In a class discussion on irony, I brought up the Alanis Morrisette song “Ironic” with my students and none of them had any idea what (or who) I was talking about. As well as making me feel incredibly old – as they manage to do on occasion – it also interests me that what is one generation’s pop culture references can so easily fade, yet others have a permanency that lingers.
For example, I’m yet to have a drama class that doesn’t recognise this song:
And more and more of my students recognise this (even though none of them are 18, so why are you watching, guys?):
*Favourite theme song of all time, by the way*
But there are dozens and dozens of pop culture references that mean nothing to the next generation. It isn’t a new phenomenon – we were that generation not so long ago (she says as she cries into her hands at how aged she is LOL) – but I think that I may notice it more in my work with young people. The day we established that their reference for slow-motion acting was “The Flash” rather than “The Matrix” (those blank stares again) was an eye opener. And it makes me laugh and smile that some day CJ is going to look back at singing along with Six60 and Ed Sheeran in the car the same way that I fondly remember singing “Piano Man” with my sister on the way to school, or at home “concerts” with Bonnie Tyler, Queen and the Flashdance soundtrack.
Ah well, in the words of some other old-timers: