Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column contemplating the passage of time and wondering if our memory plays games with our minds just for fun.
All this memory confusion got started for us recently when we watched a couple of documentaries about the Sex Pistols.
As a real cultural phenomenon, the seminal punk rock band didn’t last very long ” not even two years.
In the world of our memory, though, Johnny Rotten is still screaming antisocial lyrics in some seedy club while Sid Vicious staggers across the stage with his drug-induced zombie stare.
As far as we’re concerned, Sid never really died and Johnny never aged.
Intellectually, we know time has passed and the Sex Pistols were consigned long ago to the trash heap of rock and roll history.
Emotionally, we’re not so ready to accept things have changed since 1977.
We find it kind of embarrassing to acknowledge our attachment to early punk rock.
We realize it “dates” us, and, in the modern world of disposable everything, we know how important it is to appear “cutting-edge” and contemporary.
We wonder if our parents were ever too embarrassed to admit they remembered World War II.
Maybe it used to be considered “uncool” to be old enough to have survived Pearl Harbor.
Of course, they’re now called “the Greatest Generation.”
We try to imagine what punk rockers will be called in the future.
Our dictionary defines “nostalgia” as “a longing for things, persons, or situations that are not present.” The word’s origin is Greek: from “nostos” ” meaning “a return,” and “algia” ” meaning “pain.” The pain of return.
The Greeks had it figured out, we’ve decided. Nostalgia is definitely painful.
Listening to an oldies radio station can feel like getting a deep-tissue massage on an aching muscle.
We don’t know how people can do it every day.
We find it too exhausting.
Experts tell us other animals don’t have the same awareness of the past that humans do.
Dogs don’t daydream about the rawhide bone they had when they were puppies, and cats don’t sigh wistfully when they think about the father of their first litter of kittens.
No, nostalgia is a distinctly human feeling.
And, honestly, we’re not sure it has much to recommend it.
Sure, we want to remember our history ” mostly because we don’t want to be doomed to repeat it.
But Johnny Rotten is gone, just like almost all public pay phones.
We’ll never be adolescent again, and we’ll never feel about any band again the way we felt about the Sex Pistols.
Maybe that’s just as well. Maybe letting go of who we think we once were can be liberating, even exhilarating. All the “remember whens” can get pretty tiresome.
Sure, we’ll still listen to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols every once in a while ” in the privacy of our own home, but we won’t yearn for a return to the “good old days.”
Instead, we’ll try to be more like our friends’ dog, Dizzy, whose face expresses the same attitude every single morning when he looks up from his bowl:
“This is the BEST dog food I’ve ever had in my WHOLE LIFE!”
Grant Meador called to say he’s the owner of not one but two missing parakeets, including the yellow one named Angel shown on the pages here earlier this week.
The birds escaped when a windstorm knocked over their cage, which had been placed outside so they could get some fresh air, he said.
The person who photographed Angel turned her over to someone else, and now she can’t be tracked down.
The birds, including a blue one named Sky, were the pets of Meador’s recently deceased wife. He asks that anyone who knows about the location of either bird call him at (970) 468-1717.
It’s Friday and we’re out, reinventing ourselves and wondering where we put the car keys.
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