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"Joel got the idea for the song when he had just turned 40. He was in a recording studio and met a friend of Sean Lennon who had just turned 21 who said 'It's a terrible time to be 21!' Joel replied to him, 'Yeah, I remember when I was 21 – I thought it was an awful time and we had Vietnam, and y'know, drug problems, and civil rights problems and everything seemed to be awful.' The friend replied, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it's different for you. You were a kid in the fifties and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties.' Joel retorted, 'Wait a minute, didn't you hear of the Korean War or the Suez Canal Crisis?' Joel later said those headlines formed the basic framework for the song."

I have heard the argument before, that things were always bad, but that isn't the point. The difference isn't that things aren't better, but that they aren't getting better. The reason we remember hippies, punk rockers and skaters is because they ended up having an outsized impact in expanding cultural centres. You can trace back entire movements or industries to certain locations or events. But is anyone going to talk about the subprime mortgage crisis, some algorithm change or even "occupy" in the future? Is anyone going to say "I was there when people were in debt, couldn't afford to live in cities and were playing video games and watching YouTube"? I think it is doubtful. People can't even remember current wars. The cast of "Girls" isn't the cast of "Kids". But I guess I can't entire rule out iJustine becoming president one day.

Which song?

Sounds like Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."

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