The Singularity

I’ve had a great deal of interest in this blog lately from guys my age. It seems like, lately, a lot of young guys are looking back. Why? Why the sudden fascination with the skinny ties and horn-rimmed glasses of the 60s? The straight razor and safety razor shaving hobbyists? Fedoras and double-breasted coats? I have two ideas as to why young men seem to be looking back to a time of simplicity and serenity.

First, I think we’ve jaded ourselves with the disposable lifestyle we create. The cheapness of everything around us has been too much to handle. Smokers and non-smokers alike are investing in Zippo lighters for their long lasting reliability, forgoing plastic one-time-use Bics. Electronics, perhaps the most transient item of our culture, are becoming increasingly more generously built with waterproofing, drop resistance, military spec rubberized coatings, and hurt-proof touch screens. Matchbox cars went from die-cast to plastic and back to die cast. The fact is we hate replacing and upgrading. People are sick of buying a new phone every year. I think young adults like me are beginning to search for timeless enjoyment. Opting for leather shoes over synthetic Nikes. Choosing a pea coat instead of a polyester snowboarding jacket. And investing in a briar pipe instead of a pack of cigarettes.

Secondly, I think our culture has circled back to value things quite similar to what is now quite vintage. With the explosion of techno and electronic music, people are redeveloping the ability to feel and experience music on a strictly instrumental level. Watching someone smile as they listen to Skrillex, David Guetta, or Daft Punk reminds me of how people must have smiled while listening to Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, or Dvorak for the first time. String orchestra, piano forte and classical voice are being replaced by synths, special effects, and pop music samples. I mean, really, how much difference is there between this and this? It, empirically, is the same music played on different instruments.

Whether our society is just getting too sick of itself to maintain its pithiness or if we’ve just encountered a singularity with the old ways, I like it. Maybe one day, it won’t be my 80 year old self complaining about the pants-on-the-ground fashion of the youth, it will be the well dressed youth complaining about my generation’s flat-billed hats and scoffing at our Axe body spray.

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~ by Kyle on January 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Singularity”

  1. I think we’ve also finally gotten tired of the age of casualness. A teeshirt and jeans (waist-level or lower) isn’t cutting it anymore.

    • I’ll agree with that. Fads are becoming increasingly more formal. The athletic pants of the 90s are morphing into fitted jeans or khakis. Tshirts are becoming polos, dress shirts, and sweaters. Daily wear is starting to grow up!

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