Following yesterday's musings on the fact that my treasured glass beer-mug is now, apparently, 'retro-cool', I've been thinking about nostalgia.
I'm not the only one; A K Haart today waxes lyrical on the effects of the passage of time. He's right, there is something quite disconcerting about the realisation that part of your life has now technically become history.
Teaching brings that into sharp relief; you are constantly confronted with fresh-faced adolescents to whom the pre-internet past is not so much another country as a different planet. In years to come, the spread of the internet will doubtless seem as socially significant as the Industrial Revolution.
The Tavern provides an interesting measure of social attitudes to the past; the current refurbishments have involved removing the ceiling tiles, textured wallpaper and sliding doors installed by a disciple of the 1950s TV home decorating guru Barry Bucknell, the man who turned a thousand charming Victorian homes into feature-free modernist boxes.
With an impressive irony, replacing the lost features has proved easier than Bucknell could ever have imagined; today every DIY store has an abundance of Victorian-style accessories and designs. Those of us born at the height of his fame are actively embracing technology beyond his wildest dreams while surrounding ourselves with the trappings of the past.
Meanwhile, the post-internet generation seems to cherish much the same fondness for a more recent era; led by the marketing machinery of the modern media, the fashion, music and culture of recent decades are reappearing at a startling rate, fed by the breakneck speed of communication and need for constant innovation.
All of which leads me to one of my all-time favourite articles from The Onion which says it all better than I could ever do myself.
Rat Finks of the Year, nay, the Decade
1 hour ago