Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time bandits

Christopher Caldwell writes in the Financial Times:
Unpleasant things are supposed to drag on and on: dentists’ visits, workplace orientation sessions, almost all speeches. Yet no one complains that “this decade seemed to last 15 years”. Decades never do. Time may slow down from hour to hour, but from year to year it has a uniform tendency to accelerate.

We can demonstrate this with a little game. We are now in the year 2010. Measure the number of years back to a certain event in your life – say, your entry into university, if you attended one. Then measure the same number of years back from there. Invariably, the event in the middle will seem closer to this year than to the older date, even though it is equidistant from the two.
Righto. Then consider this:
The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks (1977) is closer to the second world war than it is to the present. The Beatles’ release of “Love Me Do” (1962) is closer to the first world war than to us. Bill Haley’s "Rock Around the Clock" (1954) is as close to the Spanish-American war (1898) as it is to us. There is nothing hipper than hip-hop, but the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” (1979), the first rap song, is closer to Al Jolson’s last hits than to the songs in the rap charts now.
How old does that make you feel?


Co Tipping said...

Very bloody old Stephen, thanks very much!!
ps Brent Parlane and I would like to get in contact with you--how?

Stephen Stratford said...

Yo Co. Great to hear from you.

ps Brent who?

My email is stephen dot stratford at xtra dot co dot nz.

I'd love to see you both or at least be in touch - assume you are both in Melbourne. I could well be there later this year.

I have checked BP's website from time to time. Tell him Lindsay Marks is alive and well and happily married and living in Northland, teaching graphic design at the local polytechnic.

Co Tipping said...

Thanks Stephen, Have passed message onto BP(who?).and will write soon