The past wasn’t better.
I promise. Maybe you had fewer obligations. Maybe your world seemed smaller. Maybe you had a better sense of True North. But you were wracked with the same self-doubt that plagues you today, it just had a smaller vocabulary. No, the past was not better, but our appreciation of the moment may have been better. Less noise, less immediate judgment. But you are obligated to look back occasionally, if only to touch the songs and stories that shook you once, and know that that wonder is possible again, in you and others. In revisiting these projects and other aspects of my youth, I might’ve longed for the naïveté or the wonder, but you have to fight the urge to wish to go back. The goal now is how to make things (moments, scenes, gestures, ideas) that evoke and utilize the aspects of today that are compelling but were closed before. The past seems better because we thought we had a clear monoculture to rail against. It’s a lot less clear now who we’re trying to be. The silt and sediment of culture portrays a marble texture, art & commerce in an inextricable Rocky Road. Perhaps the old ideals were just that: an easy dialectic, overground and underground. Now we have to work harder to forge a certain self, and we have to fortify it every day with our practice. We now share a rating scale with the whole world, everything in the sifter, but ultimately it is all personal and it’s still small. it has to be personal and small, or it won’t stick to ourselves.
I had a blast compiling our Ghostly Influences project. Thanks to all involved.