You’re in your late teens/early 20s and you begin to realize the things aren’t working out exactly the way you’ve planned them. Sure, you’re a normal guy. You have a circle of close friends you hang out with, you have your hobbies, you’re trying to make the best of what you’ve got; you’re more or less aware of what’s going on in the world today. You finally graduated from high school and thought that the grand college life of your dreams (which was based on a bunch of movies starring a guy who’s a total loser, yet still gets to bone Alyson Hannigan) was just about to start.
What you get falls short of expectations television taught you to have. College isn’t as marvelous as it’s supposed to be. You might get to party a lot, you may have found your significant other, maybe you landed a semi-decent job you hold on to.
Unless you’re Robert Downey Jr. kind of man who’s simply destined to be successful in whatever he does (and if you’re reading this rant I reckon you’re not), you actually regret lots of stuff in your life.
One day you come back tired from classes or part-time job to an empty apartment. You listen to your favorite song and it just soothes your soul, so you decide to search for some live versions of it on Youtube. You see a group of long-haired dudes rocking tight leather pants and lipstick and banging their heads to a catchy guitar solo, all the while scantily dressed girls get even more naked by throwing their bras on stage. ‘I was born too late!’, ‘I WISH I LIVED THROUGH 80s’, ‘I WISH I WAS AT WOODSTOCK’ are some of brilliant thoughts which go through your head at that moment.
These ideas seem not half bad at all. It’s so hard to keep track of everything going down even in your immediate surroundings. Why not jump on the ‘life was simpler back then’ bandwagon. All the booze, all the dope, all the sleazy girls and all that rock n’ roll. Hell yeah.
That’s only what you imagine the previous decades might have been like, as you were born in the late 80s/early 90s and the period when your interests began to form was in the third millennium.
Before you take that final step into the world of delusions think for a second. Are you really convinced that living the past is that great of an idea?
1. There was no Internet. Sure, people these days often tend to play out such scenario in their heads. Certainly your parents may have said that they had a blast back then and they didn’t need the virtual reality to truly enjoy themselves. But can YOU? There would be no way of checking out the weather forecast for tomorrow with a single mouse click, no chance to look up Asian porn movies in your dark room, no means of downloading the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
Would you be able to live without cell phones, laptops, Ipads, IPhones, tablets and all the antics that come with using them, like taking selfies in the bathroom or playing farm games throughout a boring lecture.
2. We’re talking about pre- Iron Man/ Dark Knight / Lord of the Rings / Twilight / Harry Potter times. Indiana Jones or Lord Vader session during holiday season is fine, but the top franchises of the twenty-first century really took the fandom few bars higher. Life would be sad without Robert Downey’s smirk, Christian Bale’s Bat-voice, Harry Potter’s wand and broom shenanigans and Twilight’s.. uh yeah, the world would be better off without this one probably, but my point still stands.
These rich in special effects, over-the-top productions took a great part in shaping your preferences regarding movies, and C3PO no longer makes the cut after you’ve seen Tony Stark’s workshop.
I dare you to try.
3. There’s a pretty big chance you’d be a fan of a band like Poison. Or Duran Duran. Or Culture Club. Or Barbra Streisand… I mean really. Yuck.
Now make no mistake here. I’m most likely one of the last few people to criticize the music of the 70s or the 80s. These decades produced most of my favorite bands and artists, several of which certainly belong to the ‘cheesy’ category.
Nonetheless, going as far as to say that modern music totally sucks while everything from the past rocks is a huge overstatement. Listening to, or even worse, watching Boy George is a sickening experience, and he was just one of the many. Hundreds of glam rock bands were using same guitar chords over and over again, with only slightly differently-worded lyrics. Not to mention same hairstyles and same lipsticks. You can no longer treat a hard rock band like a hard rock band when these dudes look more feminine than girls. And being constantly exposed to such music would undoubtedly turn you into a glam zombie as well.
4. With all honesty 40, 30, or even 20 years ago life generally sucked. Maybe in some of the better-developed countries it was not as bad, but in a place like Poland, it was no picnic. The shop shelves were empty, the government was pretty much doing what Russians expected us to do and the architecture was depressing.
Have you ever seen Eurotrip? Remember the way they presented Bratislava (Slovakia)? Grim-looking blocks of flats, borderline poverty and gray surroundings? Even though it was a bit exaggerated and Poland and other ex-communist countries changed a great deal since we’re back on the democratic trail, that was a pretty good depiction of Eastern Europe. There are plenty of new buildings around, but these sad masses of concrete from the previous era remain anywhere you go.
In the rural areas it was even worse. In the villages where my parents were born there was no electricity until early 1960s (my dad was helping my grandfather with building of power lines in some areas).
Another thing was the outhouse toilet. When I happen to complain about household chores my mom sometimes brings that up among other things in order to point out how blessed I am, living right here and right now.
It’s middle of the night, winter, -30°C (around -20°F) and you ought to go outside through snow in order to do your business. What a bother…
And, apparently, the toilet inside my mother’s parents’ house was built only around the time I was born – late 80s! That’s pretty sad, but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outhouse article about the outhouses made me feel a bit better, as even Brisbane suburbs had those until 1970s.
We weren’t running butt-naked or writing on stone tablets, but conditions of living were completely different few decades ago and it’s certainly worth considering if you still wish you were born earlier.
5. So what exactly are you dissatisfied with in your life as it is anyway? Even if you hate modern music, you can buy older records without much of an effort . Same goes for movies. You want the mullet, you may get one. You like leather pants – no problem with that either. The world’s an ever-changing place, but its new content and applications allow you to be a bit more lazy if you feel like it. Times without all the amenities we have today seem like the Dark Ages. Gotta enjoy the life for what it’s worth; there will be regrets, but there’s no point in being stuck in the past. Whatever you’re doing, just remember to have fun and the world today will not be such a scary/boring/dumb place.