I was listening to the radio in the car this afternoon and something struck me: Of the three songs I heard, two of them were in the new Guitar Hero. This isn’t overly surprising, as the game is full of some of the most popular songs of the last thirty years, but it got me thinking about all the people who will experience those songs for the first time as part of the game. In a way, they become new, leaving their original hair-band or whatever other context and just become Guitar Hero tracks.
Anyway, all of that is a long way to say Brian Eno’s comments on the death of uncool struck me as part of the same trend:
We’re living in a stylistic tropics. There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere, and they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness.