The Golden Era Of Anything…

Piper’s Passing Placed Perplexing Ponderings…

Roddy Piper passed away last week. The loss of Piper got me thinking about the early days of televised wrestling. Piper was a staple in what many refer to as the golden era of professional wrestling. As his predecessors, personalities such as Mad Dog Vachon, Wahoo McDaniel, Verne Gagne, and the Crusher faded into obscurity, Piper was a great transitional figure to bridge the gap between eras. He and his contemporaries helped freshen up the scenery as well as the entrainment value of televised wrestling – substantially. Eventually TV wresting became too big, too juiced, and too commercialized for my tastes. However, Piper was part of a special era that lasted about ten years – a golden era.

wpid-roddy-piper-1000151031

All Around Us…

There have been many golden eras of institutions and technologies that we can reflect on. The automobile. Science. Television. Baseball. Cinema. Skateboarding. Rock & Roll. Even bipartisan politics. The Islamic religion had its golden era. Even war had its golden era – if you believe fending off Hitler vs. fighting for oil was a more noble undertaking.

Back when a Cougar was a Cougar, not a middle-aged...

Back when a Cougar was a Cougar, not a middle-aged…

There have been many golden eras though history, and we are partial to them on reflection because they have provided us with something new. New ideas. New personalities. New technologies. It is the freshness and uniqueness of change which makes periods golden.

As I look round today though, there don’t seem to be too many products, technologies, personalities, or institutions demonstrating a golden era. I can’t imagine our descendants looking back on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or blogging with a storied past. The MMA…? I just don’t see it. The golden age of solar panels…? Not likely. The golden era of multiplex theaters…? God help us.

Golden age of Islam.  Yes.  Golden age of the MMA.  Doubtful.

Golden age of Islam. Yes. Golden age of the MMA. Doubtful.

That’s the disparity with increasing complexity; that at time when we have more fresh ideas, personalities, and technologies contributing to society – and at an exponential level, it seems it’s all been done before. Seemingly, there’s nothing truly fresh for us to appreciate.

Perhaps one can make the argument that in the world of rapidly increasing social and technical complexities, the reason we’re no longer able to experience golden eras of anything is because things are just changing and evolving too quickly for anything to become golden, to establish, or sink in.

One can make a related argument that there are so many golden eras developing around us everyday and all at once, that we can’t see through them all to identify or appreciate the ones which might matter or affect most.

We might be stepping into a golden era of religious tolerance. We might also be experiencing the golden era of gender equality. More likely though, we are just crawling toward them. Only our descendants will know for certain.

A sign of the golden era of religious tolerance...

A sign of the golden era of religious tolerance…

My Golden Era…

Reflecting on golden eras, I began to contemplate whether we, as individuals, have our own. I think mine was in my early 40s. I had just given away my TVs in favor of books on religion, physics, and philosophy as those became more important to me than Baywatch. I gave away my car.  I regularly listened to podcasts of Speaking of Faith (now On Being). I quit listening to music all the time, and began to meditate daily.

This was at a time when my business was taking off, I was writing daily, I was at the ocean weekly, and I was in the best physical shape of my life. This stretch lasted from roughly age 42-46 – the golden age of Jhciacb. What made it golden is that  for the first time, I was living he exact life I have designed for myself. Few of my friends at the time could say the same.

The golden era of Jhciacb...

The golden era of Jhciacb…

Like all golden ages, mine did not last. It was a moment in time, sponsored by freshness. Though I haven’t exactly gone to hell in a handbasket, I have evolved, adapted, and changed. Though I’m still self-employed and in fair physical shape, I have allowed other things to enter my life, and influence its direction. And so it goes…

Golden Redux…

Occasional some institutions and technologies do have a 2nd golden era; baseball is arguably having one right now. Muscle cars are back, and in a big way. It’s been suggested by critics that script writing in television has never been better. Maybe, but those resurgent golden ages aren’t the same. Nothing is truly fresh a second time around.

We live in arguable the most amazing age in history, yet we take most everything for granted. As previously stated, I tend to side with the belief that a new golden era of something arises every day – and gives way just as quickly to something even more fresh. I guess if we’re not looking, we just won’t see them. Be well… rc

____________________________________________________________________

Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I hit the STOP button on the blender in my head.   And if you’re of the mind to, please scroll up and rate this.  Thank you!

An Open Letter To All My Friends…

Dear Friend,

You came into my life at an extraordinary time. In this age, the internet and social media are truly miraculous. I have become friends with people all over the world, and am able to connect with them from just about any place I stand, nearly any time of day. I’m also better able to stay connected with friends from the past who had become estranged in the pre-internet era.

Though we may not have met yet face-to-face, if I have accepted you into my life as a friend, this means you touched me on some level either superficially, viscerally, or both. I have one rule above all other with my friends; if you are a friend of mine, you are a friend for life.

Now that’s a bold statement that can be easily challenged by an outsider. If I call you a friend and you deliberately do harm of any kind to a loved one of mine, to another friend, or to myself, it would stand to reason that our friendship would falter. Beyond that harm though, the reason I allowed you into my life has not changed. Certainly the dynamic of our friendship might change, but you are still my friend.

Friends don't let friends stay mad -- for too long...

Friends don’t let friends stay mad — for too long…

Agree To Disagree…

My friend, in this age of increasing complexity and constant connectivity, it can seem as chaotic socially as it appears to be politically. I’ll suggest our relationships – our friendships are more challenging to maintain than ever before. I also believe they are more disposable for many.

If we don’t like or agree with somebody’s opinion about something, we often just end the friendship. It’s easy. We just click a tab and they’re gone. If we’re talking about analog friends, we just let their phone calls go to voicemail, never to be returned. I think this though, that friendships in this age matter more than ever.

The more unfriending we do, the more we corrode the possibilities of our society. A part of increasing complexity, in nonzero terms, is that the world might come together with an increased global strength, an increased global respect, an increased global love, and increased global intelligence for the common good.

Old friends, and new...

Old friends, and new…

Let’s Be Real…

I have both analog and virtual friends I often feel I could do without. Those whose political or religious stances can be so aggressive and so asinine, I often feel like slamming my head into a wall when discourse goes bad. Or worse yet, the moment discourse begins. But maybe that’s my point; I never feel like slamming their heads into walls – I would rather take the hit than to give it.

I still respect my friends when we disagree, and as soon as that disagreement becomes evident, I always take a moment to remember why I let them in to begin with – because I found value in some aspect of their persona. It’s selfish, friendship, if you think about it. I identify some trait of another, I see value in it, and allow them into my life so I can continue to experience that trait. Selfish indeed.

Friends that keep me from killing Subway store managers...

Friends that keep me from killing Subway store managers…

In truth I have unfriended a few of my virtual and analog friends. I have done so, usually as the result of some drastic change in my life which alters my perception of those friendships. I have reached out to some to reestablish those connections. I have succeed with some, and failed with a few others. I will continue to reach out.

Not More Than I Can Handle…

I enjoy staying connected with, and supporting my friends as much as I am able. It seems though, that I am less able these days, and I often feel guilty about this. Between new virtual friends, reconnecting virtually with analog friends from the past, and my in-person social relationships, there is less of me to go around these days as there are more you.

11ewaboot4

Friends who don’t like to be seen above the knees…

I want you to know this, and to believe it, please: If you don’t hear from me – if I don’t like a status, comment, if I don’t return a text, a call, or an email immediately, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. It means there are more of you to love, and that is the greatest of blessings.

I want to end this by simply saying, thank you very much, for knowing me and liking me anyway.

Sincerely,

roy

_______________________________________________________________

Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head.  Oh, and there is this from Sam Smith.  Enjoy…