Kids These Days: Chapter 1,000,000,000 | Bleader

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kids These Days: Chapter 1,000,000,000

Posted By on 04.04.12 at 05:30 PM

Skittles-colored nightmares Blood on the Dance Floor
  • Skittles-colored nightmares Blood on the Dance Floor
The best rule of thumb for gauging youth culture's health at any given time is to measure how incomprehensible its most beloved pop stars are to the average responsible adult. A guy in a giant mouse head making tracks that sound like a bunch of computers yelling at each other? That's a sign of good health. An analingus-obsessed rapper with a blatant disregard for the standards by which music is generally judged "good"? Seems about right.

Not all of them are something a responsible adult would want to get behind. One of the more impenetrable recent musical phenomena (to Olds, at least) is "scene" culture, which began with hardcore's affluent white teenage fan base and postmillennial haircuts, then combined (or even replaced) the aggressive guitar music with aggressively sugary pop and swapped out the radically progressive politics for a nihilistic strain of hedonism with a nasty misogynistic streak that seems to be the result of suburban kids giving rap lyrics a naively straight reading.

It's a fascinating development from a sociological perspective, and perversely so from the perspective of someone with roots in the hardcore scene. And despite the capriciousness of youth culture (an attribute that's been around far longer than the Internet), scene seems to be not only surviving but thriving, despite being several years old and definitively "over" as far as early adopters are concerned. It's going deeper and deeper down its own rabbit hole, so that now you can get something like, say, androgynous neck-tattooed anime vampires writing music that sounds like the theme song to a Japanese video game with lyrics that advocate sexual bullying on the Internet. Which is a real thing:

A new Village Voice cover story takes a long and unsettling look at "revenge pornographer" Hunter Moore, who operates a website, Is Anyone Up?, that displays user-submitted nude photos that were only ever intended for private consumption. It's popular with hackers, disgruntled exes, and scene kids. I actually found out about the site last year while researching scene bands, but I had no idea that Blood on the Dance Floor—one of the most rabidly worshiped scene acts, and the one I'm most hate-obsessed with—had written a song about the site that praises the act of posting an ex's nude photos on the Internet to sexually humiliate her (or occasionally him). It's hard to imagine anybody but maybe a knee-jerk reactionary Albini-wannabe pigfuck band coming up with lyrics like that—hearing them over hyper-cheery, candylike electro-pop is like some artifact of a particularly unsettling dream barging in on waking reality. (I think we can all agree that candylike electro-pop songs about the joys of publicly sex-shaming another human being definitely should not be part of reality.) The bizarreness of the song's very existence is the one thing that might justify it, but it doesn't even come close.

In summary, in case you were wondering whether anime vampires singing happy songs about ruining a woman's life by posting nude photos of her on the Internet was an actual thing, the answer is yes.

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