Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the old new

Here's a question:

Do we, in the 2000, obsess over idealized notions of the past...

As much in as people obsessed over the future in the 1900s?

Heard an interview with old time banjo player/fiddler Frank Fairfield where he was asked, basically, if he was idealizing a bygone time. He said that he wasn't really, that all the old songs he plays were written as a way of pining for places and times that no longer exist. Almost like a cycle of longing.

So maybe everyone's always been looking backwards as well as forwards. And it's probably because of the stuff I surround myself with (being an admitted & fearless nostalgic), but, visually at least, everyone seems to be wanting to dig into the past. The irony is that much of the digging is happening/being aired online. A place the people in the not so good old days could never imagine and we in the not perfect nowadays are still trying to determine the boundaries of.

Maybe it's just the circle closing.

(Top photo from the A Clock Without Hands blog)


Janelle said...

Exacto! I feel like things have begun changing so fast this past decade within technology and the shrinking world, and climate change.... that the future is soooo uncertain and it hurts my brain to even try to imagine what will happen in 10 years. That's why the past is so comforting. Just a thought. :)

berrylies said...

You're probably right! The thing though is that people stupidly think that the past was a "simpler time". Really, it was equally brutal. I'm sure most people would freak out if the stuff we take for granted now was stripped away and we were actually forced to LIVE in the past.

And the mindsets (racism, sexism, etc) people had back then - scary. Just scary.

Dunno. I just really think that no time is better than any other. It's just funny how humans are wired to always look forward or backward...

I don't have profound insights, really, and didn't want to come across that way. It's interesting is all!