Tuesday, January 28, 2014

whoa, a thought.

Yesterday I had a startling realisation which, at first, sounded kind of superficial, but after really reflecting on it, decided certainly warrants its startling status.

My realisation was: Madonna’s entire career has occurred within my lifespan. I was born in 1981 and she had her first hit, “Everybody,” in 1982. Obviously she was busy building her career before then, but the part of it that affected culture—the part that made her Madonna—officially commenced in 1982.

Why is this important? Two years ago—in 2012—it was The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 65 years on the throne. That’s not 65 years old, that’s 65 years in service. Starting in 1952, Her Majesty’s reign has seen some of the most significant cultural movements in history, movements that have shaped, defined and are still heavily referenced in our culture today. Having lived through World War II, she assumed the throne as food rationing in the United Kingdom was just beginning to taper off. She saw movements in music, having been especially privy to both the Rolling Stones and the inimitable revolution known as Beatle Mania. I hardly think the world has shaken the same since (and social media solar flares surrounding One Direction and Justin Bieber don’t count, it was a simpler time). She witnessed the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Thatcher Era (the stains of which are still evident and smarting in the UK). There are many other huge movements and events I could include, but I’m keeping this brief brief. The Queen has seen the stuff that largely dominates the pages of our history books, and is still alive today to relate stories of her experience having observed such important events. As a result, The Queen stands as a creation of history, a person made wholesome and rich by a multitude of heavy, weighted things that have impacted her life. She stands as a living relic of history by today’s standards, a piece of history herself, and there aren’t many like her.

To me, realising my lifespan had completely included the cultural movement made by Madonna meant that I lived through something major as well, which comes with its own inexplicable feeling of excitement and accomplishment, and especially when contrasted with the next fact that piggy backed my thought: that the lives of others haven’t included Madonna’s reign. Sure, my friends who are under 30 have lived through the 90s, both wars in Iraq, 9/11, and a variety of other, more recent events that will soon be told through pages in history books, but none of these things have spanned a full 30+ years, and that’s where I find myself in awe.

Of course some shithead reading this will think I’m comparing myself to The Queen which, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t be an unjust assumption, but not this time. She was merely the exaggerated example of what I’m feeling about my own life. Of course this realisation I had was short lived, as it soon gave way to a flood of other defining thoughts about my life, such as reminders that I now live in a foreign country, am married, own cats, finally have pec muscles that show from beneath a t-shirt, prefer red wine over white and other thoughts that basically affirm that I am no longer a child by showing me all the “adult things” I do nowadays. I suppose the most adult thing of all, however, is growing up enough to look back and realise all of this.

2 comments:

S said...

I did that, too.

Madonna changes her hair, so do I.
Madonna adopts an accent, so do I.
Madonna becomes Evita, so do I...

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