In the end, I guess we’re all just vapor. We dissipate and vanish over time. Some of us linger for a while, like a scent in old clothes, but ultimately we go away. Even the people and things we love the most. Even The Beatles.
It was within a couple of hours of his win for Best New Artist that Justin Vernon found himself the subject of an Internet meme. Or rather, his nom de plume, Bon Iver. It probably wasn’t what he had in mind when he clumsily accepted his award but a good portion of the Twitterverse was asking, “who the fuck is Bon Ivor?” Enough that it’s inspired a Tumblr blog based on many tweeters’ mishearing the name.
While a gang of dopey Twitter geeks wondering who Bonny Bear is and why he beat out J Cole (but really, who is that?)is one thing, there’s something far more disturbing out there. Something that chills my blood and unsettles my soul. There are maybe as many of these dopes asking: Who the Fuck is Paul McCartney?
Now I know that our attentions wane and shift over the years and generational differences can leave gaps and voids between us. But aren’t some things just…known? Aren’t there some facts, events and people who endure and transcend these differences? Surely, Paul Fucking McCartney is one.
It was a few years ago that Sab astonished us all with a report that he was working with an intern who had no idea who Kurt Cobain was. While that was (and is) shocking to me—not only because of Nirvana’s place in the greater cultural hierarchy, but because he hadn’t been dead that long—the idea that ANYONE doesn’t recognize the name of one of only two living Beatles is simply mind blowing.
And yet here we are, watching the constant flow of the Twitter stream wash away the few remaining features of our collective memory. What we’re left with is a fluid and a completely forgettable shape-shift of conversation. And these memories lose their meaning…oh wait, that was the other one.