666, Dude

Avril Lavigne and Tracy + the Plastics and the corruption of culture

Avril Lavigne's show drove home the fact that we modern folks are a mixed-up bunch. As has been pointed out by sources ranging from Adbusters to 60 Minutes, we live in a world where hundreds of images, sounds, and words are vying for our attention every day. To adapt, we've taken to processing media quickly and making decisions, often important ones (like whom we should elect as our next president), based on small, incomplete bits of information (Bill Clinton plays the saxophone? Cool, I'll vote for him), data that's often corrupted by the ulterior motives of those who provide it. The result is this schizoid reality, in which unwitting teenagers flash the "Hail Satan" sign as a kind of thumbs-up to their favorite star.

Tracy + the Plastics' "shtick" -- the hollow banter, the microwaved beats, and the simple fact that the band doesn't exist -- reflects this manufactured, garbled, near-psychotic reality we live in. As musicians, Tracy and Nikki and Cola may not be the real thing, but then again, you could say the same about Avril Lavigne.

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