The Future Was Then

1/4/2011, 9:47 PM

Yikes. Sorry for my protracted and unexcused absence (inferring that it was notable, which is a mite presumptuous), but all of my fingers have been, and are currently, crossed about the possibility of having work. This makes a dreadful mess of typing; I am quite sure that you understand.

Welcome to 2011! This, my first post of this year, should tell you all that we are officially now living in a time to which I'd devoted no advance thought, at all. I mean, it was fun to speculate about the future when it was still the future, but my vision of life essentially ended around 2010not because of death or anything, but because it became hazy and/or I grew sick of thinking about it. 

As a youngster, the future bored me in ways that I could never explain, despite that I knew a lot about explanations and how to make them. As I've seen it (and I love being wrongheaded), one of the more frustrating qualities intrinsic to having been born fairly recently (I was born in 1978) is that my personal experience is, to some degree at least, inextricable from zeitgeist and cultural memory that wields roughshod authority to trump the subjective textures of my experience.  (Like, "Hey—that's not what this horrid slab of Hollywood tripe says you were doing.") 

Romanticizing in retrospect is easier than Sunday morning to do, because borne of the aforementioned trumping is a failure to recognize that the evolution of situational dynamics since that point for which you're pining has irrevocably altered the context of your saudade. When I was 16, I went to a show by the Dog Faced Hermans. They were, at the time, one of my very favorite groups, and I knew that they would be disbanding after their tour. Their show was mesmerizing, I say now, and I suppose that my feelings were largely consistent with that at the time, but I had this gigantor canker sore in my mouth that hurt like absolute heck. Subjectivity.

As I stood there, I made it a point to always remember that sore, because I suspected that the outcome of something so trivial (yet pivotal) would bear some amount of retrospective influence. (One of the openers, Helios Creed [formerly of Chrome], will probably remember that show as the one during which an audience member fell asleep on the lip of the stage. [If you ever read this blog, Mr. CreedI'm sorry. I have Narcolepsy, but nobody would've guessed it at the time.]) 

And perhaps it's always been that way/this way with memory and its inordinate elasticity, but when people begin (as they have) to self-identify by way of the media that they consume (or the things that they acquire), we're in for some lame-arsed vicarious nonsense in which very little is decipherable between people. The interval between an event and its imprint dwindles to the point at which we shit as we swallow. 

It seems that 2011 begins and ends more or less instantly, in accordance with news cycles and natural disasters that dare the collective disunion that is humanity to live at its pace. I'm too lumpy to consider trying, but I feel really good about that. So there, future—you'll have to make your way to my present.


  1. Very interesting post B:
    Never have our collective memories been more omnipresent/accessible/downloadable. Never has it been this easy to escape the Present.
    And yet, never before has it been more imperative that we resist.
    Its a tricky affair, resisting. Lots of subtle subterranean slippage afoot.
    Vigilance and Kindness towards oneself, some laughter and remembering the fact that its a We seem to me to be key. i'll stop now before i turn into Dr. Seuss.
    Warm regards and wishes, M

  2. Funny about you telling yourself to remember that mouth sore. At around the same age, I used to regularly order myself never to forget some happening or feeling or phrase or bass line that would surely one day prove to have been a major turning point in my life. It didn't work, though. I remember very little and I'm forced to rely on your "Hollywood tripe" to remind me what I was thinking about in the 90s. Apparently my friends and I spent most of the decade watching episodes of Beverly Hills 90210. Who'da thunk?! Nice, as always, to read your words.