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    Where Did Our Angst Go? Teen Esprit Revisited

    In the wake of Nevermind's historic spew and cry, the world embraced ?the dark side, and then it didn't. Will it ever again? "Smells Like Teen Spirit" started as a joke, was misinterpreted as a revolutionary message, became recast as the ultimate alienated teen anthem, bloomed into a successful crossover hit, and ultimately caused no end of grief for the band that created it. In a sense, Nevermind's most famous single is a Greek tragedy played out over 16 bars. Fittingly, Nirvana's ascent to pop stardom and enshrinement in rock history occurred at a specific moment, when America's disaffected youth inherited a terrible economy, a trashed environment, and shattered fantasies of nuclear families. Appearing against this backdrop, Nevermind was an album crammed full of angst, inner struggle, and contempt for the society that had pushed America to the brink of collapse.

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