Maybe it’s just that I never really noticed before. Last week I was conversing with friends about how the church has historically responded to cultural shifts and enjoying a cold beverage, like the one pictured in this article when I suddenly realized the label. Obviously, it’s retro. Actually, I never gave it a second thought until I was perusing an aisle at the local Wal-Mart. I noticed racks of Ocean Pacific clothes – just like the ones that I wore in high school. Purple Cord-a-Roy shorts? The stuff of kings or at least wannabe kings.
It got me thinking about how much we, as a culture have one hand straining for the future while the other is lagging behind hoping to snag anything in it’s grasp. My sixteen-year-old son was wearing a Mario t-shirt on Sunday that displays the logo from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. As we were leaving a local city park having finished our Frisbee Golf game, a guy entering the park, probably in his late teens, said ‘cool shirt man’. And it is cool. With an affirming nod my son received his compliment.
A dichotomy really…retro furniture, retro party favors, collectible metal lunch boxes, food and beverage labels, TV merchandise from the 70’s and 80’s and retro style vehicles from Chevy and Dodge.
While there’s definitely an attempt to reclaim what is perceived as beautiful from the 70’s and 80’s while leaving the problems behind, there’s seems to be no desire to relive the past. There are many things about that past not worth reliving. Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, and the Iran-Contra affair are just a few things in my recent memory not worth going back to.
Do I fully understand where we’re headed? Honestly, no. But, I’m still intrigued.