Tii-i-i-me is on my side. No it’s not!

Jason Kottke’s musing about timeline twins and the subsequent comments is some fun mind candy for a Sunday morning. As one of the comments says, “The fact that it’s been 32 years since I first heard The Ramones is mind-blowing to me.” It’s only been 22 years for me, but still. Wow.

Several comments (here and here) discuss whether “we” (meaning thirty- or forty-somethings and younger) have changed the way we relate to popular culture compared to our parents. “Imagine still listening to the music of your youth?” one writes. “These days we evolve and move on. And are in fact terrified of hanging on for too long to any one moment in history.”

That is both a fascinating and terrifying possibility. The first thought that springs to mind is that “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” I think it’s true that we have become much more of a transient culture than that of previous generations; we do live through the moment, then move on to the next w/little thought about what has come before. How else could we get into the current financial crisis other than by paying no attention to the long-term, to the lessons of the past, and living only in the now?

The thing is, I find myself looking back constantly. Sometimes the urge is stronger than at others, but I have two big boxes of cassettes — yeah, cassettes — that I keep because they have music I don’t have in any other format and which I don’t want to forget. I dream of digitizing all (or most) of these cassettes so that I can listen again whenever I want and with ease to the music of my youth. Does that make me a weirdo? Am I out of touch w/”my generation”? Hmph.

It’s all fun to think about, though. I love this one: “Mathew Broderick lip synching The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” (1964) in the parade in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) would be like someone lip synching Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” in a movie in 2008.”


4 thoughts on “Tii-i-i-me is on my side. No it’s not!”

  1. “Mathew Broderick lip synching The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” (1964) in the parade in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) would be like someone lip synching Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” in a movie in 2008.”

    Actually, I’m surprised that hasn’t happened yet. I was in a bar in San Diego and the 20-somethings were very enthusiastically screaming along with “Livin’ On A Prayer.” WHOOOAAAHHH! They also love Journey. So.

  2. I had to buy a birthday gift for one of my daughter’s classmates last weekend. As is typical, I asked my daughter what her friend liked, such as Barbies or whatever, and we concluded that a cd would be a big hit – all these elementary school kids have ipods, etc. The birthday party had a 50’s theme, believe it or not, which is very strange when these kids were born in 1999 or 2000. Anyway, I figured, well, it’s a 50’s theme…so I got her an Elvis cd of his #1 hits. My daughter has never heard of Elvis, so she was strongly disapproving of this choice. She wanted me to get the High School Mucical 3 cd (I actually bought both…at Sam’s Club…a bit cheaper). Anyway, the girl LOVED the Elvis cd. So should I conclude that my daughter’s musical/cultural development is being stunted because we haven’t thrust the music of by-gone eras upon her? Or is it just Abby Normal for an 8-year-old to host a 50’s-themed party and love Elvis?

  3. Wow, I think you need to meet this girl’s parents. Why are *they* forcing her to listen to Elvis!? Still, it’s a classic. I own the same cd myself because sometimes, well, it’s just the right thing. So I don’t know. I suspect it is Abby Normal for an 8-year-old to have a 50s party, but maybe what this suggests is there is no normal anymore. There are so many media outlets and so many choices that the idea of some sort of monoculture for each generation, something “we” (people of a certain age) all share, is breaking down. Hmmm. Much more wild and baseless speculation is required!

  4. “there is no normal anymore…” okay, I’m linking to that from my blog, ’cause that is one hawt phrase (as TrannyHead would say) and I fully intend to promote additional speculation on this subject, wilder and baseless-er speculation, absolutely. The People need your wisdom!

    Seriously, what you said was spot-on. Thank you for articulating what I could not.

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