Oh dear goodness, I’m practically rolling around in my childhood right now, listening to Dixie Chicks on shuffle and scribbling song lyrics into my diary. It’s moments like these that remind me that I still have some type of grasp on who I used to be and continue to be. And even while most of these songs are such rubbish, so much makes up for it: Chris Thile mandolin solos, choruses shifting into minor chords, power building up in bridges. Oh, the bluegrass of the late nineties and early 2000s was magnificent. Think on it–Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Alison Krouse. A lot of great bluegrass came out then.
In fact, a lot of great music came out in the nineties, but it’s taken me until nearly twenty years later to realise that this crap was… well, not crap. My room mate for next year is really into nineties alternative, which I started getting into about five years ago, and I’m fairly certain that you’re going to be able to walk into our room and feel like you’re in your childhood. Matchbox Twenty will be playing in the background while you reach for my Skittles candy machine and a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Only our laptops will give us away.
One day, I’ll look back at the nineties and 2000s as the “Good Ole Days”, and I will lament about the kick-ball and hiking in the woods and climbing the trees while singing Spice Girls and shoving Pokèmon cards into our Lisa Frank binders. God, I still have those Lisa Frank binders full of Pokèmon cards in my closet, right next to a bin of Beanie Babies that I was so sure would be worth a ton of money and put me through college. But you can buy those same Beanie Babies from a garage sale for fifty cents, so, so much for that monetary adventure.
But I’ll look back at all of this in wonder; that much is certain.
I was reading Fahrenheit 451 today while waiting for the mall to open and let me buy a Father’s Day present, and I was surprised by how everyone around me reminded me of the characters. Sure, in limited ways, but so many people are the sheeple like the majority of characters, and I wondered if I would be like Guy or Clarisse or Mildred or Beatty. When we read things like this or Animal Farm or Ishmael, we always want to pretend that we would be one of the enlightened ones. One of the people who catch onto what society is up to and starts fighting the system and thinking for ourselves. But, in all reality, would we really be that person? Or would we be following the motions like anyone else, living day to day with no other question? Would we wake up and go to school or church or work like every other day? Would you be the one to sit in front of the telly and soak in everything that it had to offer? I was that person for so long before waking up, but as I read, I still can’t help but realise that I would be one of those people. I’d be a sheeple right next to everyone else.
We can’t all be a Clarisse.
Will books be banned one day like in Fahrenheit 451? It makes me wonder if the good old days will be right now because of the knowledge that we presume to be free. And it’s something to think about.
But for now, it’s best left to Dixie Chicks and scribbles of what I think into a diary that no one will ever read. It’s better off in poems that tell stories of far away places where people learn lessons in the strangest ways that no one else will understand but in glimpses of another’s mind. It’s better left to sentences that don’t know how to end.