As I was sitting at the spa last week, I decided to leaf through a glossy magazine. I hadn’t read one in years, and it seemed like this kind of reading would complete my spa experience. (Everybody deserves a chance to shed the intellectual burden and be stupidified every once in a while, OK? I’ve got enough facetious comments about this in RL, so no more are needed.) In that magazine, I alighted upon a very curious article that analyzed the trends in fashion, music, home décor, cars, etc.
The article pointed out that, during the XXth century, every 20 years or so brought profound changes in these areas of human existence. Think about clothes, for example. Could you wear the same clothes and sport the same hairdo in 1976 and in 1996? In 1950 and 1970? And what about pop music? Aren’t the differences between what people listened to in 1938 and 1958 or 1958 and 1978 glaring?
Now consider the past twenty years. See any changes there? Right you are, there are none. I could easily wear all of my clothes from 1991 today (if I could fit into them, that is), and nobody would think me strange. And we are not talking about a return of the fashion from the early 1990ies. There simply was no moment during the past 20 years when fashion changed in any significant way. I have clothes that are 10-12 years old and I still wear them on occasion. And every single time, I have to tell people how old my outfit is because nobody can guess just from looking at it.
Or take music. Is what you heard on the radio 10, 15, 20 years ago really all that different from what you listen to today? Can anybody spot 3 differences between Madonna and Lady Gaga? I can barely find one.
Hairstyles, facial hair, the way the cars look – none of these things have changed dramatically in the past 20 years.
I’ve thought about it for a while and I have developed a hypothesis as to why these areas of our lives seem frozen in time. I’ll provide my answer in the next post but, for now, I’d like to know what my readers think.
Have you noticed the phenomenon I’m talking about? How do you explain it? Or do you think there is no such phenomenon?