Saturday, October 20, 2012

A birthday headbang

Yes, today I am becoming even older - into the back end of my forties now.

I feel the chill of approaching senility and death all the more keenly because I am just about the oldest person I know. Few of my friends here in Beijing are yet past forty, and many of them are barely into their thirties.

One of the saddest problems of this generation gap is that things I cherish as key pop culture landmarks of my childhood and early adulthood happened too long ago for them to remember, in some cases even before they were born.

I was reminded of this chasm again just the other week, when my online sparring partner Music Mike told me that he is too young to remember Not The Nine O'Clock News, an influential BBC2 comedy skit show (first television exposure for Rowan Atkinson, for one thing) that was one of the hugest hits of my last years in high school.

I had recommended to him Mel Smith's frenetic parody of a punk song, Gob On You - my favourite of all their musical numbers.

I've always loved the lines:

Sex is boring; pain is fun.
I want to cut my fingers off one by one.
Ain't no point in stayin' alive;
Wanna be dead when I'm twenty-five.

Now that I have reached nearly twice that total, I do sometimes wistfully think that bowing out in my twenties - quitting while I was ahead - might have been the wise course.

Unfortunately, Youtube only appears to have the first half of the performance on video. If you want to hear the full two-minute song - including those memorable, maudlin lines - you'll have to try this listen-only posting (with atrocious sound quality, unfortunately)... or this one (again, no video), a cover by a genuine punk band, Chaos UK.

No comments: