Well, here we are in 2014. It makes sense that it would be 2014 eventually. Numerically I mean. We probably could have seen it coming, in a chronological sort of way, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of us still feel completely disoriented and betrayed.
Some of us already felt unmoored in space and time, never knowing what year, season or month it was, let alone our current age.
Should I wear leggings because it’s 2013 or because it’s 1985? Why are those French people who despise American food holding hamburgers on the boulevard? Who is this Shia LeBeouf kid? There is something very off about these strawberry shortcake dolls. William the Conquerer did what??? What do you mean I should vacation on the Albanian coast this summer?
When my cousin is sending voice texts over the phone while driving should I reveal my alarm or act like I knew all along you could do that?
Time feels all bendy, ribbon-candy-ish again, of late.
I’ll tell you why. All of that postmodernism stuff we were talking about in 2005–or whenever it was we were in a postmodern literature class together as non-degree students because we thought any class with postmodern in the title must be nonstop laughs–all of that talk of fracture, intertextuality and fragmentation was just a teaser for the HYPER postmodernism about to explode on the scene.
When all media from all eras is available instantly on youtube; when typewriters and record players and curing your own meats and sewing your own sandwich bags are en vogue concurrently with ipads and drone-delivered mail; when nearly every historic and fauxstoric era has its own cult following and romping grounds (renaissance fairs, steam punk conventions, speakeasys, nursing homes)…it is impossible to feel locked into a stable time and space with an underpinning culture. It’s just layer after layer of vellum, everything is overlaid translucently on top of everything else.
To make matters worse, for the last eight days I’ve been displaced to my old pre-21st century home in Harrisonburg, Virginia where everything is mostly the same but slightly askew.
For example: I’m driving along…do dee doo…in my parents Prius, which is like this partially electric car thingy, ready to blow under my all-time favorite railroad trestle by my old friend Danielle’s parents’ house, when I am driving under….nothing! I see the trestle has vanished.. ripped out, I’ve been told, to widen the road so there would be less “traffic jams” and “fatal accidents.”
That’s not all. Acme Stove and Video where you could once purchase a new wood burning or gas log stove and/or rent videos is now plain old Acme Stove. YOU CANNOT RENT VIDEOS!!
And Spanky’s! Everyone’s old favorite Little Rascal’s themed hang out, where we cut our names into the table and split bills to the half penny, is nothing but an apparition of floating sandwiches and hot fudge croissant sundaes and chubby adolescent faces haunting the soulless Asian tapas restaurant that replaced it.
Yet the town is predominantly intact, more same than different.
So in that spirit of muddled space and jumbled time, I have designed the above new year’s greeting cards for you my dear readers.Though they all say 2014, they’re pretty much valid for any year. Nobody’s keeping track anymore.