddit and find ridiculous memes or spend hours on Tumblr reblogging everything to do with Doctor Who. O yeah, I did that today. And sometimes I think, “Why do I do this? Why do I spend hours reblogging gifs and screenshots and other pretty pictures?”

Memes are utter trash. Double Rainbow. Being rickrolled. As fun as it is being rickrolled, it’s rubbish. It’s like the only original thing someone can do to fool someone on April Fools’ is to link them to a video containing Rick Astley or send them to a shock site or post shit on 4chan.

Education: primary school, high school, university is rubbish. Mike and James are dealing with the undeniably irritating Pacman, code name for an annoying character who doesn’t seem to be able to fend for himself or do his own work, attempts (but fails) to organise group meetings primarily because he isn’t considering other people’s busy lives, and also seems to be jealous of James’ and my sprouting, joyous relationship. We’re forced to do group work with people in our group who we can’t even get along with or who leave our calls unanswered, call us at ungodly hours or continue to call us to pester us. We’re expected to do tests and other ridiculous assignments just to get a piece of paper with some bland qualification that has the same effect as writing, “You fucking graduated!” on it with a picture of Sean Connery as James Bond.

We’re expected to be able to drive cars to get ourselves around yet they expect us to pay toll on some roads. Then they complain about exhaust fumes and want us to catch the trains and buses in order to travel to work, and when we do, we’re stuck on a tin can train smothered with graffiti running at two metres per minute, and forced to shove past pushing and shoving people through ticket barriers that are far too narrow for someone even slightly plump.

On the flip side, nothing is perfect and we would be naked people living in the bush and arguing over a glass bottle of Coca Cola and unknowingly having our story written into some movie. Whatever we’re living now is a conformity-based, albeit constantly changing facade of how we really are inside.

Blur was right. Modern life is rubbish.

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