Photo of the day July 31,2011 – Generations and generalizations

Today I was at a fun family BBQ where a bunch of the guests were friends of my aunt and uncle’s. My uncle has a VERY nice collection of collector cars, and Harleys. Some of the friends also arrived or some pretty nice Harleys too.

It was interesting to watch the way the guests interacted and grouped together. I wondered if it is a sweeping generalization that my dad’s generation, that grew up during the muscle cars of the mid to late 60s, are all stuck in that era? Is it a coincidence that that age group seems to be the one that buys and restores all these muscle cars? Or, is it the only generation that can afford them?

I’m sure I will get slayed for making sweeping generalizations, but I don’t see too many young people riding gorgeous Harleys or cruising in a ’69 GTO. I could say that ‘my’ generation is obsessed with digital music, Xboxs, and iPhones. And, looking at the age demographic, I wouldn’t be too far off!

I have admitted that I seem to be stuck in the early 90s. It was a magical time for me. My hair simply kicked ass, all the super groups made their appearance in Vancouver (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails) and I got to see all of them. My life was a whole lot simpler…

Is this something that we recognize as we get older? That we cling to a time in the past that we consider as the defining moment of who we are as people? Do we all cling to simpler times and look back fondly, and forever try to recreate that magical time?

Your thoughts?


2 Replies to “Photo of the day July 31,2011 – Generations and generalizations”

  1. I would agree that some people do retain nostalgic feelings toward the past, but I would also argue that some people don’t.

    I can use myself as an example – music means nothing to me anymore. I don’t watch TV anymore. I don’t have any particular feelings for ’80s / ’90s culture. I don’t look fondly back on those times. Those days were not simpler for me. They were tough, and I had a lot to deal with. In fact, I would happily never, ever, repeat the years before I turned 30. I would prefer to forget they ever existed. I was a shocking embarassment, a walking disaster really, and had little success at anything those days. Reading your post today brought me to the rather disturbing realization that I literally despise the person I used to be.

    By contrast I love what is happening now – I’m finally in control of my life, I’m successful, I have a family, I love following new technology and am an early adopter of all things new and shiny. I love the fact that I live in an ever-more-quickly evolving world. Constant change makes me feel alive, and time creates distance between ‘now me’ and ‘past me.’ My attention is firmly focused on the future, my family and raising my children.

    Perhaps I haven’t had my defining moment yet? Or perhaps my defining moment was the process of throwing out the past and recreating myself? All I know is that I have no sense of nostalgia for the past, and am rather enjoying the roller-coaster ride that life is giving me now.

    1. Great comment Trent. I understand where you are coming from here. I do look back at my past as well and wish it was different. And, that I had made different decisions. But, for me, it has shaped me into the person I am today, as well as the life I have now. Like you, I look forward to growing old with my wife, and raising our kids. I’ll just do it listening to grunge music. lol.

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