Generation Coca-Cola

Want to a new rock tip? Listen to the music of Legião Urbana.

The new film Somos Tão Jovens (We Are So Young) tells the story of Renato Russo, famed singer  of Brazilian punk/rock band Legião Urbana. Russo's music chronicled the angst of bourgeois Brasilia right before the Brazilian dictatorship fell in the mid 80's. Russo sang about the upper middle class working for the feds, and wrote about conformity, consumerism, and silence.  He wrote songs like Tedio - Com Um T Bem Grande Pra Voce (Tedium - with a Big T for You).

The high-waisted jeans and the wide-framed boho glasses look like something out an American Apparel ad:

Here's the trailer:

Somos Tao Jovens is generally surprising. For starters, it's been the best-selling movie in Brazil this year, and its subject is a bisexual emo-hero who died, tragically, of AIDS. To top that, the Brazilian government is the film's top financier. Russo is a rock hero, the identity politics curiously notwithstanding. And that's because his music is so incredible. Russo's music has the lush, larger-than-life belts of Queen, Depeche Mode, Los Hombres G, or maybe even Jaguares. That late 80's love letter yell, with a very natively Brazilian, home-spun punk feel.

Check out the lyrics from one of his most famous songs, Generation Coca-Cola:

"Somos os filhos da revolução
We are the sons of the revolution
Somos burgueses sem religião
We are bourgeois without religion
Somos o futuro da nação
We are the future of the nation
Geração Coca-Cola
Generation Coca-Cola"

Great art transcends borders, and Renato's coca-cola generation is also ours. Certo? 


When I Grow Up

The war to win the future is one of messaging. Whether or not we live in the same reality in twenty years will depend, to a great degree, on the language we use to describe that reality.

I was reminded of that last weekend, when I heard a four-year old little boy say that when he grew up, he wanted to marry his babysitter. He went with the simple, easy option that replicated what he knows.

How can we make alternative choices sound that simple?

For kids, it's easier to say “When I grow up, I’m going to get married” than, “When I grow up, I want to be in a non-gendered, open and equitable long-term partner relationship.”

Imagine teaching that to little kids, Dora the Explorer style. “Now, say it with me – ‘romantic partnership’.”

“Can you say, ‘Joint checking accounts?’”