Thursday, 20 October 2011

A year by any other name would dwell as fleet

08:50:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , 4 comments
Yeah, I was there. The 1980s lasted 10 years. Pretty traditional decade. I saw a load of other people. They're still around. Mostly. Some of them wear the same clothes, drive the same car, live in the same house. If you think it was different you'd be wrong. We talked the same smut, squealed at spiders, ate over processed food and complained about the Tories. I made stuff up then, same as now. Struggled for half an hour to think of the perfect name for an imagined town and ended up with something that rhymed with Blackpool. I wouldnt' notice. Sometimes I'd say something funny without realising then pretend I'd meant to say it. Same as now. Some guys who were taller than me with more years under their belts told me I wrote well. Some guys who were shorter than me with more snot on their sleeves told me I wrote OK. This is the stuff that sticks. Some stuff happened in the 90s. Some scary stuff. Some feelings I'll never get back. The noughties had a fair mixture of ups and downs. Moments came and went. Each one seemed shiny and undeniably real until it became mystory. There's a progression there if you care to frame it that way but frames only block the view. I like to stare at the sky. I want to look both ways. The 80s made me. Right now, I'm making the 80s. Wrapping it up as if everything can be named. As if separation is possible. As if this table really is solid. Knowledge through difference. What about knowledge through similarity. The 80s were like the 90s were like the 00s are like the now. I lost as much as I learned. Perhaps I was most astute in 1981, 4 years old and intuitively recognising the patterns about me without a hefty framework to hang them on. I know that decade like I know this decade - in its infancy. I know neither decade. I only know myself. And I know myself through similarity as much as difference. No frame, only sky.


Ste said...

'Right now, I'm making the 80s. Wrapping it up as if everything can be named. As if separation is possible. As if this table really is solid.'

This line and everything that follows is genius - great post, great concept :)

Ashley R Lister said...

Thought-provoking as always.

I disagree. We don't make meaning. We're writers and therefore we label meaning. The rest of the world then reads our labels and understands the subject more clearly.

Not that I have an inflated ego :-)


Anonymous said...


Put that can of worms down. It's awfully big :)


Ashley R Lister said...


You're right. I'm putting down the can now. In fact, I'm not even sure it was a can. Just a container labelled 'May Contain Worms.'

Thanks for the warning :-)