The Rise of the Anti-Hero
As society changes, so does the media. The conception of the anti-hero, a protagonist with little or no redeeming qualities, has become a true example of this change. America's growing acceptance of a violence-oriented society, untraditional lifestyle, and emphasis on materialism has created the increasing popularity of the anti-hero in modern music, literature, and film.
Current music and its artists are direct representations of modern society's increasing acceptance of and fascination with untraditional lifestyle. Although many musical artists lead rebellious, outrageous, and unethical lives, their influence on the public has led to tremendous acceptance of their anti-heroic traits. Their followings have acquired and incorporated similar characteristics and values. Artists such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, were among the first to start the musical anti-hero movement. From their actions and ideals stemmed an expanding genre of music based on anti-establishment principles. One example of is the gangster rap genre, whose underlying message focuses completely on the glorification of anti-heroic qualities and actions.
The lifestyles of singer songwriter Jim Morrison of the Doors, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, both greatly personify untraditional qualities, and are prime examples of anti-heroic lifestyles. Despite Jim Morrison's "consumption of alcohol and drugs, in addition to his rebellious and unprincipled lifestyle..." (Wikipedia), his constant arrests for disruption, possession of illegal substances, and indecent exposure, amongst other instances, he has been deemed "an American Poet", and is revered as genius by many. Even with his "reputation as a leather-wearing drunk beginning to proceed him, he never played down the rumors" (Wikipedia), Jim Morrison was who he was, and did not care otherwise. His "shamanistic live performances and hedonistic lifestyle" (Wikipedia) drew many towards him and his music, curious and envious of his stature and lifestyle. Morrison never toned...