Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia’

Where Something Something Something Before

March 14, 2009

I had a really weird idea while watching the second pilot episode of the original Star Trek.  With a new movie coming in May and the prequel series Enterprise from a few years ago, the Star Trek universe has thrown off the fashion and design of the 60’s that dominated the original series. The consequence is an original series that seems dated and old, even if an attempt has been made to keep some of the details consistent. For example, despite having more impressive looking display screens, the control systems of the recent TV series Enterprise maintained the physical switches of TOS.  Of course, it is just a TV series, and one for which continuity has occasionally been an issue. But it occured to me that it’s entirely possible that styles similar to those found in the 1960’s could reappear 300 years later.  In fact, I’d hazard to guess that nostalgia for earlier times will continue to be part of human culture indefinitely.  Just as in many places around the world buildings and parks are maintained to the way they looked in some past century,  architecture and design in the future may mimic, to some degree, older styles.

So could TOS really represent a nostalgia renaissance from the future?  It’s a pointless question, but a fun thought experience.  When our descendants are dressing in orange and yellow jumpsuits and hanging out with interstellar hippies, then we’ll have out answer.

Looking Back

February 22, 2009

One of my favourite blogs linked to an interesting site the other day. Among other things this site has a collection of pictures depicting old mailboxes in New York. I was recently discussing the number of old milk slots that remain on the houses in my neighbourhood. Ours was removed in a renovation before we bought the house, but many of my neighbours have simply boarded up the inside without changing the outside appearance.  This particular area of Hamilton contains homes built in the 1950’s so some now archaic elements were included.  Down in the city you can still find the odd coal shoot, or other now useless bit of historical architecture.  It always makes me think about the ways our society has changed in the last 60 years, and how to some degree we are trying to move back to the past.  For example, increased promotion of farmer’s markets and eating locally is an attempt to rekindle agriculture near urban areas.  My grandparents had their milk and eggs delivered by the farmers who produced them.  Thus they had a relationship with the person who brought them their food. They also knew their local butcher, and even the baker who made their bread.  Part of urban life was interacting with the people who produced and prepared much of your food.  Obviously with mass chain grocery stores we no longer have those kinds of relationships.

It may be obvious to people who read my blog regularly but I believe that improved interpersonal relationships are a key part of creating a better society.  I expect consumers to find greater respect for producers by reconnecting with the people who provide goods and services, especially food. There have been reports that this relationship is deteriorating more and more every year.  Along with all the environmental and economic benefits of eat locally, perhaps it is time to start fixing some of the stress generated in the retail world.  The past can’t always help us fix our society, but perhaps this is one case where it can have an impact.

From Downtown

January 2, 2009

For it’s root root root for the Blackhawks! If they don’t win it’s a shame!

Everyone at Wrigley Field

2009 NHL Winter Classic

New podcast goes up today. This time I am blessed to be visited by Max Woghiren of The Mass Romantics and an unnamed new music project. You can find out some of The Mass Romantics at their myspace page. You can enjoy his work on Chasing Concordia here. As always you can find the podcast over on the sidebar.

I’m moving a little out of my ordinary realm today because it’s New Year’s Day and the third outdoor NHL game is on TV.  Most people enjoy things that make them feel nostalgic.  I only played “pond hockey” once as a kid. I couldn’t really skate so it lacked a lot of appeal for me though I did play street hockey all the time.  I enjoy the Winter Classic because of the atmosphere and the notion of old time sports.  Allow me to clarify.  When I saw the movie Semi-Pro I wasn’t very impressed by the film, but I loved the arena.  Old arenas, stadiums, and rinks have a character that is unique. It is defined by tradition, intimacy, passion, and a raw energy that generations of fans share.  I grew up attending football games at Ivor Wynne Stadium, a venue that has stood for decades.  Fans from top to bottom sit on bench seats with painted numbers that let you know where your general area is.  I attended a number of games at old Tiger Stadium and have yet to experience anything like it. We were sitting along the third base line, near left field. Our seats felt like they were hanging over the left fielder. It was a surreal and amazing experience, even if the Tigers were a lousy team at the time.  I also had the chance to walk on the field and experience what generations of ball players had.

I’m sure many people are glad that places like SkyDome and the Air Canada Centre exist.  It’s nice to watch a game in comfort with padded seats and enormous video screens. I will always remember a CFL playoff game when, as I was sitting virtually beside the score board in the North-West corner of Ivor Wynne, Paul Osbaldiston attempted a 51 yard field goal against Montreal.  He was kicking to the East endzone so from where we were seated we couldn’t possibly see if it was good or not.  The “video screen” in those days could only show a garbled live picture that could have been a kids cartoon. Fortunately, the roar from the fans in the endzone spread across the stadium and we knew that the Ti-Cats had won the game. Experiences like that, on a cold November day, are the product of circumstance, tradition, and location.

I have read articles lamenting the loss of the fan experience.  A time before large audio systems and screaming game hosts. When fans had to make noise on their own by understanding the game in front of them.  Maybe someday The Alder Fork will own its own minor sports team and play games in a Cow Palace, or Memorial Arena. That’d be great.