“History that repeats itself turns to farce. Farce that repeats itself turns to history.” ― Jean Baudrillard
So what am I listening to? It varies depending on the tool for the job; something high octane when painting from the waist, or a slow ambient morsel for the steadier hand.
Here I think I might have been listening to EMC 2 by Big Audio Dynamite, from back when I was a randy, spirited teen in the 80’s.
I find music can evoke almost immediately a memory or emotion. Its like discovering a wrinkled old snapshot found between the pages of a favorite dusty old book.
So as you can tell, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past recently. Not just as fuel for the new series, but because I believe its the kind of yardstick we all measure the present by.
As Byron once mooted, “All times when old-are good” and it made me think of why this country finds itself teetering on the abyss now, the consequence of longing for a period when things were purportedly ‘great’, an embittered society caught in a nostalgia loop craving simpler times-although arguably-simplism is the reason for the season.
The cultural zeitgeist saw this coming a mile off. Or market forces, forced the market-I don’t know. Remake after remake of seminal 80’s classics-Total Recall, Fright Night, Robocop. Or shows that depict a marked nod and a wink like ‘Stranger Things’ or ‘Halt and catch a fire’.
Except, like this sad sack poster version from 2011, all those remakes are utter garbage, a shoddy facsimile of something once unique-a piss poor pastiche.
Or like a certain would be Biff Tannen-a con in a bad wig if you like.
I don’t much.
As with my painting- ’80’s Hit’, we’ve elevated a period of our historical past to myth, when the truth is the hardship and turmoil of those times are what made those things culturally resonate to begin with.
No doubt Jean Baudrillard was right when he cited the infantilization of society through media in his book America, is used to nullify and desensitize our senses from the true modern day horrors, making us ever more pliable, ever more detached.
All the same, the world is likely going to hell in a deplorable handbasket, and I have a full dance card between now and years end, so onward even as we go backward.