That's Not Nostalgia--It's Deconstruction! | Letters | Chicago Reader

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That's Not Nostalgia--It's Deconstruction!


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To the editors:

In response to Eugene Dillenburg's "new ideas" as reported by Michael Miner in last week's Reader [Hot Type, March 3]: They were burying Hippie over ten years ago with a new material called Punk. It can be argued that for some listening to the Cure is true nostalgia, as in "Ah yes, I remember like yesterday po-going long into the night at O'Banion's, way back in those crazy days of the late 70's." Those for whom "New Wave" long ago became old hat have moved into myriad other realms. One of these happens to be a reinvestigation and deconstruction of that media label--"THE SIXTIES." The reason that those younger people who know "less than Eugene does" about that period are so fascinated by it is exactly that they don't know much about the period, save the larger than life myths and blown up black and white stills that have been acid-etched into the collective consciousness by the engraving tool of a corporate memory machine (shot of screaming girl over the prone body of Kent student). Finding out the truth behind these media manipulated surface decorations should be the goal of anyone truly committed to the "future."

Don't get me wrong now, I'm as opposed to sappy nostalgia as the next angry young baby boomer, but there is quite a difference between a historical interest in a period of cultural revolution and a passing wave of good feelings over hearing "This Diamond Ring." Mr. Dillenburg is a decade-ist, that is, he has fallen into the trap of seeing what is really an ongoing end of the century movement that traces its origins far back into the history of the counter culture as instead a series of passing "fads" which come and go with the whims and economic needs of TIME-LIFE INC. If he had seen the recent screening of the Velvet Underground film shot here in Chicago "way back" in 1966 (at Randolph St. Gallery as part of a 60's retrospective) he may have appreciated it for its "industrial soundtrack." Love flower music it was not, yet it was done in "the 60's." Funny that Mr. Dillenburg has allied himself with "Neo-Futurists," what, are they "nostalgic" for 1914? or perhaps they are true passeists. HISTORY IS NOT NOSTALGIA. In the eternal NOW of media culture, the past present and future are all ONE.

Andy Soma

W. Chicago

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