Back when I was 12, liking a certain band could get you in trouble. I remember that my classmates were almost violently divided between who was better: Adam Ant or Ozzy Osbourne. As a fan of the former, I was frequently the object of considerable disdain.
Of course, this could be attributed to plain old immaturity, the tendency of (pre-) teenagers to assert their superiority as they try to assess their own burgeoning adult personalities. (This hypothesis becomes much less valid when one applies it to allegedly adult sports fans.)
Now I have enough sense to appreciate both Adam Ant and Ozzy (though my heart truly belongs to the former). With the passing of time, the crazy fluctuations on the line graph of taste become flatter. This is not an uncommon phenomenon. Even radio stations have tempered their rage against disco by playing it between “classic rock” songs by Led Zeppelin (though this could also be attributed to the rise of Clear Channel).
When I was 12, it hardly mattered that Adam and the Ants had officially broken up the year before; I listened to them just as rabidly as Adam Ant’s solo albums. The only real downsides to liking a band who’d broken up were (1) you couldn’t see them live and (2) they wouldn’t be putting out any new music. Andy Warhol’s famous 15 minutes hadn’t yet become ubiquitous; it was okay to like stuff that wasn’t piping hot from the pop culture oven.
Yet now that the 15 minutes has shortened to 15 seconds, it’s becoming harder and harder to determine what’s truly “new” and whether or not being a slave to the 24-hour media cycle makes one more hip or just a victim of ADD. I’ve talked quite a bit about both the passage and the persistence of time on Popshifter, trying to find a healthy and happy medium between unbridled nostalgia and modern culture’s obsession with immediate gratification.
What I have tried to do with Popshifter over these last three years is to illuminate the struggle between wallowing in the past and jumping too soon off of the future’s cliff, while simultaneously providing some insight into what I think truly matters, pop culture-wise. I hope I have succeeded.
Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor