Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Forty Year Rule

Overheard at Lem's:
Ron said...

I wonder if the '60s interest is due to it being 50 years since the war....like how we talked about the "Greatest Generation" of WWII in the '90s.

August 20, 2016 at 7:43 PM
I've heard of a so-called "40 year rule" from a video I linked to back here: Lindsay Ellis (Nostalgia Chick) said that a generation will get culturally obsessed with the generation 40 years prior to it -- just recent enough to be in living memory, but just long enough that it can be romanticized.

Hmmm, where does that leave us? A mid-1970's revival? But if Ron is correct, we're overdue for a 1960's nostalgia trip.

How would that play out in pop culture?

[editor's note--this post has used 100% recycled tags. Tag Lives Matter]

12 comments:

edutcher said...

Depends. WWII buffery came as a relief from the defeatism of 'Nam IMHO.

Actually, I'd expect a nostalgia for the adventures of the Reagan years, we're about the right time.

A little Glenn Frey, some "Miami Vice". Rangers in the night, SFs in Honduras.

chickelit said...

Actually, I'd expect a nostalgia for the adventures of the Reagan years, we're about the right time.

That could be a bingo, edutcher. But, you may be a bit early. "Carter" is still in the ascendency.

edutcher said...

"More Mush From The Wimp"?

No, people have wanted an escape. Why else is everything in "entertainment" superheroes and zombies?

Ron said...

I have corollaries!

At 10 years out is when, I think, people say "goodbye." The thing IS still floating around the culture, but there's now the sense that it isn't speaking to "today" anymore.

At 20 years out is "what were we thinking?" It's in living memory, but conditions are now different enough that we think we've "advanced" from those dumber days.
(for example, 20 year old video HAS to look bad somehow; grainy, flawed, but never clear and sharp as it COULD look; no, we have to emotively say "technology has advanced since then" which may have really been true at some point, but perhaps not now!)

At a more ill-defined time we say "everything was perfect then" out of our own guilt and laziness over our ability to solve current problems. We forget the older problems, magically, and engage in Potemkin ancestor worship.

Past 40 years out, there comes a point were we say a thing is "dead." Which may not be so, but it has no purpose in modern impressions of self. No one today gets Jack Benny, for example, because no one now does humor about being cheap. Foster Brooks built a career on "playing drunk", which is unthinkable now. People still get drunk; but it can't be shown being funny (more than one time!) as we have medicalized it as a phenomenon.

We all used to go couples dancing as an activity, but not any more. Back in the day, being able to dance was pro forma. Marge and Gower Champion were known! Not anymore....only Fred and Ginger remain, and just barely at that.

Everything has a cultural lifespan....

Sixty Grit said...

Bubblegum music made disco sound good by comparison.

Did I write that right?

One could argue the relative suckiness of both, I suppose.

I generally like the 200 year rule for music - if it can withstand the test of time it's probably good.

chickelit said...

With a comfortable lead, Clinton begins laying plans for her White House agenda

I hope she's measuring for curtains. She can count on Bill to makes the rugs match the drapes.

Or do I have that backwards?

chickelit said...

@Ron: I tried to explore the reasons for the death of couples dancing -- some of it at the "dance" tag but mostly here. Perhaps only an infusion of new culture will bring it back.

edutcher said...

chick, don't hold your breath.

Or her bazoobs.

The mere fact that the skew is up to 10 tells you something, not to mention that they have to keep her out of sight. Is it anymore "an election focused so heavily on Trump’s deficiencies" or was it ever?

The fact she hasn't even talked about Louisiana hurts her.

chickelit said...

edutcher said...chick, don't hold your breath.

Don't misunderstand me, edutcher. I'm not "for" Clinton at all. I think her overweening confidence is hubris.

ndspinelli said...

Her spiking the ball in the 1st half reminds me of 2008. We all remember how that worked out. They are trying that "inevitability" shit again. It fits Lady Macbeth's persona. She can't swagger like Obama, she will have to say, "I've fallen and I can't get up."

edutcher said...

No, I didn't think you were, it just sounded like you took the WaPo seriously.

My bad.

William said...

Not much to recommend the seventies. A lost war, inflation, bad music, idiotic clothes, rising crime, the occasional riot. Nostalgia, as they say, ain't what it used to be, but it's the only nostalgia I got.