Development is a natural part of any civilization, but I think most people accept that the past few decades have blown the other millenia out of the water. I swear, I blink and my cell phone grows another set of eyes.
However, I’m also hearing observations about trends in reverse – call it part of the back-to-basics movement. I think it’s already in full force with our overt concern for the environment. Line-drying, not drying machines; cooking at home vs. eating at Applebee’s; stay-cations vs. vacations. And it crosses over into family values and education – I’m hearing a lot of calls for tough love, rather than cosseting. (And in the meantime, our grandparents slap their foreheads and think, “Duh.”) The recession undoubtedly played a big part; history shows that generally, in tough times, people get nostalgic and want to do what their gramps did, politically, socially, and economically.
And culturally, what did gramps do? Well, for one thing, he listened to the radio, and if he could afford it, he listened to LPs. A decade ago, CDs were in, cassettes were out, and LPs were absolutely dead. Now the music aficionados are pumping their fists in the air, because LPs are Cool with a capital C. They’re no longer relegated to secondhand and niche music stores – HMV, the biggest Canadian music chain store, carries a significant section of LPs, and artists like Radiohead and Coldplay release new albums on those crazy 33 ½” vinyls.