climbing up the down hill

So I picked up a copy of an old George Michael album, just cos I got a jones for hearing some of that 80's stuff, and listened to it on the drive in to work this morning.

It instantly got filed into the same folder I recently put Thundercats into - the "how did I not realize how craptastic this was?" folder.

What has happened to my sense of taste, of substance? Has it improved to the degree where I'm no longer fooled by the things that used to get past me? Was that stuff EVER good? Or am I now too jaded by the tools of sound design to put up with the nonsense that used to pass for quality?
I remember growing up with a mom and dad who LOVED the music of their time - the "Mr Bojangles" and songs by Neil Diamond, etc. My first favorite song was "Play that Funky Music White Boy" by Wild Cherry, which, I insist, has stood the test of time in its limited genre. And I've expanded to music that predated my birth into the Beatles, the Stones, classic blues, "classical" music, big band era, etc. But the stuff I really cut my teeth on - the music of the 80's....

Is it my imagination, or is much of it just crap now, in retrospect? There was a comic in pvponline - (see www.pvponline.com - it's a pretty good webcomic) wherein one of the characters huddled under his blanket of shame for several days upon breaking down his core identity to the question of whether or not Star Wars was really all that good.

I'm kind of facing the same sort of identity crisis, I think. At what point do we just laugh off the pettiness of youth and realize that what we used to think was so eternally cool is now "old and dated" and, for the most part, crap?

Dont' get me wrong, here: I don't miss my youth, I'm very happy with my age, and I'm not struggling to recapture "the good old days". Not even close. I guess I'm just wondering at what point a person just resigns themself that the "good old days" really weren't, and becomes okay with that?

There's a lot of things I used to believe that I don't now, as I've (by my own definition, here) grown up. But does the fact that they no longer resonate with me mean they are by definition flawed beliefs? Or are they more like eyewear prescriptions, where they function only so long as your eyes need them?

I used to have this GREAT pair of shoes. I mean, they were truly cool shoes. Not the most comfortable, but really great. I'm not a shoe freak or anything, I'm just saying, these were my favorite shoes.

But a few of the jobs I've had since I last actively wore the shoes kind of made me put them back in the closet, then we moved a couple times, and then a few months ago, we went through and sorted stuff we wanted to keep and stuff we needed to toss.

The shoes .... *sigh*... I tried them on, but they just weren't me anymore. So they got tossed. And I didn't feel bad about it, really. I just knew they weren't for me, and hadn't been for a long time.

So that takes me back to music. 80's music. You know, I admit, a lot of it was crap. It was fun crap, but it was crap. But a lot of it doesn't even give me that warm nostalgic sense of "this is who I was" or anything. I find I'm becoming much more interested in the music I hear now.
Maybe a sense of being "over the hill" is that you no longer see so well behind you - maybe you only focus on what's ahead?

And if so, does that mean I'm over the hill? Ugh. Kind of a hike, really.

(originally posted www.reverb1.com in fall of 2005)

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