Culture Posts

Is Something Missing?

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So I read an article in the Arizona Republic today about air-guitar competitions. Yes, you read that right. Air guitar. What are they playing? The air. And boy are they excited about it.

I saw this on TV awhile back and thought it was a joke. Now I realize I’ve been missing out on an entire industry of rock. Have we become this bored and over-saturated as a culture that we’ve turned to this for entertainment? As one contestant boldly proclaimed: “It’s what America needs right now.” Really?

What goes into air guitar competitions? I’m glad you asked. According to the article:

There definitely is technique involved. Judges, who openly down real beer during the competitions, look for stage presence, energy and authenticity. They also look for “airness.”

Authenticity and airness are a complicated formula. They look to see that competitors actually play the song. They look at wardrobe, which often includes fringed sleeves, tight pants and sunglasses. They look at shtick.

They interviewed a guy named Julian Vican about his aspirations of air-guitar-greatness. He recently competed in a contest where “A shirtless man dressed as a Viking ripped air and ripped off his plaid kilt to reveal a fur thong. He got points for the surprise factor.” Julian said this about his prep for the events:

“It’s kind of fun,” he said of the goofy nature of air guitar. “It’s like, ‘What am I getting nervous about?’ I don’t actually have to play the song.”

Brilliant. Now there is a competition worth watching. Hats off to our ever evolving culture of entertainment. If this is what America needs right now then we are in worse shape than I ever imagined.