Manifesto for Air-Guitar

In lieu of Ashlee Simpson’s lip-syncing, obviously an homage to the late and not so un-great Milli Vanilli, I have begun to reconsider the virtues of air-guitar.

Air-guitar is a lost art-form. In some ways, so much more punk rock than the silliness we know as the current punk rock ethos. Not only do they not really know how to play instruments (we suppose) but they are also crass enough to pretend that they are creating said music for an audience. Air-guitar is so strange, in that it is potentially an individual act, which would mean that air guitarists play the role of the musician, but that they can also recreate the image of a rock god for their own audience. Here the subversive powers of air-guitar makes itself known: Air-guitar has its roots in magic.

Damn right!

At first, I had my doubts, but I did some research and discovered a couple of interesting, irrefutable facts.

Proposition 1: A world without magic would be boring as all hell.

No ‘Monkey’s Paw’; no witches; no warlocks; no Like Water for Chocolate; Gandalf certainly wouldn’t be yelling “You cannot pass”; and Harry Potter would just remain a horribly abused orphan. Without magic, you could never truly know the beauty of The Princess Bride, most of which is actually imagining Peter Falk as your grandfather.

Proposition 2: Monsters do not necessarily entail magic.

Flying monkeys ARE magical, yes. Godzilla, however, is a scientific catastrophe. The debate here is still open. Although if there were a world without magic, we would be waging genocidal warfare on pixies, sprites, and faeries.

Proposition 3: Fate could not exist in a magic-less world.

This means that a magic-less world is just a boring and frustrating reality, and magic identifies obstacles, limitations, and fears. Magic is a tool of creativity, transcendence, and empowerment, it additionally lends strength to that crazy idea that we might have meaningful lives.

Therefore: Air-guitar has now replaced magic’s once coveted position in Western culture.

Air-guitar makes life less boring. It makes us feel like we’re frickin’ miracle workers, and it’s flashy and as entertaining as all get-out. Air-guitar, much like magic, does not make sense! It is all incorporated into our existence, demanding that the impossible be acknowledged as possible in our reality. It puts its audience into a world of created purpose, much like a magical realm, where “monsters of rock” are created and worshiped, where heroes are enchanting and empowered.

Breakout your Aeoliean Stratocasters, Telecasters, Hondos, and go forth to reclaim reality! Life as you know it is meaningless without the splendors, the whimsy, and the sheer magnitude and beauty of it! Drop on your backs and kick up your legs,- hold that pick just right! Slam your arm in circles and gesture up and down the frets, like an epileptic on speed! Get drunken pals to head-bang together, and exchange knowing nods! You ARE Ratatat! You are Drive Like Jehu, and your brothers and sisters are Sonic Youth, Robert Smith, and you march tonight, together; BRETHREN, to the streets!

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