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Subject: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: Marty McFly on 08/11/07 at 8:15 am

This is something that's passively been in my mind forever, but whenever I look at anything in time, I view it in the order it happened. Whether or not I personally remember it, I've just always tended to view the present as a culmination of the past, because time only goes one way. For example, I'm not going to instantly think of a present-day 50-year old as middle-aged, but rather as a kid of the '60s, a teen of the '70s or a young adult of the '80s who has slowly become the age they are today a little bit at a time.

I've always been this way (using the past as my "base point" and advancing), and it seems more natural to me. Yet I've noticed most people do the opposite, which sometimes is a pet peeve of mine, especially if I've become used to viewing things as I was introduced to them. Like I hate when people view an '80s celebrity as "old" because they're looking at it the reverse way. This isn't age based because I've noticed that sentiment is actually kinda true among many other people, so maybe I'm in the minority.

Has anyone else ever noticed or thought about this?

Subject: Re: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 08/11/07 at 8:32 am

I can be the same way sometimes too. Like I might think about someone born exactly 20 years before me(in 1967), and about how they would've been a child of the '70s, and there time would've been in the '80s. So yeah, that's kinda the way i tend to view things too.

Subject: Re: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: Marty McFly on 08/11/07 at 8:35 am

Yeah, exactly. For instance, I've always hated when someone talks about a 40-year old like they're super old. Heck, that's what Kurt Cobain would be now! Most '90s celebrities are around that age too, like Adam Sandler who acted like a carefree, goofball teen/young man for so long.

Even though I was smart enough to know a fortysomething wasn't technically old even as a kid, I do find that it irritates, even saddens me now when I hear people talk like that. It's almost like I "grew up with" certain people, so indirectly it feels like a personal insult or at least jolts me into how the times are changing. This can be discomforting and awkward. Like, I saw some dumb*ss comment on YouTube the other day about how old Paula Abdul is and how long ago her music was. It's like, come on, she was only 28 in 1991 when I became familarized with her on VH1 and has slowly just become "a little older" today. She still seems quite youngish, as do tons of other celebrities and average people too.

I dunno, that just always came off as bratty, rude and not well-thought out to me. It's not just kids, one of my best friends is 28 and he kinda has that mindset about middle-aged people. Then again, maybe I got a more liberal view growing up, because most adults I knew were quite cool and youthful (this goes for my parents, other relatives, babysitters), along with being so pop culture influenced.

Subject: Re: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: Zeb on 08/16/07 at 10:59 am

Right on Mr. McFly.  I am 22 but that doesn’t mean that I can’t find common ground with someone who is 20 or 50 years older than me.  I keep in mind that everyone older than me was my age once.  My mother is almost 60 but when she is listening to a station playing 60s music (particularly “British Invasion” and S&G) she remembers the lyrics and it’s like she’s my age all over again.  My grandparents, who are in their 80s, talk about the great depression, WWII, and the election of 1960 as if they happened only yesterday.  I was at my best friends house for the weekend and I mentioned that I was learning about the sixties counter culture in my American History since 1945 course.  My best friend’s father responded to me by proudly declaring, “That wasn’t history to me.”  What I’m trying to say is that each generation leaves behind something for the future to appreciate or learn from.

Subject: Re: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: xSiouXBoIx on 08/18/07 at 1:28 pm

i'm kind of the same way...i always think of what my mom would have been like in the 70's.

Subject: Re: Viewing the present in relation to the past?

Written By: tv on 08/18/07 at 7:05 pm

Yeah I look quite youngish fir my age and some people can;t beilieve how I graduated High School in 1998.

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