That Was Then, This Is Ow

Time was, the idea of change possessed an alchemized quality whose essence was the sweetly reckoned offspring of Bradbury. It screamed its fledgling lungs out in a beta operetta and we rode its song to sleep with dreams of a future replete with hovering highways, robot athletes and world peace, or nuclear annihilation. Either? Meet Or. And yet, there was an abiding charm to it all. And then 2000 happened.

Say you would have gone to Vegas at the turn of the millennium and laid down this bet . . .

That the Twin Towers would be gone. That Joe Paterno was no saint after all, his legendary name forever tarnished by a horrible child rape scandal. And Bill Cosby, America’s Dad, would be a convicted serial rapist. Donald Trump . . President. And oh yeah, a global pandemic would bring us to our knees.

No jinn joint in Vegas would’ve touch that crate of cray cray prime. And yet, here we are. With all of the above having Waffle Housed us into a braveless new world where every strange corner has become a dubious rendezvous. We’ve lost the thrill that used to be associated with mystery. In fact, sometimes it seems as if we’re downright scared of the prospect. Can you blame us?

So Imma write up a light beer What It Is for our weary minds to get drunk on. A dainty little duty free dance that regales in time machine wizardry, because I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of running from the stuff.

And to 2021, all I can say is . . have some mercy on us, will ya?

Back in the day . . . If you went viral, it was time to see a doctor.
Today . . . If you go viral, you’re famous. Or infamous. And sometimes, both.

Back in the day . . . If you enjoyed “Fifteen minutes of fame” it meant you were a temporary fascination.
Today . . . If you enjoy “Fifteen minutes of fame”, you’re a reality show star.

What Desperately Seeking Susan Got Right About Fashion | Vogue

Back in the day . . . Madonna
Today . . . Lady Gaga

Back in the day . . . You could catch your favorite musicians on MTV.
Today . . . You might catch your favorite musicians on TMZ.

Back in the day . . . A Walkman was space age shit.
Today . . . A Walkman is the shit that takes up space in your attic.

Back in the day . . . Dick Clark was going to live forever.
Today . . . Ryan Seacrest, it’s your turn.

Back in the day . . . If the President went nuclear, it was time to find a stocked up bomb shelter.
Today . . . If the President goes nuclear, he’s on Twitter.

Steve Grogan | The Patriots Hall of Fame

Back in the day . . . The New England Patriots were a quaint flea market of a football team with a cool logo that had as much chance of winning a title as the Red Sox.
Today . . . Boston sports teams have tallied 12 titles since 2000, which means they signed their souls over to Charlie Sheen.

Back in the day . . . There was a payphone on every corner.
Today . . . There’s a cell phone tower that isn’t nearly as dependable.

Back in the day . . . The New York Jets were a dumpster fire of a franchise. Even when they won, they lost.
Today . . . Okay, some things really never do change.

Back in the day . . . When you went to a concert and got fucked up, it meant you did some magical potions whose illegality made you feel as if you were somehow fighting the power.
Today . . . When you go to a concert and get fucked up, it means you went to Denny’s.

Back in the day . . . A turntable was the greatest music delivery system for music lovers.
Today . . . In my humblest opinion,  it still is.

Back in the day . . . Cameras needed flashbulbs.
Today . . . Instagram

Back in the day . . . When you didn’t answer the phone, it meant you weren’t at home.
Today . . . When you don’t answer the phone, it means you’re probably at home.

Back in the day . . . We looked back at the year that was with a melancholic affection.
Today . . . We’re sprinting to the finish line on this mofo of a calendar year.


45 thoughts on “That Was Then, This Is Ow

  1. What a fun post, Pilgrim. You nailed the need to get rid of this year pretty good. For me, I’m laying low afraid that 2020 will somehow pull an orange hair and want to stay around. I need to hold my breath until 12:00:01. But then, I want to shovel the whole mess out the back door. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheriff,

      This is my hope for better days. To think there isn’t much of anything positive that we can take from this year, except maybe that we will be orange-less before too much longer. And yet, there was plenty of good stuff going on out there. Maybe that’s the perspective I want to buy. That I’m still here. That I’m able to look back and write about it. There’s always something to be grateful for.

      Thank you my man.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice list of contrasts and great, creative intro. It really is difficult to imagine people ever waxing nostalgic about 2020, but I think those who took the isolation and made lemonade – learning something new, taking up healthy routines (did anybody really do that?) and the like – just might celebrate the silver linings someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got be one hell of a messed up year for people to want to run from you.

      As for those healthy habits? I was able to abide, until the holidays came around. So I guess on that front, some things never change.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a spot-on reflection on then/now. Can’t wait to show 2020 the door and plan to slam it shut in its piehole. This year has been a year of loss. Just plain agonizing, gut-wrenching loss, chaos and how far people will go to be vile, craven, grotesque and despicable. I pray 2021 offers us a second chance where we can reconnect with our former souls. Happy New Year, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. B,

    Love the title. And your intro. And the bet no one in their right mind would have ever laid down. But could imagine the odds? Talk about payday! No kidding we’ve lost the thrill. We are more like a wince and cover our heads people now.

    I think it’s a great idea to stop running and yes, 2021, come on in with a gentle smile, wouldja?

    If we were to go back in time and use terms like doing viral and getting our fifteen minutes of fame, they’d think we were nuts.

    Ryan Seacrest – perfect Dick Clark replacement!

    What in the blessed fuck was that at Denny’s? Good gawd…

    Turntables give the best sound. I miss having one and regret to my core getting rid of my albums.

    Now, if you don’t answer the phone, the person at the other line starts cussing that you don’t have call waiting (and if you did and STILL dissed them? Holy frijoles…

    I’m not one to say a year sucked. Even the year Mick died it has been a fabulous year up until December 11th. Then it would have been easy to say the whole year did. But I refused to. 2020, however? I am SO done with it. Too much. Just. Too. Much.

    But we will live to tell, won’t we?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Lay down a buck to win a thousand. And that’s for starters, LOL.

      We DO wince when it comes to the prospects of change. When we talk about what’s around the corner, we do so with a somewhat fatalistic tone in our voices. But hey, after close to a year of dancing in the dark, what can we expect?

      That Denny’s thing was called “The Grand Slam”. And really, I can’t believe that abomination is confused with music. By anyone.

      It really was the best way to go.

      It’s impossible to just ignore a call without them being onto it. Technology!

      Too much has been lost. Hope, that is the tough one to reconcile.

      We will move on.


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sweet and serious, profound and profane, insightful and indescribable. Classic Sorryless! I also wrote about dumpster fire and the Devil (although I went with the Hoff instead of the Sheen). Gave you a shout out, hope you don’t mind. Thanks for your work to entertain, inform and agitate your readers this past year. Best to you and yours for this one coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Hoff as President, huh? I mean . . I can’t say ANYBODY is a ridiculous take after what we’ve gone through in the last four years.

      Never do I mind such a thing, A Dude. 🙂

      Gracias my man. And wishing you all the same tambien.


  6. Well done with your then and nows –
    The pay phone back then reminds me how there is now a high tech smart phone in everyone’s pocket
    But I liked your tower take better

    And the Denny’s at 2 am?? Yikes

    Liked by 1 person

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