Essays and rock & roll. Looking and listening. Nostalgia versus skepticism.
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Youth, discovery, sexuality, et al
Last semester a student of mine worshipfully rocked a BeyoncéLemonade t-shirt to class virtually every other day. Years from now she'll discover that shirt in a box or in an old photo and the flood of feelings that will overcome her: in that moment she's enacting what someone experienced a year before her, five years before, a decade before, half a century before, and what someone will experience next year. What identified her and so graphically broadcast her attitudes and desires—what was uniquely hers in that heady era of highs and lows—morphs into a silhouette for—what?— youth, discovery, sexuality, that which we love and can't define, and so on. My Stones tour t-shirt is his Sub Pop t-shirt is her Lemonade. Your past is unique and special because it's yours, yet you act out the epiphanies, regrets, and losses of all those who came before you. A humbling and beautiful thing. Bittersweet. Nothing and somehow everything.