GTA IV

The second side of "We’re Only In It For The Money" opens with "Flower Punk":

Hey punk, where you going with that flower in your hand?
I’m goin’ up to Frisco to join a psychedelic band

Notice Zappa didn’t write SAN FRANCISCO! His audience knew what he meant by "Frisco", he assumed a level of intelligence, of hipness, a concept major music and movie companies abandoned long ago.

The vocal was cartoony. And as the song wore on, there were simultaneous monologues in each channel. You had to adjust the balance knob to avoid complete cacophony. And in each case, what was being said was inane, you had contempt for these speakers, this type of people… But this was SATIRE!

Is there any satire in Mariah Carey? "American Idol"? Not even Madonna.

Or how about Radiohead… The band takes itself so fucking seriously. Chris Martin has got a sense of humor about Coldplay, but it doesn’t come across in the act’s music, that’s deadly serious for yuppies who make you want to throw up or kill them.

Yes, kill! Call out the PC police. They’re prosecuting mind crimes now. Little Johnny can’t decide on his own who to play with and if parents don’t watch out for him at all times, he’s going to be stolen and pressed into slavery. The fact that the facts contradict this is irrelevant. Boomers would have put bumpers on the whole damn world if they could have. And Generation X is dealing with their kids the same way.

Meanwhile, these kids are sitting in their bedrooms playing "Grand Theft Auto".

Have you played "Grand Theft Auto"? The breakthrough 2001 version? Where you beat people up and have sex with prostitutes? Yup, that’s what happens. Be horrified. Just like your parents were when you wouldn’t stop playing those damn Beatle records. Better yet, those dark Zeppelin records, purveyed by people who went across this great country of ours abusing women, pouring hot wax on their bodies and doing unseemly things with mudsharks. You’ve sanitized music and movies, video games are the last frontier.

But it’s not solely about violence and seediness, there’s also humor. The same damn humor encased in a Mothers Of Invention album.

I mean I’m reading the review of Grand Theft Auto IV in the L.A. "Times" and I’m cracking up. Turns out there are TV channels in the game, and one of the shows is called "I’m Rich", which the writer says is "a spoof of celebrity-obsessed ‘news’ shows". Another program features "right-leaning commentary (from the terrorism-obsessed ‘Weasel’ network)". Kids know there’s no news on network TV, if you want hard news you go to the Net. As for cable, they can admit to themselves that Fox is biased and Bill O’Reilly is a blowhard, why can’t YOU?

Yes, while the adults are trying to sanitize society, the little boys and girls understand what’s really going on. And if they want a taste of it, they go to video games.

GTA IV is a success because of the CONCEPTION! You might think you can replicate a Picasso or the work of some minimalist artist, but you didn’t have the IDEA! It’s all about the idea. We’re drawn to those who test limits, who state the obvious in a new way, who titillate us while respecting us. All the edges have been sapped from mainstream music, you wonder why people have no compunction stealing it? You wonder why no new act hits superstar status? It’s the baby boomers paying a fortune to see oldsters, not kids. Kids think it’s a rip-off. And ridiculous. To see tiny men in tights acting like they’re still in their twenties so middle-aged people can remember the way it once was. Shit, that once for kids is NOW!

I can’t wait to play GTA IV. Not because I want to run over pedestrians or dent cars but because I want to see what the creators have in store, what they’ve come up with that will make me think, that will make me see the world in a new way. That’s what great art does, challenge your preconceptions, make you see the world in a different way.

We used to have this in the music business. Once upon a time, the Stones were dangerous and sang about getting SATISFACTION! John Lennon admitted doing drugs and said the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. All true. The only ones who were bugged were those who weren’t buying the albums anyway.

The only ones bugged about GTA IV are those who don’t own a console, who don’t play video games. They’ve truly got no idea what their kids are doing behind locked doors, not only with their controllers, but online.

The kids will survive. They always do. Art is just a reflection of society.

And we live in a phony society where the truth is known but not spoken and bullies focus on the irrelevant, like wearing flag pins, while exhibiting a holier than thou attitude. You might have had the spark beaten out of you, but kids have still got it. The music used to be a guiding light, not only leading you, but assuring you you were on the right path. Now even the festival is a rip-off. I mean how damn expensive does it have to be? How much money do the boomers have to make?

Used to be there were a plethora of stadium acts. Now, not even U2 can play a ballpark in the U.S. And that’s because music just ain’t where it’s happening. It’s about bucks more than art. It’s about safe more than dangerous. Fans will give you ALL their money if they think you deserve it. But they’d rather give it to Take-Two than you. They’re interested in getting their money’s worth.

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  1. Pingback by iPod Noticias – El iPhone en GTA IV | 2008/05/02 at 03:51:52

    […] vales, y mil cosas más. Incluso uno de nuestros gurús del panorama musical, Bob Lefsetz, habla en su blog sobre la importancia cultural de este juego. […]


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  1. Pingback by iPod Noticias – El iPhone en GTA IV | 2008/05/02 at 03:51:52

    […] vales, y mil cosas más. Incluso uno de nuestros gurús del panorama musical, Bob Lefsetz, habla en su blog sobre la importancia cultural de este juego. […]

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