Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" + Boomer Denial

What was going on in Pearl Jam's "Jeremy"? Why does it feel like we relive that video every couple of years? This is the anthem of that grunge Gen X outsider "pose".
Song recap: At home, a boy draws picture of self standing victorious on a mountain with dead below him. He envisions himself as a king of this world. His dad isnt affectionate or attentive. Mom didnt care and the boy wasnt up to her tastes. Jeremy is a harmless looking kid who gets picked on non-stop. Jeremy is such a loser than when he speaks in class, other kids note it. He gets angry and bites a female authority figure on the boob, punching the narrator in the jaw.
Here's the small, but important reveal... That isnt the event where Jeremy lost it that inspires the narrator to sing. The narrator says his jaw dropped from the surprise left handed punch just like the later day the narrator "hears something", and then segways to the stories of the kid's parents being indifferent to him. The narrator would hear those stories as excuses for why Jeremy lost it in school. The repetition gives it away. It's adults using adult words (affection?) and phrases (something mommy wouldn't wear?) to describe a less than stellar home life that excuses away what is a child's psychotic break. My guess is a gunshot. Considering the video, Jeremy killed himself in front of his class. The kids have blood splattered on them and pose with raised arms and heads turned not in a defensive move. They are not hiding below the desk's level, but turning their heads and blocking their faces like they do not want to get splattered with blood. That was how Jeremy expressed himself and spoke in class. He killed himself. You try to erase blood from a blackboard. Most people think the song is about the boob biting and fighting episode. That is just the narrator singing about this strange kid and the events and behavior that progressed to the big event, which he still can't talk about.
This song was a hit twenty years ago. For better or worse, it was a prime anthem of Gen X and the grunge era. The video is one of the best narrative videos ever, and definitely top 5 for videos in the '90s. Search in your gut and tell me Gen X/Y kids if this song didn't speak to you... even if you were top dog at school, you might have had indifferent Boomer parents. Good parents that doted on you, you might have been teased or an outcast in school. At some point in your school days, you felt like Jeremy. The song allows you to feel like Jeremy but also say "Yeah fuck my friends/family/school, but I'm not crazy like Jeremy". I'm a rebel but in a conformist way. That's why you were listening to a major label artist's song and not killing kittens in the woods.
Now to you Boomers in denial that this is your creation. Snap out of it. This is not all Boomers, but you know who I am talking to here. Boomers, you selfish overrated pieces of shit, you are the parents who raised Jeremy. Jeremy didnt exist in prior ages. Jeremy could only exist in a world where couples obsessed with material wealth, couples turned away from God, and couples who had a hard time remaining couples were the norm. You can act shocked every single time a young man loses his shit and kills people because it didnt happen in your day. You're right. It didnt happen in your day because your parents created the world that you grew up in. They beat the Nazis and the Japanese at the same time, supplied the world with food + basic necessities after the conflict and came home to provide great homes for their kids. Those lucky to survive the great depression and WW2 lived through the '60s and 70's to see their kids rebel and fight against everything that they had built and defended. Boomers decided to destroy civic and religious institutions, not trust anyone over 30 (until they turned 30), changed politics + college forever, fostered our sue happy culture, raised divorce rates to nearly 50% for a while, and had abortions at rates never seen before or since. The survivors in thsi wasteland, your younger brothers and sisters at the older end of the spectrum and your children in Gen X + Y, have grown up in this 'negative society' that you have built where traditionally good behaviors are bad and dysfunction is celebrated as good.
You want to act shocked about each new Jeremy that seems to happen more often now? Fuck you. This is your world. You built it. We endure it. You didnt see the decay because your former hippie turned corporate desk jockey ass was busy sending jobs offshore, spending money no one had because we suddenly got cheap "credit", and delighted in the mass entertainment wonders showcasing ever increasing amounts of violence and sexual depravity. How dumb are the type of Boomers I am angry at? They called Vietnam vets like my uncle the poor kid who got drafted because he didnt have a college deferment "baby killers" only to turn around a couple years later and march for abortion rights, which is technically killing babies. Go ahead and recoil from the monster Adam Lanza. He's the kid you didn't give a shit about. Not all of you Boomers, but just that sliver of you that acted as tastemakers and were the loudmouths at parties and family get togethers that had to be the center of attention. You've got no money saved for retirement. You won't be working long. You didnt give a shit about your kids. You've spent decades denying that the world is a dangerous place. Now, you're going to need us because Jeremy can't take care of you. Stop with the fake moral grandstanding, sit in the backseat and shut the fuck up.


PRCD said...

Speaking of moral grandstanding, what about the so-called "greatest generation" that raised the Boomers? What about the generation prior to the Greatest Generation (TM) that abandoned religion?

Decline takes time. We can't put it all on them but we're really no better.

peterike said...

Pearl Jam sucks, and that's all I have to say about them.

Otherwise, speaking as a Boomer I have to say the analysis is pretty spot on. My wretched demographic cohort really shat the pants of the great country they were handed. Of course, the rot began much earlier (Woodrow Wilson, anyone? Lincoln?), but the social moorings really came undone in the 60s.

While earlier eras saw massive growth in the reach and scope of government, there was never a sustained attack on the foundational values of society that we saw in the 1960s. Even that started to bubble up in the 50s, but it become all-encompassing with the Boomers. And it's been all downhill since.

PS - Capcha sucks!

Son of Brock Landers said...

Good points in both comments. The rot started before. Halberstam's book "The 50s" shows how a lot of the 60s changes had their genesis in the 50s. Socially Americans were continuously improving and still retained a link to the past. Youth culture was for youths, not for adults. That all got cut and reformatted once the Boomers got to college ('64). I do think the progressives linking up with the NY bankers in Wilson's admin is the start of our downfall.

peterike said...

I do think the progressives linking up with the NY bankers in Wilson's admin is the start of our downfall.

I think I agree with this. While I think Lincoln was a murdering tyrant and horrible for the nation, things returned more or less back to normal after the war (not counting the horrible carpetbagger exploitations of the South). At that time, the real New World Order action was still happening in Europe.

Things started cooking with the ginned-up Spanish/American war and the advent of globalist Progressive Teddy Roosevelt. The stage was really set when anti-Bankster President McKinley was assassinated by a follower of Communist Emma Goldman. Teddy then gets the Big Chair because conveniently enough McKinley's original VP Garret Hobart died a year earlier after a strange illness.

Teddy move strongly to Bankster Globalism, but when Taft won after him, Taft (a real American) pushed it back.

The Jekyll Island meeting is then held where the Banksters plotted their criminal Federal Reserve, but Taft wouldn't touch it. So the Banksters get mush-minded Woodrow to run (easily controlled and blackmailed over an affair he had while at Princeton) and they get Teddy to run as a third party, to split the vote and cause Taft to lose. (Shades of getting Clinton elected.)

The banksters now had their puppet in place, the Federal Reserve is created, as is the first income tax, and the rest is history.