I’m really happy to introduce you all to Sophie, a good friend of mine that I met because of our mutual love for live music. We also work together at CONFRONT magazine and I know she’s a fabulous writer- she may not have her own personal blog, but I was still so excited when she asked to write a little something for me. Check out her post, and then go tell her how much you love it on Twitter!
Reflections of the Young…
As I was watching Cameron Crowe’s documentary “Pearl Jam Twenty” for the 15th time probably by now, thinking of what I could possibly write about for this blog; this video excerpt Crowe inserted of Andy Rooney’s “60 minutes” on April 17th, 1994, just after Kurt Cobain had died, just attacked my brain. With great sarcasm in his voice and eyes, Rooney had said:
“What’s all this non-sense about how terrible life is? A young girl who stood outside his home in Seattle with tears streaming down her face said: “It’s hard to be a young person nowadays, he helped open people’s eyes to our struggles.” Please, wipe the tears from your eyes dear, you’re breaking my heart. I’d love to relieve the pain you’re going through by switching my age for yours.”
What this old man didn’t seem to realize is he really wouldn’t want to trade places with a teenager or young adult going through life these days. I would never imply that anyone’s teen years were anything easier before the Nirvana and grunge era; I’m just saying that the nineties “young people” and music collided with the world in a much broader perspective than in any previous time this earth has seen.
What happened? The internet hit us. The world surely is a small place, but the World Wide Web made it that much smaller and accessible. And as it grew bigger, the world grew weirder. And by weird I mean: *insert many beeps here*. Information became a hundred times more available, easy to obtain and free. The world is a beautiful place, there’s no denying that, but the window the internet opened on our world didn’t filter any of the bad either.
What Cobain and many of us started seeing is how messed up this planet is and what people like Mr. Rooney had left us to deal with, but mostly SAVE. For many like Nirvana’s lead singer, unfortunately, it was too much to handle and death became the only solution. The expectations, the judgments, the pressure, the injustice, the environment, the poverty, the “way of life” we were being told was “right” and everything else we were being shown was going on all over the world and we somehow are powerless to stop becomes unbearable. And when your emotions are so strong and screaming inside you and you wish you could do something that could just change the way things are, the way things are going towards, in a downward spiral… Yes, Mr. Rooney, being young isn’t the same as the years go by!
And later on there’s another snippet where he adds: “What would all these young people be doing if they had real problems like a depression or Vietnam. Do they work at all? Are they contributing anything to the world they’re taking so much from?”
What he also didn’t really grasp are the consequences of the events he used as examples. We are still paying for the great depressions of the past and the wars that have been fought, caused by HIS generation. Depressions are still happening and children are paying the price of war in too many countries today as well. With music, art and through any other channel the next generations can think of, yes Mr. Rooney, they are contributing! Spreading the word, the news, the opinions, the petitions, the rebellions, the inspirations… Teaching others how to dream, how to think for themselves, how to fight those like you Mr. Rooney, who have led us in the wrong path, thinking life is just about work, work, work and money!
We DO have real problems Mr. Rooney: all over the world, almost 20 years after you’ve made these statements, the problems grow even bigger! And please, don’t tell me WE started it, you’re breaking my heart!
Never stop thinking for yourselves. Never stop living your dream. And like Marley said: “Get up stand up, don’t give up the fight!”
(Mr. Rooney passed away recently in November of 2011, he was a well known writer and television personality and this was never to insult his memory. I just think “old people” tend to judge “young people” too easily, given the growing hard circumstances of this world we live in)
By Sophie Ferrandino (@noandroid)