Saturday, January 2, 2016

Rock Dentistry Densetsu


I vaguely recall a school lesson about bread in ancient Egypt. By vaguely I mean the only part I recall is something about how they would make bread with rocks in it. I asked the teacher why they would do such a thing and she responded “poor dental hygiene”. You could imagine, if you had learned in school that bread was originally to include rocks in the dough, what a talking to that baker would get, for dentistry still had to occur before such reckless experimentation could be fiddled with. As such, one could make an argument that the conservative objections to rock and roll of the 1950s could have less root in pious moral panic, and more in concerns over the dentist bill.

To understand this first let us consider the experience of a trip to the beach. Walking past a boardwalk  t-shirt stand, you may see several teen idol licenses you are not familiar with and assume their names are just strange sayings. In the same fashion that I originally assumed One Direction was some kind of motivational fad buzz-phrase, some preacher or school principle must have first been horrified at the idea of “all the teens in town getting on the road to the Hell that is the pre-masticated buffet”. The zeal must have been enough to prevent the sheepish audience from understanding the intended figurative use of the word Hell as a caution against the inability to eat solid foods.

What was meant to discourage tooth loss inducing bread-dumbness had instilled a religious vendetta in 1950's America against the kind of rock and roll that doesn’t necessitate dentures out of the box. That being said, the establishment would gradually accept rock and roll music and an observable turning point came when Brian Wilson declared he was “making real good bread” in The Beach Boys' 1964 hit “I Get Around”. This point of fact attests to the complete mis-attribution of his impact on rock and roll to that Pet Sounds/Smile hub-bub. It was indeed his straight talk to the self-deputized tooth cautioners that got us out of the days of grievances over “devil’s music” and in to the frontiers that would be the days of grievances over the youth being “just a bunch dopers that are allergic to haircuts”.

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