Air Guitar Nation – happy sadness

 If you haven’t seen the rockumentary “Air Guitar Nation (2006)”, you really should. A wacky-looking real life cartoon character wearing a Hello Kitty breastplate, calling himself C-Diddy, ends up being the world champion of air guitar…. So what, right? 

Well, just as the rockumementary “Anvil, The Story of Anvil” goes much deeper than a Spinal-Tap tale of failed dreams – and the soul-crushing passion that music can instill in an individual – so too does “Air Guitar Nation”.
The rocko follows C-Diddy: the son of an extremely successful, traditional, upper-class Japanese couple; and Bjorn Turoque: a blue-collar, failed musician, who struggles to raise the funds for a trip to the home of air guitar (and the world championship), Finland – which he does, amazingly, via a combination of an appearance on the Jimmie Kimmel show, an early attempt at a crowd funding campaign, and a dip into his parent’s wallet.

After reaching Finland and attending a ludicrous yet deadly serious air-guitar camp, Turoque’s attempts to take the air-guitar crown from Diddy again, and fails…. again. 

Despite C-Diddy’s victory, the rockumentary finishes with an excerpt from the fruits of Diddy’s success: a pooper-scooper TV infomercial. The moral of the story here is not a celebration of fame or rock-stardom: it is one of joy, of celebrating the sillineess of rocking out in the lounge…. it revels in a sense of fantasy, appropriated and exploited by computer games such as the Rockstar series.

If anything, you should check out “Air Guitar Nation” to spend 81 minutes watching a group of adults refuse to let go of their childhood dreams, as ludicrous as they may seem…. and there is a message there for all of us: never give up.

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