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.”