A few weeks ago I discovered an incredible band. They are called Florence and The Machine. Not only does Florence sing beautifully and have a completely original sound, but she writes lyrics like a Victorian poet writes verse.
Anyway, I started listening to Florence and fell more and more in love with the beautiful music that she creates. So today I went out and bought her CD (Lungs), put it into my mom's car, and started dancing in the passenger's seat to such beautiful, passionate, meaningful, magical music that I wanted to scream myself silly.
So we are on paragraph three and you're probably wondering by now why I'm telling you about lovely, talented Florence. And the answer to that question is this: Florence and The Machine embodies everything I am thankful for about modern culture.
People seem to think that the golden age of art, music, theatre, and literature is gone. They think that sometime around 1990 all of America and Europe's pop culture and popular art became caddy and pointless. People seem to think we respect sex, drugs, and Hummers more than we respect passion, soul, and language. I am here to tell you that is INCORRECT.
Florence and The Machine were nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for their incredible hit "Dog Days are Over". The world heard that song and, quite suddenly, the world was very excited. Florence was then featured on Saturday Night Live and The Ellen Show, performing with incredible gusto.
Florence won her way to stardom without autotune, electronic beats, or gangster rap. Florence won her way to stardom because of her words, her messages, her originality, the sheer QUALITY of her art (and the British accent probably helped).
The more I thought about Florence, the more I thought about my favorite bands. They are all bands who understand that art is still art. Just because we call Kanye West an artist, doesn't mean that The Decemberists (an incredible band from Portland. They are my favorite band, in fact. Their lead singer/songwriter, Colin, is a creative writing major) aren't to be respected.
Look at modern culture. People think we don't believe in anything but sex and dance beats, but the world published 336,814 books in 2008. Our modern culture produces new and incredible authors, poets, singers, dancers, playwrights, actors, screenwriters, painters, sculptors, directors, producers, and composers every year.
So I guess I'm saying that I'm thankful (this Thanksgiving, and every single day) that my generation's art isn't "crap" and we aren't "shallow." Or, at least, Florence doesn't think we are.
Happy Thanksgiving, Coffee Lovers!
May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.