Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Born yesterday

I am a product of the 1970's in as much as i was born during that decade. However, either by fate or force, that period of time, with all of its pageantry of flower power to disco ball reverie did not leave its imprint on my character. That dominion fell to an entirely different time period. For as long as i can remember, i have felt with a certifiable certainty a disconnection from these times. Should you plot your way through the annals of this site's words, it would become evidently clear that i was meant to be born at an earlier point in history. In fact, as a point of evidence, i have often muttered to myself numerous times:

"I wished i'd lived during the 1940's and 50's"

The music of that era - jazz, dance hall, rockabilly, surf music - occupies my record (yes, records - actual records) shelf. The only channels i tend to regularly watch on the tube are two whose exclusive programming overflows exclusively with classic movies (black and white, even). I dress in a fashion that yearns for natty haberdasheries. I dictate that my girl follows suit, always dressed in skirts and always dressed like a lady. Even the pornography that emerged from this gilded era strikes my interest more than the mainstream drivel of today (gratuitous blowjob, intercourse, money shot - cut and print).

I'd like to offer a correction to a statement made earlier in this post. Until recently, i only watched classic movies and the occasional sports broadcast on TV. But then i discovered AMC's show "Mad Men".

Here was an exhibition on the very time period and aesthetic i myself try to recreate on a daily basis, from the way people dressed to the social outlets commonly pursued. I've spent a good amount of money and time attempting to recreate the social spoils that this show, week after week, accomplished. However, as i devoured each rich episode, i came to realize that there was a reason why this show has the impact it has now, and why this era quietly died down.

Developing my own dedicated following of a TV show once again, of a period that no longer exists, i came to understand the fruitful explanations as to why time - and history - have progressed. While i applaud the costuming of the show, while i proudly proclaim the adherence to strict feminine/masculine restrictive definitions addressed by this teleplay, i'm struck by the pride i have over the progress we as a society have made since the late 1950's, early 1960's. No longer do we automatically accept the ill treatment of women as meat and targets of our office-related swats to the tush and sex-denigrating comments. Instead, i can embrace the well-weathered facts that now, should a woman decide to dress and act as they do in this show, they do so by choice. It is their hard-earned right to don clothes of pure, classic feminine beauty, rather than it being the norm.

This to me helps me advance my own sense of alienation that i was born in the wrong era, because i'm able to embrace the social structures that have been appropriately questioned, negotiated and established. Now, i'm free to watch a show like this, link it to my own life, and comfortably stand back as the modern era flexes its all-too-little-used muscle that says women have not only a right but a privilege to constantly express themselves in our social dialogue.

3 comments:

sera said...

Funny--as soon as I started to read this I pictured Mad Men. I guess it just shows how powerful the show's style is, and it's a hard one to resist. ;)

oatmeal girl said...

a beautifully thought-provoking post. and while i didn't immediately think of "Mad Men", as soon as you mentioned it i metaphorically smacked my forehead and thought but of course! i should have connected it with you right off the first time i saw the show!

this idea of choice... what we wear, what you expect, what you require, what your girl and i and others submit to... i thought of something i said recently about not being a slave and what that means. it's true, in a general way and on certain issues, if i don't accept the underlying rules that were presented to me, the relationship is over. but i am not a slave, i HAVE in fact said there were certain things i could not do, and each time i submit, be it my body to pain or my creativity to an assignment, it is a deliberate decision. each time your girl dons the skirts you dictate, each time i willingly present my ass to the cane or confine my writing to the topic or form i've been given, it is like reaffirming a vow. i willingly behave this way, i willingly live this way, because it has meaning.

Deity said...

sera,
it's such a divine style. don't care for all of their behavior, but love the style.

o.g.,
so wonderfully put. that meaning is what i consider a joint bond between you and your dominant. i treasure it with my girl.