Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This week's Bagehot

From this week's The Economist's Bagehot section entitled "Summer in the noughties - Like English themselves, the English summer has changed yet stayed the same" :

"But there are new summer fixtures too, as telling as the old ones[...] Huge numbers of people stand in the mud at the proliferating music festivals, many of them thirty-somethings housed in heated tepees - reflecting the decline of counterculture or the elongation of youth, depending on your point of view[..]"
OK, I'm not a Briton and I'm neither thirty-something. But I will definitely spend my next few days of welcomed holiday attending a proliferating music festival (13.000 people a day, which is medium sized compared to the Wacken's 40.000/day attendance), according to the weather forecast in Dinkeslbühl I might actually spend some time in mud and I will definitely be living in a teepee for the duration of the festival, where the heck should I stay elsewhere, in a hyped German countryside 3 stars hotel where for one night I would pay two thirds of the price of the entire 3 days festival? But I surely don't see this as the decline of counterculture - I don't say anything about the elongation of youth since I'm not in the thirty-something category. I don't even agree on the "counterculture" point of view, but that's a different issue. I'd rather say that the person writing these lines misses completely the point - at least as far as Metal festivals are concerned - and I would happily leave him dwell in his own ignorance. I'm just curious how counterculture should really manifest in his opinion? I'm not saying it should necessarily imply standing in mud at a music festival - it just has nothing to do with this, metalheads went headbanging for Metallica in a concert hall - I'm just afraid the answer would rather reveal tired stereotyped attitudes than real acts of culture.