Tag Archives: 1990s

Stranger Things 2, Stranger Things II, & Arabic vs. Latin

Stranger Things 2

I’ve just quite enjoyed watching Netflix’s Stranger Things 2, though I can’t help but feel that I’d enjoy the series more if it would make more of an effort to be its own thing, and stop beating you around the head with homages to 80s cinema. That indebtedness to cultural reference begins right with the title. Ordinarily, a new season of a TV show doesn’t have a new title, but Stranger Things isn’t influenced by other TV shows, only by movies. So the pulsing Carpenter-esque score and neon logo of the original is supplemented with a “2”, to give you the feeling you’re sitting down in anticipation of some kick-ass, 80s-vintage sequel movie.

Except…that’s really not how it would be, at all. Nowadays, everyone knows that the second movie in a series is called [Original Title] 2, and maybe with some kind of subtitle, though that format’s actually been going out of fashion for a while, with sequels like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age of Ultron going simply for a subtitle, while others like Rocky Balboa, Rambo, Jason Bourne, Logan, Leatherface and Jigsaw decide that the main character’s name alone is sufficient, even where it’s confusing.

But people in the 80s likely wouldn’t recognise a big fat number 2 as the dominant sequel numbering format, either. Have a look at some of the sequel films of the 70s & 80s: The Godfather, Part II; French Connection II; Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III; Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky VSuperman IISuperman IIISuperman IV: The Quest for Peace; Friday the 13th Part II, Friday the 13th Part III, Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes ManhattanJason Goes to Hell: The Final FridayJason XFaces of Death II, Faces of Death III, Faces of Death IV, Faces of Death V, Faces of Death VI; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryPsycho IIPsycho IIIPsycho IV: The Beginning; Porky’s II: The Next DayThe Hills Have Eyes Part II; Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III; The Karate Kid Part II, The Karate Kid Part IIIEvil Dead IIRevenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation, Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in LoveGhoulies IIGhoulies III: Ghoulies Go to CollegeGhoulies IVPhantasm II, Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, Phantasm IV: Oblivion; Hellbound: Hellraiser II; Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, Hellraiser IV: Bloodline, Hellraiser V: Inferno, Hellraiser VI: Hellseeker, Hellraiser VII: Deader, Hellraiser VIII: Hellworld, Hellraiser IX: RevelationsThe Fly II; Ghostbusters II; Back to the Future Part II, and Back to the Future Part III. There’s a trend here for Roman numerals, perhaps because they lend your (quite possibly trashy) sequel a touch of class, perhaps because they’re familiar from Superbowl numbering (which only ever took one short break from Romans, for Superbowl 50); or, most likely, because everyone else was doing it. This extended to the biggest franchise of the time, Star Wars, which may have been screwy by starting its numbering at four, but nonetheless ran through Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi before reaching Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.

With a small number of exceptions, running basically only to Jaws 2, Mad Max 2: The Road WarriorPolice Academy 26 and A Nightmare on Elm Street 25, it was like this all throughout the 1980s, and it wasn’t until the dawn of the 1990s that Arabic numerals started to take over from Roman: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987), Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (1989), Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990), Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991); Fright Night Part 2 (1988); Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998); Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990); RoboCop 2 (1990), RoboCop 3 (1993); Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990); Troll 2 (1990), Troll 3 (1993); Child’s Play 2 (1990), Child’s Play 3 (1991); Predator 2 (1990); Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003); ALIEN³ (1992); Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Home Alone 3 (1997), Home Alone 4 (2002). Maybe this was due to greater audience familiarity with that more practical numbering system, which wouldn’t see audiences getting distracted trying to figure out what number Friday the 13th Part VIII really translated to. But then again, they were probably all just playing follow the leader. Some series even started out using Roman then switched to Arabic in the late-80s or 1990s: there was 1981’s Halloween II, then 1982’s Halloween III: Season of the Witch before we got 1988’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and 1989’s Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael MyersMeatballs Part II (1984), Meatballs III: Summer Job (1986), then Meatballs 4 (1992); Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988) and Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993).

And you have to feel sorry for the really confused Texas Chainsaw series, which managed to take a step backwards in following up 1986’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 with 1990’s Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as did Death Wish, moving from 1982’s Death Wish II to 1985’s Death Wish 3 and 1987’s Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, then backtracking for 1994’s Death Wish V: The Face of Death. For the most part, though, switching to Arabic was a permanent decision, and it was always Latin to Arabic, never vice versa. Looking at how many of the movies listed here have been invoked by Stranger Things, you might think they’d think pay closer attention. But it’s too late now for them to try Stranger Things III.

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Hideo Nakata, Takashi Shimizu, & the Golden Age of J-Horror

sadako

I might not have mentioned, but I was recently at FrightFest, which is always the highlight of the year for me. We’d been promised a mysterious new Adam Wingard picture entitled The Woods, which was set to be the very latest thing in scaring audiences’ pants off. Well, as it turned out, it wasn’t really The Woods at all, but rather a new sequel to The Blair Witch Project. At the same time, it turned out we weren’t really getting to see it at all, but THEN it turned out that instead we were getting Sadako vs. Kayako, i.e. The Ring vs. The Grudge. For me, that was a good result I’d been eagerly awaiting Sadako vs. Kayako since its announcement, & nothing could dampen that enthusiasm.

As it turned out, the picture was only OK, offering a few interesting ideas but undermining itself with tongue-in-cheek humour & never really reaching the nightmare pitch achieved in the best of its predecessors (Ringu, Ju-On: The Curse, Ju-On: The Grudge, The Ring). Perhaps this shouldn’t be too surprising. Those films all came out within a remarkably short period of time a Golden Age for what was called J-Horror.

J-Horror is not simply any horror that comes out of Japan, but in order to qualify it does have to be Japanese. The films from J-Horror’s Golden Age favoured vengeful spirits, usually girls in white dresses with stringy black hair. The approach to horror, while often incorporating a hefty dose of surrealism, was subtle too, usually avoiding gore, or even any specific depictions of harm, in favour of maddeningly relentless pursuits. They were also heavily reliant on intelligent use of the frame, hiding characters in background shadows or just out of shot. Naturally, this meant the films required talented directors making them work, which is exactly what they got: Hideo Nakata helmed Ringu, Ringu 2 & The Ring Two, leaving other, less talented directors to follow him on pictures such as Ringu‘s discredited sequel Rasen, the surprisingly effective prequel film Ringu 0: Birthday, & the tacky, CGI-filled later revivals Sadako 3D & Sadako 2 3D. Hideo Nakata’s relationship to Ju-On is similar; the series had its origins in the shorts “Katasumi” & “4444444444” released in the anthology Gakkô no kaidan G. Nakata expanded around them with Ju-On: The Curse & Ju-On: The Curse 2, before giving the series its first reboot with Ju-On: The Grudge, which earned its own sequel in Ju-On: The Grudge 2. Following the success of Ringu‘s even better US remake The Ring, lavishly staged by later Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, Ju-On: The Grudge received a similar US treatment, yet again directed by Shimizu, who would also stay on for The Grudge 2 before abandoning both the Japanese & American iterations of his franchise. The Grudge 3 went straight to home video, but the American series continues to hold out hope, with a reboot reportedly in the works. In Japan, the series never quite fell out of fashion, & the spin-off films Ju-On: White Ghost, which was pretty good, & Ju-On: Black Ghost, which was less so, marked the series’ tenth anniversary before yet another reboot in Ju-On: The Beginning of the End, whose sequel was Ju-On: The Final Curse. Sadako vs. Kayako, for those who are interested, reboots both series yet again in order to incorporate some minor changes to the mythos.

The US pictures coming out at this time that weren’t remakes of Japanese pictures ended up looking like they might as well be, while the cinemas of China & Korea both responded to the horror waves coming from Japan. A neighbouring, yet different, genre enjoying a little Golden Age of its own at the same time was Asian extreme, best represented by Korean Park Chan-Wook & Japanese Takashi Miike, while the tactics of J-horror fed into, & from, other media, such as the horror manga of Junji Ito, the novels of Kōji Suzuki, or the many survival horror videogames released in the same period.

Nakata & Shimizu made some other excellent horrors; Nakata delivered his masterpiece in Dark Water, which also had a US remake, while Nakata delivered the Junji Ito adaptation Tomie: Rebirth, the Lovecraftian Marebito, The Shock Labyrinth, & Tormented. But other directors were active, too; if you want to easily keep track of them, why not try the J-Horror Theater imprint? It gathered six of J-Horror’s leading talents to deliver one picture each; Nakata & Shimizu pitched in with Kaidan & Reincarnation respectively, while the other pictures were Infection (from Masayuki Ochiai of Parasite Eve, Saimin, Shutter, & Kotodama – Spiritual Curse before taking over for Shimizu on the Ju-On franchise); Premonition (from Tsuruta Norio of Ringu 0: Birthday & Kakashi, which was based on a Junji Ito manga); Retribution (from Kiyoshi Kurosawa, best-known for Pulse); & finally Kyōfu (from Ringu screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi). The J-Horror Theater series had mostly died off by its later entries, however, as had the brief, incredibly terrifying success of the genre. Sometimes all it takes to create a Golden Age is one or two great talents. Or maybe there was just something in the water in the late-90s.

The Matrix, the late-90s, & the peak of human civilisation

matrix-city

WHEN Morpheus is explaining The Matrix to Neo, he mentions that when the machines were building their virtual reality, they chose to recreate the late 1990s, the peak of human civilisation. I can recall being young in the early-00s & hearing people mocking that line, I think only because it dates the movie. But so? The more time has passed, the more obvious it becomes that Morpheus was exactly right: the Berlin Wall had fallen; 9/11 had yet to occur; Tony Blair & Bill Clinton were world leaders beloved in their own countries & abroad. The Gulf War was over, & the War on Terror had yet to replace the relatively death-free War on Drugs*. The crack epidemic of the 1980s was dying out, & crime was way down. The economy was booming, and liberal democracy represented the end of history; Brexit, & the rise of anti-establishment politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump & Marine Le Pen show a mass resistance to that very global stability, but at the time it looked like it was going to be nothing but peace, stability & prosperity forever on out.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s Senator Barack Obama in the 2004 preface to his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father: I began writing against a backdrop of Silicon Valley and a booming stock market; the collapse of the Berlin Wall; Mandelain slow, sturdy stepsemerging from prison to lead a country; the signing of peace accords in Oslo. Domestically, our cultural debatesaround guns and abortion and rap lyricsseemed so fierce precisely because Bill Clinton’s Third Way, a scaled-back welfare state without grand ambition but without sharp edges, seemed to describe a broad, underlying consensus to which even George W. Bush’s first campaign, with its compassionate conservatism, would have to give a nod. Internationally, writers announced the end of history, the ascendance of free markets and liberal democracy, the replacement of old hatreds and wars between nations with virtual communities and battles for market share. (Three Rivers Press, 2004 edition, pp. ix-x)

There were some more specific pleasures, too: the 90s was an unusually good decade for film, including The Matrix, but we had yet to see the wave of terrible post-Matrix action films (including the sequels. Har!). The ludicrous fashions of the 80s & early-90s were dead, and everyone looked relatively normal in their Levi’s. There wasn’t a whole load of great music around, but hip-hop was at a high-water mark (Wu-Tang Clan, 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Eminem, NaS), we had some great pop-punk & no-one had had to put up with a new Guns N’ Roses record in years. Everyone was so happy & prosperous that TV was full of shows about happy, prosperous people: the friendcom. OK, you might say, but this is all just nostalgia talking, and any generation could point to its own cultural high-points. But my point is that, despite the inevitable sterility that living at the end of history brings, the 90s still managed a healthy, if un-revolutionary, culture of its own plus unprecedented access to the cultural treasures of previous generations, thanks to the first real, full flourishing of videotape, in case that happened to be more your thing. What could you possibly want that you didn’t have, except maybe faster Internet?

There are plausible objections to the theory that the 1990s was the peak of human civilisation so far. A friend mentioned that African starvation was at much, much higher levels then than today; one might also mention the ongoing wars in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Chechnya, Rwanda, Liberia, Yugoslavia, the Congo, Somalia, & elsewhere. But a fact that’s often missed about The Matrix is that it isn’t a recreation of Earth in the late-90s. It’s actually a single, enormous city, Matrix City, which bears a suspicious resemblance to Sidney. So those regional conflicts presumably don’t even exist, & everyone we see in The Matrix appears to be affluent, if a little dronish. It’s the end of history indeed, & it is sweet.

*The War on Christmas had yet to begin in earnest.

Green Day, The Offspring, & the politics of pop-punk

HERE’S the brand-new song from Green Day, “Bang Bang”, an almost-timely exploration of the death-&-fame cult of mass shootings. Its unannounced release, coupled with the news that a new album is due in October, is explosive news for those who were only tided over by the new blink-182 album. They needn’t worry; with a new Sum 41 album due on the same release date as Green Day’s, pop-punk Christmas will assuredly come early.

&, in case you’re wondering, it’s definitely pop-punk we’re talking about. “Bang Bang” occupies a No Man’s Land between triumphant & routine, but what it is not is a continuation of the emo-friendly direction the band took from American Idiot onwards. Punk, of course, has moved in waves through its life like any other genre, & it’s only natural that, 20 years on from the heyday of pop-punk, pop-punk should once again be the dominant punk subgenre. The whole movement began, as any music fan knows*, with artsy New Yorkers like The Patti Smith Group, The New York Dolls, Blondie, Television, the Talking Heads, & the Ramones, only the last of which are really identifiably punk; it took subsequent waves in London & Manchester to produce the classic punk sound of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned & The Buzzcocks. That scene, like a punk rock tune, burned out almost as soon as it had begun, & was replaced within two years by artier sounds such as post-punk, new wave, synthpop, & ska. But almost as quickly as the white rage of punk was dying in the UK, US hardcore bands like Black Flag, Dead Kennedys & Minor Threat were arriving to carry the (now-burning-even-insanely-more-incandescently) torch, & while the UK never really bothered keeping the scene alive, hardcore (including subgenres, such as straight edge & the first wave of emo) ruled Stateside for close to 15 years. In that context, Green Day’s Dookie album not their début, though it might as well have been – represented something truly unique, in that it went back to the British sound that no-one had bothered copying in ages, poppified it by about 20-30%, & added relatable lyrics that moved deftly from fratboy gross-out humour to suburban malaise for maximum appeal. Purists may have, & still may, turn up their noses, but in terms of influence Dookie makes it into any punk Top Ten of albums, & within a few years of its release, every US punk group that mattered had either formed in Dookie‘s wake, or had switched sound to capitalise.

This analysis finds me as objective as it’s possible to be when discussing something as inherently subjective as cultural trends. I’m not biased by nostalgia because, in truth, I’m a relatively new Green Day fan. I was aware of “Basket Case” & “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”, though few others, through MTV2 growing up in the early 00s, bought the American Idiot album & quickly tired of it after heavy rotation, then for ten years almost never thought about them. It wasn’t until, as an anniversary present, I got my girlfriend tickets to the American Idiot stage musical last year, that I was forced to re-evaluate the band, finding fragments of the entire album sticking in my head weeks & months after the performance. I’m an admirer of any composer who knows their way around a pop hook, & Green Day might pip The Beatles for the top spot of catchiest band of all time. So I found myself re-purchasing American Idiot, which I’d misplaced in the intervening decade, & while I was at it buying Insomniac, Nimrod (their best, tune-for-tune), & Warning, the three post-Dookie albums which, put together, form a relatively rare string of records which find a band at their peak in terms of musicianship, songwriting ability, & commercial appeal at once.

I’d missed all this because, during the eight heady years when pop-punk bands ruled the earth, I was an Offspring fan. I was a huge fan, looking back on it: I had all their albums; knew all the words to every song; read their sleevenotes; could name each band member (I no longer can!); I called them my favourite band; & I sincerely believed that they would always be my favourite band. In retrospect, they’re not even my favourite of the 90s pop-punk bands. Green Day beat them in terms of tunesmanship, lyrics, vocals, musicianship, punk attitude, & rad album covers**. Additionally, having switched to a pop-punk sound following the success of Dookie makes The Offspring seem like followers rather than setters of trends, the .5 in a 1.5-horse race. After Green Day’s second time around changing the mainstream face of punk with American Idiot, The Offspring belatedly followed with Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace. Even when playing in Green Day’s shadow, however, The Offspring’s sound was reliant on a thick, quasi-metal guitar crunch courtesy of various indifferent (over)producers, which I tend to find less appealing than Green Day’s authentically thin, wiry, fuzzy punk sound courtesy of Rob Cavallo.

It stands to reason, though, that the two dominant bands of the 90s scene should differ in this way. While Green Day’s biggest influences, from their riffs to their subject matter to Billie Joe Armstrong’s almost mockney whine, were British groups like The Damned & Sex Pistols (& as of American Idiot, The Who), The Offspring played in a characteristically American, characteristically Californian sound that they owed to Black Flag, Dead Kennedys & Bad Religion. The obviousness of these influences is diluted a little on The Offspring’s later albums due to a timely, Dookie-informed switch to pop-punk, but on their first two releases (with songs like “Kill The President” & “L.A.P.D.” respectively), it can be seen plainly, & the metallic guitars about which I complained in the paragraph above are all part of that. Similarly, when words fail Green Day lyricist Armstrong, his fallbacks are Beatlesy “yeah”s and “hey”s, whereas Holland prefers the “woah-ohs” of the Ramones.

Perhaps related to their British vs. American key influences is a distinctly different philosophical approach. While the scatological humour of Green Day would provide blink-182 & Sum 41 with their sole raison d’être, the band were never apolitical in the way that their imitators were. But there’s a touch of unconventiality of topic to songs like “King for a Day” (transvestism), “Welcome to Paradise” (slum living & missing one’s mother) or “Having a Blast” (being a suicide bomber; perhaps a dry-run for “Bang Bang”) that, coupled with their leavening moments of humour, can make them easy to overlook as political songs. By the time the band performed “Warning” (a warning against, well, warnings) it was hard to tell what they meant & what was classic, British-style sarcasm, & it was sad to see that, by the time of the otherwise accomplished American Idiot, the band’s message had degenerated into standard punk insurrection against a barely-understood but assuredly no-good political machine made up of Bush, 7-Eleven, the military-industrial complex, rednecks, mass media, & one’s parents. It was left-wing music, something Billie Joe Armstrong, an endorser of Bernie Sanders for President, would, I assume, happily affirm.

The Offspring, meanwhile, forged their own path with what is recognisably, though never explicitly, that most unheard-of-in-punk of all political philosophies: libertarianism. Educated, good-natured frontman Dexter Holland never once exhorts us to smash the system, extolling instead a philosophy of privacy, decency &, above all, self-determination. Alright, I earlier cited songs such as “Kill the President” &”L.A.P.D.” as proof of their hardcore lineage. But strip away the fashionable rage, & the key lyric of “Kill The President” is not “Kill the president”, but “A leader’s not the center of democracy”; “L.A.P.D.”, meanwhile, opens with, “When cops are taking care of business, I can understand/But the L.A. story’s gone way out of hand”, functioning like a disclaimer to inform unwary listeners that, even with the early, edgy Offspring, it’s not really an anti-police anthem in the tradition of “Police & Thieves” (Junior Murvin/The Clash), “Hate the Police” (The Dicks) or “Fascist Pig” (Suicidal Tendencies).

Elsewhere self-determination comes up again & again; “Staring at the Sun” is defiant in the face of a lousy world; “All I Want”‘s classic chorus is “Leave me alone, I’m not asking a lot/I just don’t want to be controlled/That’s all I want”. “The Meaning of Life” features the lines “Open wide and they’ll shove in their meaning of life/Not for me, I’ll do it on my own”. “I Choose”, in spite of its absurdity, is nevertheless a song about choice in life, & even wackier songs such as “Don’t Pick It Up” or “Way Down the Line” advocate personal responsibility in their own way; even the pseudo-mystical “Pay the Man” gets in some anti-government paranoia, “The Man is making little bets/Playing with our lives”. The incoherency of left-wing punk rage is repeatedly skewered in Offspring tracks like “Change the World”, “Cool to Hate”, & “One Fine Day”. Meanwhile, “Walla Walla”, “Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)”, “Genocide” & “Jennifer Lost the War” are accounts of incorrigible criminality. The concerns of a song like “Neocon” could easily be Green Day’s, but the objection is still against a centralisation of power. “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” ought, at this point, to speak for itself.

You might also notice that both bands’ love songs tend to be addressed to a similar sort of selfish, fucked-up woman; where, however, a liberal would feel compassionate about her problems might, in fact, go as far as to romanticise them, as in Green Day songs such as “She”, “Extraordinary Girl”, “She’s a Rebel”, “Whatsername”, et cetera The Offspring’s back catalogue bulges with songs of disdain for women who are irresponsible in their private lives: “Self Esteem”, “Feelings”, “She’s Got Issues”, “Want You Bad”, “Spare Me the Details”, “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” (again!).

So then is the personal political? Not quite, but it’s long been held that there is a left/right split that is purely philosophical***; leftwing individuals tend to emphasise collective responsibilities, even in apolitical scenarios, hence the collective politics of anarchism, communism, socialism & liberalism. Rightwingers on the other hand believe in personal responsibility, hence classic conservative ideas such as the limited state & the free market which, undiluted, make up some form or other of libertarianism. Given that, Johnny Ramone aside, punk rock’s only dalliance with any form of right-wing politics consists of Nazi punks of the sort the Dead Kennedys memorably told to “Fuck Off”, you can understand why The Offspring’s libertarianism is mostly buried within lyrics that recognisably fit with punk-rock rebellion, at least until examined together. Or perhaps these dancable, fashionable, popular songs were intended mostly as apolitical &, as it is for most people, personal values create entirely unconscious biases in ways of perceiving, feeling, & expression.

O, & by the way, neither band managed to write the perfect pop-punk song. That feat was accomplished by the otherwise unremarkable Jimmy Eat World, here.

pop-punk

*Yes, yes, down in front, put down your hand, I see you. Of course the previous decade gave us The Sonics, The Monks, The Seeds, The Velvet Underground, the MC5, & The Stooges, but all of these groups were (with the noble exception of general weirdoes the VU) parts of regional garage-rock scenes, & that their Beatles/Stones/Dylan/Kinks knock-offs were faster, nastier & snottier than those of their contemporaries does not mean that they, together, constitute a punk scene, only that they were stepping stones. In any case The Stooges & their scion Iggy Pop seemed to mean more to the Brits than they did to the Yanks, while The Velvet Underground’s main legacy is art-rock from Bowie through R.E.M. to Belle & Sebastian. However, it may be instructive to note that, just as pop-punk was dying in the early-00s, the garage-rock revival was reaching its peak, led by The White Stripes, The Hives, & The Vines. Feel free to visualise these briefly-overlapping periods of subgenre dominance as a series of sine waves.

**Proof: The Offspring took the CD reissue of their first LP as an opportunity to replace this badassery with this…thing.

***This footnote probably requires more citations, but a friend recommended Joe Feagin, “Subordinating the Poor: Welfare and American Beliefs”, 1975, available here, & Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, available here.