Monday, July 28, 2008

Whatever happened to fedora hats?

I was looking at some Kennedy photos just the other night and realized that he was probably the last President of the United States to don hats. Off they went from men’s heads. Like undershirts. Legend has it that Clark Gable unbuttoned his shirt in a scene of “It Happened One Night” to reveal that he wore nothing underneath, causing the undershirt sales to plummet. In this day and age of fastidious blackberry movements and technological directness, it is surprising to find how we leave things behind. Things that itched, scratched or were completely unnecessary. Like gloves.

Funny how we still call it “the glove compartment”. There was a day and age of Atonement where people actually drove with leather gloves, thus the necessary compartment. What did we do before Post-Its? We surely did not need hula hoops. Fountain pens can still be seen to be carried in the left pocket of a business suit, yet we rarely leave notes. Letters are rare, unless the brat is conveniently tucked away in summer camp. Yet, wouldn’t we all want to receive that postcard from the decadent college friend bearing a stamp from Portofino?

It’s a thin fine line between nostalgia and acceptance of the times we live in. Ours is an era of convenience, yet it is also of separation. I gave my sympathies the other day through Messenger. There’s really no emoticon for “I’m sorry your grandpa died”. You just can’t put a little devil or an angel next to the message because that just wouldn’t be fitting. It’s just tacky. But the point is that we are doing this more and more. Soon there will be no birthday calls. Facebook is the perfect tool for saluting the merry troops on their birthdays. And we content ourselves with the fact that we put “I’ll call you later” next to the message. We don’t.

We are becoming afraid of the human race and hide behind our computers to compensate for it. In the privacy of our own selves -and strong wirless connection- we share our experiences, our memories and our writings (this online tea party being a sure shot example). You can even attend mass online. Yet, the price we pay in becoming hermits is in reality the loss of our complete privacy which we share with others. Mementoes, videos and writings are for the World to explore. I have seen more baby sonograms in the past year than actual pregnant women that I am in close contact with. We are staring at other people’s uterus!

It’s interesting to guess which items are next in line to be dropped out of our everyday lives and become prey for extinction. Like albino gorillas. Or the Backstreet Boys. What really scratches, itches and is unnecessary in our lives that we just could do without but still don’t know it? Socks? Yellow pencils? Shaving cream? Human contact? Fifty years from now we’ll still be speed dating but it will probably be through holograms to avoid unnecessary unpleasantness. We do it today. We call them one hour lunch dates. The only thing missing are the holograms. It’s a rare guess, but we’ll probably be more public. Even though we’ll be hiding behind our computers (what will those be like? Yikes!). I guess the only sure thing we can count on that will never go out of style – if Al Gore is listened to intently – is our need for ice.-


Olek said...

Mucha gente me pregunta porque me sali de Feisbus... y la verdad es que puede haber 1000 razones... entre ellas que me parece que eso es pero la verdad es que me sali el 23 de Octubre del ano pasado... el dia en el que mis amigos que usualmente me llamaban en mi cumpleanos me escibireron un mensaje en Feisbus...


Toto said...

A fellow reader wrote to me about this post and sent me a writing by the comedian George Carlin which I share below. A great example of our "Modern Times".-

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, But have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have Bigger houses and smaller families, more Conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment More experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get Too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate Too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've Done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We Write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to Wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but We communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the Days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier Houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick Trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one Night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a Time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will Grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, Because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and Your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep Inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak,! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:¨Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away.¨

George Carlin

Reina said...

Muy cierto todo lo que dices... aunque yo creo que todo depende que como lo mires y como decidas vivir tu vida, aun puedes tenetr the best of both worlds.

Nina said...

Tìpica vaina de las que yo me doy cuenta! " Why do they call it a glove compartment if we don´t use gloves anyway?"


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