Friday, November 22, 2019

Yacht Rock Saves Humanity

Ever since ancient Greece, it seems as if every generation has bemoaned the inadequacies of its successors. The youth are ignorant, disrespectful, wildly oversexed and just about everything else that older people miss about being young.  I can handle that. What I have more trouble with is the stovepiping and social isolation of kids who have grown up with the internet, because that's something that really is different from anything before.

There are two really strange and frightening effects that have somewhat crippled the point-and-click generation. One is an unrealistic lack of patience for anyone and anything. That's understandable: when you've grown up clicking a screen one day and having merchnadise delivered the next, it's bound to prod an impressionable, naive mind to ask, why can't everything and everyone cater to me like that?

The other problem is (and this is no newsflash), their absolute ignorance regarding socialization. Tucked neatly into their silos, the point-and-click generation has been lured by self-interest into the dungeons of Silicon Valley, where everyone is made to appear as if everything really is about them. Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Apple and every other digital player has based an entire industry on its customer not having to put up with anyone else for any reason, making life a succession of self-involved, self-important stories that exclude the rest of the known universe.

As such, an entire generation has grown up having no idea how to make friends, hit on chicks, appreciate labor or plan for their futures.  After all, why plan a future when anything that needs to happen is just a click away? Why not just click on a pretty girl's face to see if she's interested in having pointless sex with me? Isn't that how life's supposed to work?

Ah, the pleasures of instant gratification. Whoever imagined it would turn an entire generation into an army of emotional cripples?

Well, it has.  Sort of.

It's no coincidence that as the ranks of the emotionally retarded has swelled, so has the incidence of gender confusion and faux "tolerance" of attention-starved freaks demanding new laws and media time. Now more than ever, the media trumpets the "rights" of the sexually deranged (whose numbers aren't nearly what that media would represent), and dares to question the existence of basic human instincts.

The fact is that lots of point-and-clickers are perfectly normal -- they just don't know what to do with themselves, for fear of being castigated as "intolerant" or "racist" by their peers, all of whom are just as confused as they are.

Having been emotionally isolated and suppressed, one would think there'd be no hope for this lost generation.  But I submit to you that while the flame of humanity may be flickering, it is not completely extinguished.  In fact, I submit to you here and now that the embers are being fanned by a most unlikely savior:

Yacht Rock.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Yacht Rock is the relatively recent appellation attached to music of the 1970s and 1980s with which most boomers had a love-hate relationship. Songs about moping, love-denied males which were sung mostly by moping, love-denied males were huge hits at that time -- and are making a comeback now.  Who could ever forget Rupert Holmes' cringeworthy Him or Me or his Escape (Piña Colada Song)? Or Player's equally pathetic Baby Come Back? Or Robbie Duprée's pre-Michael McDonald arrangement of Steal AwayWell, while boomers may try to banish these bombs from their minds, it seems that Yacht Rock has captured the imagination of the point-and-click generation for a very good reason.

At first, it may seem that Yacht Rock is just one more culturally-appropriated curiosity to be written off like any other national tradition. But on closer inspection, a more telling scenario emerges: these kids are identifying with traditional feelings they've been too intimidated to express.

How weird is that? After being told their entire lives that their emotional needs and drives are merely "social constructs," an entire generation is beginning to discover its just as emotionally needy as their progenitors ever were and that maybe, things aren't so different after all.  Turns out that Yacht Rock is letting them know that maybe there really is something to that good old-fashioned boy-meets-girl thing and that the whole #MeToo thing is just as relevant as that stuff piling up behind the elephant at the zoo.

Perhaps, as obnoxious as it was to boomers, Yacht Rock will replace the preposterous transgender and feminist confusion before too many of these kids waste their lives conforming to some twisted agenda of artificial social constructs.  Maybe, if they play enough tunes, they'll rediscover what it's like to be swept off their feet, grabbed in someone's arms and, in the immortal words of Rhett Butler, "kissed and kissed well."

I get squishy just thinking about it.