April 23, 2010

Decades Behind

I'm told I've always been an old soul. When I was two years old I'd scold my mother for acting silly. I've often felt that I'd be suited better to have lived in another decade. The 1990's just weren't that interesting to me. The decade had a suburban feel to it I could never quite latch onto. Nirvana and the whole grunge thing was alright but how inspiring, even at it's best, can Seattle ever really be? I can never really respect a musical movement that begins in a place where the chances are high you'll get home safe after you leave the dingy little club your favorite band was jamming in. Politically we had the Congressional Republican Revolution (yawn) and Bill "Slick Willie" Clinton who while an interesting guy in his own right wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire during his presidency.

The 1960's has long been the decade I thought would have been best suited for me to come of age in. Here's a few of the reasons:
  • It was a time of great political and social change that I could have really added some great fiery rhetoric to.
  • Open-mindedness was espoused as a virtue.
  • The music was awesome. Stones? Beatles? Dylan? Hendrix? Davis? Coltrane? Clapton? This decade had it all. Legendary songwriters, technically proficient musicians, desire to experiment and larger than life personalities that no decade can musically match.
  • Everyone was f'n everyone. Birth control had been invented and AIDS hadn't!
  • Looking back on it the whole thing just seems like one giant roller coaster ride and I like my decades like I like my women, emotionally unstable.
Now that I'm getting older I fear that my taste in decades is also aging. Over the last few years I've become more and more enamored with the decade of the 1900's. I've got a huge necrophilic man-crush on Albert Einstein as my long time followers already know. Teddy Roosevelt, despite being a Republican, is one of my all time favorite politicians. The way he railed against the increasing power of giant corporations (and won) has many lessons for us today. I also find it inspiring that he'd probably be portrayed as a communist by the Republicans of today. I've been reading Freud lately and while I find some of his conclusions a bit far-fetched he's the kind of out-of-the-box of thinker I'd love to do Cocaine with. With Darwin still being hotly debated along with the works of Einstein and Freud shaking up the way we look at the world this decade was just as revolutionary culturally as the 1960's, even if it's not quite as sexy. Innovation and was at a level unrivaled in history in any decade except perhaps our own. The radio, the assembly line, affordable cars, the first airplane flights and countless other inventions give the decade a very revolutionary feeling. Art was wonderful in this time as well. My favorite artist of all time, Picasso, was in his prime and other intriguing artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh were roaming the Parisian boulevards. The only real knock I have against the decade is the music. Radio was only just being invented and only so much of went on musically during that time survived.

Any other old souls out there? Anyone else feel like they should have come of age at a different time?

8 comments:

  1. Everyone has always told me that I seem like an old soul. I would have to believe it. And I'm not surprised about you, you seem like an old soul.

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  2. Ahh, I've often felt the same way. The 60s was the last time the youth outnumbered the old folks.

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  3. Well, it sounds to me like you'd want to live in the 1900's but have the music and sexual freedom from the 1960's...which means you'd get arrested back in the 1900's.

    I'm sorry...you'll have to pick a decade...

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  4. i could only see myself in the 20's but really, never cared to wish i had been in a different decade...maybe because as a woman i don't think the real freedom for us came until the 70's when it was much more socially acceptable for women to be single, to divorce, to be educated, etc. i don't care what anybody says, i think madonna did more for women than any other woman in the 80s...proud to come of age when i did and must say at 36 i love the complexity of my soul and would rather not say that someone's soul is 'old' as it seems to me to glamorize whatever decade people are from.

    food for thought :)

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  5. ps why the 1920's? it was right when women were coming into their own and just before they got slammed back into the housewife and baby machine role...okay and when women could be single and dance and wear great clothes...kind of like the era i really grew up in...

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  6. Dude, I totally wanted to be born in the 60s too.

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  7. Eva: Yea, and the thing is I act like a big dork, somehow I still have an old soul though.

    Sarah: That's a very good point, and by the time that happens again I'll be old.

    Kathryn: I can't bring myself to pick fully! So I won't.

    Eco: Yea, the twenties definitely gets an honorable mention for me. I'd also add the 80's and to be honest I have a feeling the 2010's will be an interesting decade to grow up in.

    Kanwalful: Yea, woulda been a blast!

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  8. As an African-American woman, I wouldn't want to go too far back into history. Anything before the 60s and I would have had a totally different educational experience.

    But, in terms of fashion, music, and literary freedom, the 20s is pretty cool. I'd like to be one of those girlfriends of a big Chicago gangster, seems romantic in a way (yes, I've seen too many movies, lol).

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