Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finals Week / Grunge Lives On

The past few weeks have been full of the Southern Hemisphere School Time Blues:  grading papers, filling out paperwork, telling students they are failing, and reading all of your Northern Hemisphere friends' Facebook posts about the glorious end of their August to May school year.  It's not all bad, of course, but it is exhausing!  One of the few things I have to look forward to after these long days is a calm jog in the park.  The weather is finally cooling down here, the sun stays hidden behind the clouds, and there is a breeze after five o' clock.  It's perfect for attempts to improve your distance running.

In the middle of last week's jog, I'm celebrating all of these things when I hear a guitar banging from across the park.  "Raaaape meeeee!  Raaaape meeeee!  Raaaaaaape meeeee!" blares out from the cement music dome a quarter kilometer away.  I imagine I hear the hard thud of several iguanas falling from their trees in shock.

What is this delightful chorus?  Just another Ecuadorian teenage band playing all of the hits from the '90s.  I'm not sure whether this could be considered a cultural phenomenon or not, but you know how all of those high school kids fell in love with Weezer a generation after "Buddy Holly"?  It's like that.  You can't go to any rock club or concert here without hearing some cover of Nirvana's "Rape Me" or  Radiohead's "Creep."  Sure, some people branch out to include some "Black Hole Sun" in their repertoire, but it's a novel concept.  

Why?  I don't have any answers to that question; I only find it worth documenting.  After a long day of listening to my students' love for Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, I also find it strangely endearing that  there are still some kids out there who think "Pablo Honey" is a modern classic.  Maybe MTV played a role in its resurgence, but for now I'm going to enjoy my ignorance of that.  Rock on, music dome screamers.  May your parents never know the true meaning of "rape me."

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