Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,
Andrew
perspectivism

Rumination on the subtle inevitabilities of cultural change:

In the office/cageroom (just begging for another picture!) hangs a hazy-shades-of-orange tapestry. The tapestry was originally sold as a long skirt. A long skirt clearly designed for '70s-retro longhairs...

When I look at the tapestry while playing BNL's "Brian Wilson", I can't help but think about wide sweeping cultural trends of yesteryear. In light of the natural rhythms of life!

Imagine an all-consumed hippie of 1975. He's sitting crosslegged on the floor stoned out of his head, with incense burning and peppermints on the radio, caring angrily yet peacefully about the 1976 Presidential candidates, saying 'man' more than Rand at her prime, staring at this tapestry feeling very wrapped up in its world. (It may help if you've seen the majestic feelgood filmwork that is Almost Famous!) Our imaginary hippie is blissed out, cannot imagine even moving for a decade at least. He's as sure as anything that he will always be a REAL Doors fan.

How are we so sure that he's not still there today? That he's probably an investment banker in Seattle? Yes, we have statistics and experience: all the ex-hippies we've met. But how does the causation work?

No matter how permanent and all-involving any trend looks from the inside, damn near everyone passes through it faster than its own terms appear to allow. Put another way: The rules for leaving a trend cannot be found within the trend itself. The rules of completion/transition are exogenous to each trend itself. Trends are displaced by the sheer cultural force of other things (which may be trends themselves).

Relatedly, we bought a VCR head cleaner last week. Its directions read: "Use every 20 to 30 hours of VCR use. Good for approximately 50 cleanings. Fill in one oval each time you clean your VCR. Replace the cleaner when all ovals have been filled." 1000 personal viewing hours left in videotape technology as of October 2000?
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