So what's this blog about, anyway? (Unfortunately, the nature of online writing prevents me from dusting off the old punchline about how "it's about 200 pages, nyuk-nyuk.") As the subtitle implies, it's an arts-and-entertainment blog. And as the title warns you, it's almost entirely about arts and entertainment that's old, and in some cases very old.
I've always had non-current tastes. As a kid growing up in the '80s, I would listen to my father's Broadway cast albums, intrigued by the snippets he and my mother used to play in the car -- my favourite song in The Sound of Music, by the way, was the one they cut out of the movie, "How Can Love Survive?" I preferred old movies, old TV shows, and songs that didn't try to rhyme "man" with "banned." ("Man" rhymes with "ban." Not "banned." Okay?) As I got a little older I also wanted to be a playwright, and so of course I started reading all the plays I could -- but the plays I read were mostly from the '30s and '40s and '50s. By the time I started a drama course in my freshmen year of college, I was demanding to know why we were studying a dullard like Arthur Miller instead of great plays like Born Yesterday and, I kid you not, The Moon is Blue (don't laugh, it's a great stage play, as I'll argue in a future post).
Most people learn to appreciate non-current entertainment as they get older; I had to re-acquaint myself with all the culture I missed growing up, so that I was the only person of my generation who didn't see a single episode of The A-Team until the show's 20th anniversary.
And yet I'm not really a nostalgia buff. I know people who like to watch old movies because they are more wholesome, or have less swearing and violence and sexuality, or because they just represent a period where the culture was less repulsive to them. I don't object to that view, but I don't share it; I'm not at all bothered by four-letter words and I don't think, factoring in the censorship issues, that the movies of the '50s reveal a more wholesome culture than the current one. (Or, for that matter, a more repressed culture. '50s repression is one of those things that only the director of Pleasantville considers a serious issue.)
Well, I've overwritten a bit here. In my next post I'll be more brief as I explain what exactly this blog is about. Stay tuned.