On "Anachronism"

I posit: The only way anachronism can exist in humans is if what is being done is in direct and explicit homage to an earlier time.

n 1: something located at a time when it could not have existed
or occurred [syn: {mistiming}, {misdating}]
2: an artifact that belongs to another time
3: a person who seems to be displaced in time; who belongs to another age

Some people tell me that I was born in the wrong time, that I am an "anachronism." I do not believe this really, because I do not consciously pay tribute to any other eras. My aesthetic draws on what is aesthetically pleasing to me. I think the problem is that most people are very wrapped up in the idea of progress, and they think that whatever is modern/current shows the most progress. Me, I am not consumed with this idea, and so I feel free to do what I like. Sometimes this seems to coincide with what people liked decades ago; sorry old and dead people, it isn't really intentional!

In short, the term anachronism can only be applied to people who are trying to approximate a "look" or aesthetic that is clearly taken from another age. It isn't like I'm walking around wearing a monocle and a stove pipe hat.

In spite of everything that I've written here, I must admit that I do, at times, feel "out of time." Who can say whether or not I'd have been happier in another era?


David said...

I know I wouldn't have been happy in a lot of previous times because life would have been so much less comfortable and I am kind of wimpy. Maybe if it was sometime in the last 50 years so there would have been less competition to get top educations and jobs and stuff but the average person in the US still has pretty decent wealth.

Noah said...

"The average person in the US still has pretty decent wealth."

Pretty much true, but it frustrates me when I think about all the ways that the average person in the US is coaxed into squandering that wealth.

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