So Imbroglio blew me away today. (Not to take anything away from him, but some say I AM easily impressed, so there's that to consider.) But anyway, to begin at the beginning, you should read his entire post. But what most interests me is my comment/query :
"I had to buy a birthday gift for one of my daughter’s classmates last weekend. As is typical, I asked my daughter what her friend liked, such as Barbies or whatever, and we concluded that a cd would be a big hit - all these elementary school kids have ipods, etc. The birthday party had a 50’s theme, believe it or not, which is very strange when these kids were born in 1999 or 2000. Anyway, I figured, well, it’s a 50’s theme…so I got her an Elvis cd of his #1 hits. My daughter has never heard of Elvis, so she was strongly disapproving of this choice. She wanted me to get the High School Mucical 3 cd (I actually bought both…at Sam’s Club…a bit cheaper). Anyway, the girl LOVED the Elvis cd. So should I conclude that my daughter’s musical/cultural development is being stunted because we haven’t thrust the music of by-gone eras upon her? Or is it just Abby Normal for an 8-year-old to host a 50’s-themed party and love Elvis?"
and his eloquent, perfectly articulated response, the shining gem of which is quoted below:
"...maybe what this suggests is there is no normal anymore. There are so many media outlets and so many choices that the idea of some sort of monoculture for each generation, something “we” (people of a certain age) all share, is breaking down."
He said it best. That is EXACTLY the impression I've been getting.
Although, one must be willing to acknowledge the ubiquity of the Disney Channel and its influence on today's American youth, perhaps even international youth (if anybody can attest to what other kids in other countries are watching, I'm very interested to hear it). So, while the Millennium Babies such as my daughter (High School Class of 2018) may or may not know who Elvis is or who the Beatles are (and whether they SHOULD know is a very relevant tangential point to the discussion here), they SURE DO KNOW who Hannah Montana is and who the Jonas Brothers are. So there is a bit of cultural/generational identity happening there, I'm willing to bet. I'm saying there's a Disney Channel generation brewing right under our noses. But please don't hold back if you disagree with me on that point.
Regarding cultural uniformity: Three of us (in our thirties and forties) were talking today at work and I referenced Chewie/Chewbaka (sp?) from Star Wars, and 1 of the 3 of us did not get the reference because, she openly and unashamedly disclosed, SHE HAD NEVER SEEN STAR WARS. And I don't have to ask if I'm the only one who thinks that's bizarre because the 2 of us who weren't living under a rock all our lives and HAVE seen the film were literally shocked into silence with the big, wide-open eyes expression, staring at each other like she'd just admitted some preposterous thing. Like we thought we knew her. Like we thought she was one of us. But now we knew the truth. I mean, ya think you know somebody, and then they tell you something like that. Talk about not normal!