Wanting to spend less time in front of screens, is a topic I have thought a lot about recently. As a young man in my mid-twenties, I think a lot of people my age, or younger, are not used to having to 'find' entertainment, or things to do, which are not dependent on screens. So this particular day, I decided to do something different in my down time.
I made myself a peanut butter and peach jam sandwich, grabbed some water, and an Archie comic book, made my way to the basement, and turned on the record player. It was quite a “retro” experience.
I realized the particular Archie comics I was reading, were made around the same time as the records I was listening to. I got a real taste of what it was like when my parents were kids, as I placed the needle onto “The Partridge Family's Greatest Hits at Home” and read about Archie and the gang's groovy antics. I even got a taste of my grandparents' childhood, as I read of Archie and the gang, dressed in proper dresses and suits, for simply going to high-school, while a big band record by the Glenn Miller orchestra, had me tapping my feet.
I'll never truly know what it was like to live in my parents and grandparents shoes. They lived in very different times. Looking back to television shows like Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, and Petticoat Junction, makes me very curious about those days. It seems to me, that as a culture, we've lost something wonderful from that time, in the name of some specialty groups ideas of “progressiveness”.
Perhaps there is something we can all learn from what we occasionally call a “simpler time”, which may in fact have been a better time in some ways. And while I don't know about everyone else, I don't have a time machine in my basement, but I do think there are ways of “going back”, at least in the ways which matter. There are wonderful people in all of our lives who lived through these times, I think we should ask them about their experiences, and learn from the successes and the failures of “change” over the years.
In the recording industry, many have pointed out that cassette tapes, and vinyl records, carry sonic qualities which no digital medium today can contain.
Digitizing sound is the very function of eliminating the top and bottom frequencies of a sound wave, in order to reduce the amount of space needed to record that sound. These are the ones our ears don't detect, but our whole being may experience. It's an effort at modern efficiency, that may in fact make music less complete. If sound sounded better, and fuller, back then, and we're missing entire frequencies today, what else have we lost in the name of “progress”? Maybe it's time we all sit down with our parents and grandparents, and find out.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to flip Glenn Miller over to side two, and catch up with Archie and the gang's latest shenanigans! Hmm, maybe I do have a time machine after all! God bless.