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Dart News

Back To The Future?


Like so many others, I’ve often flirted with the idea of living in a time other than my own. I think everyone has had those brief moments envisioning what their lives would be like had they been around a different era, especially when exposed to art forms like music, fashion or film. While there’s nothing wrong with appreciating old things, how do they hold up against the present?

     When I was 13, I was part of the group of individuals who would unironically yearn about being born in the wrong generation. I was obsessed with mod fashion, classic rock and mid-century modern design. I had a fringed haircut that I’d tease at the back every morning before school, and later go on discourses with my peers on how The Beatles were the greatest band ever and all modern music was inferior. I cringe at that latter memory, but I must give my younger self kudos for her style confidence.

     Point is, I really wanted to live in the 1960s. And not the one tainted by division, war or political upheaval. I wanted the romanticized one seen in technicolor movies and rock-and-roll.

     My grandmother, otherwise known as my Mema, was a teenager during that time, having fond memories of mini skirts, The Stones and the earthy smell of patchouli oil. She also remembers gruesome letters from Vietnam, monochrome violence on the evening news and the walk home from school following Kennedy’s assassination.

     Now where’s the free-spiritedness in that? It’s the rebuttal critics of this yearning-for-the-past phenomenon argue, along with the absence of progress made for the rights of women and minorities. Plus, what about the ability to access unlimited information from my pocket, and being able to satisfy any craving whether it’s for food, curiosity, or the desire to be seen?

     This is where the guilt comes at me for not appreciating what I have now. While I have technological advancements that would’ve made life easier for people like my Mema, I know I’m not the only one in my generation who has felt overwhelmed by it all at least once in their lives while also relying on it for the vanguard of culture and others’ perception of you.

    There’s a certain satisfaction in participating in trends as they’re happening, and I can empathize with the feeling of disappointment when you’re 50 years late to the party, just because of the date of your birth. While I can wear the same fashion from the time and listen to the same music without having to go out and buy a physical copy, there’s no better feeling of being there when it happened, to say you were one of the lucky ones who experienced it first.

     I also think the cherry-picked details of a decade can make it so easy to forget what was also occurring. As I looked at vibrant images of flowy mini dresses and doll-eye makeup, I forgot that the women in those pictures couldn’t get a credit card, couldn’t report workplace harassment and couldn’t pay the same for healthcare as men. Those women, including my Mema.

     While I’ve grown more aware of the disadvantages that come with living in the past, I can’t help but let my mind wander once in a while to picture living in a glamourized version of the past, one that I never experienced myself but can only access through the art of its time.

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About the Contributor
Dianne Haake
Dianne Haake, Web and Lifestyle Editor
Hi! My name is Dianne Haake. I’m a senior and web editor for The Dart this year and couldn’t be more excited. In my free time, I love reading, playing guitar and listening to music. My favorite artists are Alice in Chains, Metallica, Lana Del Rey and Arctic Monkeys. I also have a passion for cinema, with my favorite movie being “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” When I’m not at school, you’re most likely to find me at a local record store or thrift shop with an iced chai in my hand or rewatching “American Horror Story.” I’m so grateful to be on staff for my second and final year, and look forward to working on The Dart!

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