Conversations About Contemporary Music and Culture with Myself (Part Two)

Part Two:  The Garden State Effect

If nothing else illustrates that the terminology, fashion, genre or idea of “indie” is being stretched way, way too far.  Take a look at these rom-coms directed towards teens and pre-teens.  Garden State was released in July 28, 2004 and it obviously was one of the first attempts by Hollywood to glamorize or cash in on the marketability of this growing “indie” culture.  What followed recently was Juno (2007) and Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist (2008) etc.  I’m certain I’ve overheard these damn films described as “indie” and this also cannot be further from the truth.

The point is just that.  This is a style, idea, or identity that is being marketed.  Not that claiming anything was indie, ever made it unique and cool, but certainly now, this is not the case.  But, “indie” was previously associated with anything different from what is marketed.  And this has changed.  Indie is now being marketed.  The mainstream styles that defined adolescents and their culture such as that obnoxious, red New York Yankees hat that Fred Durst (and all the teenage minions) wore backwards, or the Eminem buzzed bleached-blonde look is now young men actively searching for women’s jeans to wear.  These loathsome fashion and identity staples sold to us by music and film have most recently co-opted whatever little “indie” style there was and killed it.

Not that I give a shit about wearing women’s pants, it’s just that there used to be a dissenting culture to all things Nickelback and mainstream, but these “hipsters” (or whoever) aren’t realizing that they are what is mainstream now.  The cycle is over.  You may have loved and lived punk-rock in the 80s, but by the time Blink-182 came around, punk was no longer cool.

So it goes.  Trends, music, films, and styles come and people decide who they are going to be for the next few years without giving much thought as to why they’re buzzing their head and bleaching blonde in ’00…

only to grow it out and use a headband to plaster their mop in front of their giant sunglasses in ’08.

Leave a Reply