Okay, spurred by a recent trailer I got the idea for this post called NOW & THEN, a new reoccurring posting that will contrast, so called, hot new things and breaking news; with classic or overlooked older items.
There is always this generational thing where people of a certain age look at current items, be it films, music, books, sports, and call them crap and pine for the good old days, and on the other side of the coin you have people, also of a certain age, who have a tendency to look at anything that is not current or today and call it old fashioned or irrelevant.
Being someone who cherishes both the old, and can embrace the new when it’s great, I think both of those previous positions are very limiting.
Everybody can have an opinion, but your exposure to other things, your foundation in the medium you’re talking about, says a lot about the weight and worth of your opinion.
If all you watch is romantic comedies, or Kevin Smith slacker films, and yet you want to have an opinion about what a great film is, not knowing that the romantic comedy you glorify, is nothing but an iteration of a Cary Grant film made 70 years ago… your opinion while colorful, may not exactly be valid or valuable.
Same way it limits you, if all you listen to is HipHop or Heavy Metal or any single type of music consuming it… but not knowing there’s a rich range of influences from a variety of music informing every beat or sample you bob your head to, and a rich history of lyrics having meaning beyond the profane.
(And no, I’m not hating. I was listening to rap and heavy metal before most of you reading this I reckon. But I was also listening to folk, country, soul, jazz, calypso, classical, blues, etc. And I think that has made all the difference. While guanranteeing no expertise, such a diverse grounding, grants you at least the ability to speak from a wide perspective, rather than a narrow one)
[Twista is an example of an actually talented rapper, unlike many who are paid just to curse at women, act ignorant, and look stupid. Twista is perhaps no stranger to those vices, but when he wants to he can actually craft, relatively misogynist-free/genocide-free music… that is actually fun. His ‘Tattoo’ is one of his fast and fun songs. Listen to a nice mashup of it here!]
Restricting yourself to just one thing, being unwilling to grow beyond your comfort zone, is analogous to someone who sticks their fork into the cake, just enough to taste the icing, but not actually enough to taste the cake, and then wants to have an opinion on the cake.
That opinion isn’t worth much.
And that goes for all of life, the more you marginalize or segregate your experience, or allow your experience to be marginalized, be that marginalization with films, or music, or reading, the more incapable you become in competing… in anything.
And that is the problem with too much of America, too much of the world, increasingly people speak without taking the time to be informed about the things they speak on.
Seemingly that is what happens when consumers only consume one thing, and aren’t required to think about that thing, they become… un-moored when introduced to anything that challenges them slightly. To anything that is not… their stereotype.
Here in NOW & THEN, I’m going to do my bit to combat that tunnel vision, by giving you both something current and something classic to consume, to experience, to integrate into your storage banks. Be it movie trailers, films, music, books, comics, personalities, news… I’m not saying you’re going to love the things I post, though my attempt is that you will hopefully enjoy at least one of the things posted.
And I’m going to try and have those distinct things in each post, be united by some common thematic or structural thread, so it makes a nice comparison between old and new.
Well that’s the idea. Without further ado let’s get to this installment’s… NOW & THEN:
THE NOW: Feb 2011
I’ve caught the hoopla on this trailer for a new game called DEAD ISLAND. The hoopla goes thus:
“In the last twenty-four hours, zombie horror game Dead Island has climbed into the top trending topics on Twitter and has merited coverage by numerous blogs and entertainment sites thanks to a provocative three-minute “announcement trailer.” ‘
View the trailer here and see what passes for horror today.
THE THEN: 11 May 1938
LIGHTS OUT, a famous and quite ground-breaking radio program that ran (to unprecedented success) from 1934 to 1947, the brainchild of boy genius Wyllis Cooper (and later Arch Oboler), is recognized as one of the first shows to bring suspense and horror to the still young medium of radio.
Broadcast Wednesdays at midnight, when previously only languid music programs played, LIGHTS OUT reinvented that time-slot as a witching-hour. And the whole nation quickly got in the habit of starting Thursdays just a little bit sleep deprived, having spent the previous Wednesdays cuddled in front the radio, listening to the dire voices of the id. In May of 1938, 73 years ago, one of the most disturbing of those voices called “It Happened” was aired, to a world that was between wars, and between horrors.
Listen to the radio program here and see what passed for horror seven decades ago.
Well that’s this installments NOW & THEN, hope you enjoy what you see/hear and if so, feel free to email or post your comment on which selection was most effective… Now or Then. 🙂 . Also feel free to mention what common theme unites the two things. Be right, and who knows, I might even toss in a gift for correct responses. 🙂 .