14 May 2004
Vent #226 (Christmas 2000) begins this way:
The late musicologist and audiophile Edward Tatnall Canby used to say that the length of your perceived memories is a constant, that as you get older the years get closer and closer together, like the calibrations on a VU meter as the volume as your volume diminishes into inaudibility.
Which may or may not explain this phenomenon:
"The Breakfast Club". Yes, the movie. We've all seen it. Brian and his soup. I distinctly heard a ruckus. Molière really pumps my 'nads. You remember. It was released in 1985.
There is a brief scene in "The Breakfast Club" where Judd Nelson's character, the stoner earring guy, mimics the signature riff from Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love". He knew it, we knew it; he dug the song, we dug the song.
Which brings me to "Disraeli Gears", the Cream record where that song first appeared. It was released in 1967.
The distance between "The Breakfast Club" and today is about 19 years, give or take the vagaries of release dates and premier venues and such. The distance between "The Breakfast Club" and "Disraeli Gears" is about 18 years.
We are farther from Judd Nelson's stoner earring guy than he was from Cream's first record.
Disraeli Gears was in fact the second Cream album, but the point stands: the calibrations on our individual memory clocks do not necessarily reflect exact chronological time as the scientists know it.
Phil Dennison is similarly amazed:
[T]he first rock record I ever purchased was Get The Knack. That album came out in 1979 25 years ago! The Knack's biggest song, "My Sharona," enjoyed a bried resurgence in popularity in the Gen-X film Reality Bites. That movie, believe it or not, is already 10 years old. So we've already achieved 67% of the distance from Reality Bites that it had over "My Sharona."
One of the Office Babes is named Denise, and she was not around when Randy and the Rainbows sang about someone of that name way back in 1963. I ripped the 45 and installed it as an MP3 at work; she was amused by the song, and surprised that it was over with in a brief two minutes. I wonder if her dad remembers it, and whether he'll feel like he was hit with a ton of bricks when he realizes it's 41 years old, most of his lifetime and twice hers.
TrackBacks if any:
» Time Compression from Patterico's Pontifications
Interesting post by Charles Hill on time compression -- the concept that "as you get older the years get closer and closer together." Charles quotes another blog called Perfidy, which makes this point: "The Breakfast Club". Yes, the movie. We've......[read more]
Tracked: May 15, 2004 12:45 PM
» Pop Culture Events Closer Toward Infinity from Dust in the Light
Charles Hill highlights some instances in which moments in pop culture act as perspective markers in time: The late musicologist and audiophile Edward Tatnall Canby used to say that the length of your perceived memories is a constant, that as......[read more]
Tracked: May 15, 2004 02:56 PM