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A foreword to the 70s

By Anonymous

Humans have an endless, sometimes bordering on morbid, fascination with the past. Maybe the allure lies in the fact that we know how those stories ended. Life is insecure, and the future even more so. So we tend to take refuge in the familiar, and we long for the comfort and predictability of a happy ending. The past gives us a limitless number of those very instances, which is why people love to talk about their childhood. And I’m not just talking about Old People (otherwise known as Them, or The Others, as we tend to call those who are not young and heedless like ourselves). You see this behaviour in people of almost all ages. All of us, without exception, have told at least one story that goes, “When I was little...” or maybe, “When I was in school...”

This instinctive gravitation toward the familiar and the comforting results in a tendency to declare that all things past were good, and by interpolation, all things present are, if not outright bad, then at least not as good as the things past. That’s what makes us invent (inane) sayings like “old is gold,” and to like Facebook pages declaring, “Cartoons in the 90’s were way better than now,” and to discuss exactly how awesome the 70’s were.

In a way, we are all living in the past. Dwelling on it continuously, constantly comparing it to the  ever-unsatisfactory present. Sometimes it leads us to depression, and a wish to live in the Past altogether (and therein lies the road to madness). Other times it inspires us to great deeds, to be better than we ever were.

And some very rare times, it takes us to entirely different levels of obsession altogether, by dedicating entire magazine themes to it. (*insert self-indulgent grin here*)

So here’s to the past: may it never fade from our memories.

 

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