Skip to main content

Sweet Tooth

Having brunch at a local restaurant recently, I took notice of the music being piped-in through the discreetly positioned speakers while we dined. The songs were predominantly from the 1950s and '60s. Oldies, if you will. There's nothing wrong with that, per se, though it reinforced an opinion I have about modern society, that we are, for better or worse, wrapped-up in nostalgia.

"If we were sitting in a restaurant in the 1960s, do you think they would have been playing music from 1910?" I asked my brunch companion. Ashley responded that it would have been less likely, though he countered with the fact that the curation of things (not just music) in recent decades has led to easy access to older material. It simply wouldn't have been as easy during the 1960s to have access to a recording from 1910.

Perhaps accessibility is the driving force behind the lingering presence of what is, frankly, old culture? If so, is that a good, bad, or neutral set of circumstances? Does it make us cling too heavily to the past, or can it be argued that it allows us to better remember what would otherwise be forgotten?

I dunno. It still seems odd to me whenever I see a young person (teens or twenties) walking around with Bob Marley or Beatles t-shirts. It seems unlikely that the young people of the 1960s, for example, would have been walking around with Kate Smith, Benny Goodman and Jimmy Durante t-shirts. They were busy living and appreciating in what was their now.

And whenever I happen to tune-in to one of those singing competition shows, they're always having a tribute night to artists whose catalogues are decades old (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elton John, etc). Again, if such a program had been on during the 1960s, would they have been doing tributes to artists any older than Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry? Seems unlikely.

Of course we also have easy access to old movies and TV shows nowadays. Films that, at the time, had a life expectancy of a few weeks at the theater and then that was it, are now available to watch and re-watch however much we desire. That adds some confusion, however, to the constant churn of remakes being foisted upon us. I mean, it's one thing to give us a remakes of Hawaii Five-0 or Superman, if the original versions weren't around, but....

So, yeah, sure, put on that reissued platter of The Beatles, stream a classic Bowie album, watch Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past, or wear the Bob Marley t-shirt without any irony. This is American, where we can do such things freely. And they're good things, right? As long as it's not stunting our cultural and creative growth, of course.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…