Saturday, October 02, 2004

In 1973, a really cool movie called American Graffiti hit the theaters. At least I thought it was cool when I was 12. It evoked an earlier age of innocence, when the music was all golden oldies and people dressed dopey and the cars were great boxy boats. That would be the year 1962, some 11 years previous.

Some 11 years previous to now is 1993. I can't imagine feeling that kind of easy nostalgia for 1993. Things barely look as if they've changed to me, hair-, clothes-, car-wise. Of course maybe it's just that I'm getting old and unable to read cultural markers anymore, and the cultural shift between 1962 and 1973 wasn't any greater than the current cultural shift. Hell, maybe someone is already working on a movie to make people long for 1993 as an age of innocence and quaint habits.

Come to think of it, there have been planes crashing into buildings, a "war on terror" has begun which is somehow supposed to be connected to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, unemployment is high, the national debt is astronomical, the rest of the world despises the U.S. and the social contract has all but been done in.

It seems like there should be a big shift, but I can't feel it. Maybe our culture was past its sell-by date already in 1993?

The Swedish phrase for the day is beträd ej gräsmattan. It means keep off the grass!

- by Francis S.

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