Warning: This post has absolutely nothing to do with men’s human rights. In fact, I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with much of anything. It is just a small attempt by an aging man to let you in on some of the weirdness that inhabits my mind, or what is left of it. PE
This is the eve of my birthday. I’ll be 56 tomorrow, provided nothing happens. Life’s less pleasant possibilities, death for instance, occur to you more often as you get older.
But as I do each time I “click off another one,” I have been thinking of the past a bit. This year it has been about what I have no other way to describe but dates of anticipation. I would whittle that down to an acronym, but at my age I am not fond of this particular one, so I will go with the whole enchilada thank you very much.
Anyway, these dates of anticipation are, for me, as I am not sure this sounds like anything but stupid to anyone else, particular dates, years to be precise, that are burned into my cultural consciousness. They are years that resonate, I suppose, with most people of my generation, even allowing for some cultural differences. They are years that I anticipated in my youth, that once seemed like a lifetime away, and that now but a matter of not so recent history.
The first of those years was 1984, made famous by the Orwell novel. As a kid in the sixties, and a young man in the seventies, conversations over campfires and dinner tables, and later over joints and Jimi Hendrix, buzzed with predictions over what things would be like with Big Brother in charge. We were all clueless that it would actually be Big Sister, but I am not going to ruin my perfectly sensible warning now and go any further down that road.
The year came and went, without fanfare, and set us up like a chip shot for the next date of anticipation. That was 1986, the year that Halley’s Comet passed through our solar system. It was actually a big deal in my years of anticipation. I remember visions running through my mind of a night sky on fire, a giant spark cutting across the blackness of space with a tail that would stretch all the way to the horizon. That is how I imagined it, at least.
What a dud it turned out to be, though it was not that much of a disappointment. In 1986 I was 29 and had already started to figure out that life was full of them.
I don’t mean that to sound morose. Life has always held good things as well. It is just that my long awaited vision of a sky in flames was not going to be one of them.
Unlike 1984, 1986 did not lead me to the doorstep of the next date of anticipation. In fact, it was to be a 15 year wait for the next one in 2001. I know, I skipped 2000 entirely, the dawn of the new millennium. But I have to stick with what is real for me. The powerful imprint of Kubrick’s classic movie burned into my brain to such a degree that the year 2000 did not seem near as futuristic. Definitely 2001, with the supercomputer HAL and the Monolith and Maker of Worlds; that was the future. Not 2000. It was scarcely a blip on my radar. Even with the Y2K frenzy it did not make much of an impression. Maybe that was Halley’s fault for putting on such a poor show. Maybe Halley’s fizzle was the destroyer of my dreams.
Anyway, 2001 came and went, leaving me almost lost, with little to look forward to in super important future dates of anticipation. Luckily, in 1984, the year of Big Sister, I had already been saved from complete despair. They made another movie. 2010, The Year We Make Contact. Horrible flick. So bad that it is almost embarrassing to mention here, but it was made before Halley fucked everything up so it still left an impression in my mind, and qualified as a date of anticipation. And it bought me nine more years of something to look forward to.
And so I did. The years passed quickly
It brought me nine years closer to writing this goofy essay, a much enhanced internet and AVFM, but as I said I am not going to go down that road for now.
And so it leaves me here now, having said very little, and leaving me quite sure what little I said means even less than I thought it would.
And the dates of anticipation are all gone. Well, except for one.
Another year that is totally engraved into my youth and my consciousness came from a little known garage duo calling themselves Zager and Evans, which I suppose was their names. They were a one hit wonder, but I heard that one hit, with all its spooky futuristic ambiance, so much that it, too, carved its way into some corner of my consciousness and took a strong enough foothold that it has never left.
I think I may be screwed on seeing this one.