I watched The Filth and the Fury on Saturday night, a documentary about the Sex Pistols. A good portion recounted the public outrage over the band and it's [screw] everything mentality. There were calls to ban the group's music, protestors outside their hotels, that sort of thing. It reminded me of the uproar over heavy metal in general and artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and even Prince in the 1980's (remember the PMRC? Was there ever a time someone in the Gore clan wasn't trying to tell us how to live our lives?).
Before that was Elvis. Remember when it was forbidden to show him on TV from the waist down? I don't, actually, but it happened. Something about his pelvis ruining the moral fabric of America. That fabric appears to be very fragile,: it can be torn by teenagers masturbating!
More recently was outrage over Marilyn Manson, who took the shock antics of Alice Cooper (another target of the morals police) and gave it a 21st century special effects upgrade. We were all assured that his music caused teen pregnancy, devil worship, and school shootings.
(As an aside, isn't it amazing what a musician with a goth aesthetic and a penchance for controversy can accomplish in the field of "getting women ordinarily out of his league"?)
Anyway, after watching the Sex Pistols drink, smoke, wear swastika t-shirts and generally act like jackasses for two hours, I began to wonder who will be the next band to take up the mantle of "destroyer of the moral fabric". Somewhere out there, right now, are a bunch of obnoxious kids practicing in mom's basement. They're going to grow up, write some catchy songs and adopt something, some look, some profane tendency, some public persona, that will convince a sizeable portion of the population that the band will kill America once and for all. That this time it's for real; they'll succeed where Elvis, The Beatles (after they found drugs), Judas Priest, Ozzy, Public Enemy and Marilyn Manson all failed. I can't wait. I just hope it's after all this emo crap dies out.