… for you to turn something that exists into something that didn’t. – Robert Zimmerman on becoming a songwriter… or Robert Zimmerman on becoming Bob Dylan
I’m reading Bob’s Chronicles, Vol. I, that is, the first volume of his autobiography. And it is, of course, amazing. Like reading a Kerouak novel whose still unbelievable character has purpose.
What puzzles me is that… the generation before us, that was young during the 70s… pretty much did it all. Got high, flew to the moon, lived through a cold war and after a world one, managed to get itself back on its feet and created models all but perishable. After Sinatra and the Rat Pack, the new wave included Johnny Cash, Bob, Baez, Ray Charles. Even the ones that got it wrong: Elvis, Hendrix or Joplin seemed to have a little more life in them than we do.
So in a sense it’s strange, cause we’re the children of that generation. We’re supposed to be following them and be more peace-oriented, more revolutionary, more open and warm, natural-born drifters. And somehow we are… natural born-surfers. I hear kids these days (mind you, I’m only 21 and there’s a major difference between me and any 15 year old) grow up with a slightly different bone and muscle structure to their thumb, developed with video game and console remotes, that makes them do certain simple things very differently (such as switch on the light with their thumb). I know, it sound silly to think about something like that… but it’s probably what the apes said when we started putting our opposable thumbs to good use.
There’s still, i think, anticipation in the air. Anticipation, anxiety and great excitement at what the future still holds.
I used to critique modern communication and be an advocate of traditional methods. ‘People would remain best friends even having not met for years. It would take a month to deliver a letter across the sea, if the ship actually got there, and they would still write and tell’. Sure, they had a life expectancy of 45…
There’s just so many of us right now, so many people to pick from that we honestly do not need friends for life anymore. We change, we evolve so rapidly and absorb so much more information than any previous generation that our psyche jumps from stage to stage and it abandons those that can’t keep up with it, or so it seems. But we’re still not cut out for all the knowledge flow available. Hell, I live in an industrial suburb of a small town. I see so many “shiny happy people” (sparkling jackets, vinyl shoes, not a care in the world) that have the IQ of an intelligent ape and could not give a damn about the changes going on in the world. This is Romania. People don’t care about online media, going green and globalization. Making a difference, finding a way, creating. (In this respect I know many well cultured people that are worth pretty much the same for having the same dreams despite the different prospects).
It’s becoming harder and harder to hold on to the wave, even more so to ride on it and it seems unbelievable that there are few preceding it.
Still, in Bob’s words… sometimes it’s like we’ve been pulling an empty wagon for a long time and now that we’ve began filling it up we’re going to have to pull harder. He thought that about studying poetry but it’s become true for our general livelihood. And we shouldn’t be afraid of pulling harder or going further into… what seems to be just empty open space. We’re inventing the world as we’re going and I used to think that we were doing it wrong and that we were in fact hopeless (even if in a Camusian way). Blow ourselves up or not, either the Earth gets rid of us sooner or we become better and better… I don’t find a problem with either of those.
It’s like we’re walking towards a door and as we’re getting closer the door seems to be getting bigger and bigger. So who knows what lies ahead?!