Wednesday, June 6, 2007
B is my fave letter
Last night I was listening to Simon & Garfunkel while playing Settlers of Catan with Erika. As we were wrapping up the game, "My Little Town" was playing. I really love that song and it got me thinking...Is it possible to be nostalgic for a time when one wasn't yet alive?
When I was younger, I used to think I sure am glad that I was born when I was, because of the goings-on in the world of my youth (i.e. the Twins winning the pennant in '87 & '91 & Kirby Puckett was playing). Television was very widespread, etc. etc. Now I am older.
As I become more enthralled with film, theology, literature, music and philosophy, I also become more convinced of the amazing culture of the '60s and '70s. Check these stats.
-Music: On the mainstream scene, there were the likes of the Beetles, Simon & Garfunkel, the Mommas and Poppas, Leonard Cohen, Peter Paul and Mary, and many other incredible folk acts. On the non-mainstream, we had Nick Drake, Harry Nilsson (his performances, the music he wrote was pretty big) and a lot more that I don't know, because I wasn't alive.
-Film: These two decades saw some of the great works of Godard, Resnais, Ozu, Malle, Cassavetes, Brakhage, Bunuel Rohmer, and a whole host of other French New Wave greats. The good thing about film is that I can still enjoy, but I'm so far behind.
-Theology: This was the time for the likes of Moltmann, Pannenburg, Kitamori, Gutierrez, Cone, and many other people whose work is to this day being applied, but still remains insanely good and ground-breaking.
-Philosophy: Derrida, De Man, the climax of continental philosophy, latter Sartre, etc. Dang.
-Literature: Here we find the best work of Vonnegut, Burroughs, and probably a lot of other people I should have read by this point in life.
I understand that these examples represent only about 1% of culture in the '60s and '70s, but to some extent it seems that the cultural movements represented by these people point to at least a segment of the population and culture of the time. I also recognize the turbulence of the times politically. At this juncture, however, we once again have pretty turbulent political times.
I also recognize that it is easy to romanticize either the past or the future, especially for things we didn't personally experience. Having said these things, I am nostalgic for the '60s and '70s. When I am exposed to the cultural artifacts I expressed, it makes me long for a time I wasn't even around for. Plus, the Purple People Eaters were around in the '70s. It makes me wonder about the legitimacy of such pining. I'm sure those of you who were alive for these times can set me straight.