In the last few weeks of being able to think about more than just school, I’m starting to notice media attention to the entire concept of revivalism. Some of it, admittedly, focuses on extreme movements for art deco and mid-century motifs. The demand is rising for values and styles of the eras past. Do we have a collective unconscious desire for sophistication and attention to detail found in other cohorts? I’d like to think so.
The other night, to my bewilderment, I watched the premier for Retro Wives on TLC. While this is a case of women taking on very committed, highly devoted roles of mid-century housewives. It was amazing, and sometimes relatable in their reasoning. One of the featured women disclosed that her ‘greatest sense of pride’ comes from wearing her mother’s clothing or stepping back and reflecting on a well-prepared, well-dressed table on a Sunday night. They discuss ideas like taking care of the little things, managing a home, and looking simply marvelous. Of course, we must approach topics about vintage life with a grain of salt, so to speak. Even then, people were able to be dramatic and superficial, and some things never change. In order to be the generation of pleasant social interactions, perhaps we can exclude the drama and hold onto the thoughtfulness and attentiveness.
Another spike in the media has struck me as fascinating, Check out this commercial for detergent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSdHyNxBxuE Now, detergent commercials have been around for about 90 years with the implement of sponsorship on the radio and symbolize the historically stereotyped ‘women’s work’. But what’s important here is the music. Play it over if you missed the tune. In 1955, this song was recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSdHyNxBxuE It simply must ring a bell now. Just as a side-note, the bassist in this group is delicious in his skills and showmanship. Pop culture is slowly inoculating us with retro messages, in essence. Which isn’t a bad thing, it’s rather swell.
Need more evidence of media and pop culture assimilating into revivalism? I promise its not just another trend or phase. Rock and Roll was always here to stay. It’s just been waiting for the right moment. Although retro and vintage does not always reference the middle of the century, another TV show, Astronaut Wives Club based on a collection of true narratives, will be airing soon, and there will be a Facebook conversation about this for both viewers and non-viewers.
So even if we were to stray farther back in time to the Swing Era, the Roarin’ 20’s, we still can identify the influence of this culture on today’s media. Bessie, a film that follows the tumultuous life of legendary blues singer, Bessie Smith, was just released about 3 weeks ago. There has been some thought concerning a possible link between the spike in 1920’s revivalism during the pre-release of The Great Gastby and the rise of this film documentary. While there is no particular way to define this connection, the suggestion isn’t half bad. The sound, which is most notably heard in the works of Scott Bradlee and The Postmodern Jukebox, has been growing in momentum in culture as well, and as promoted the consistency of our interest in the Era of Swing, Art Deco, and the first classy partygoing decade.
There is a large part of me that wonders how our modern world will adapt these ideas into one cohesive influence. These reflections on decades past are becoming more and more pronounced, but with so many different years impacting this overall revivalist movement, are we going to be as diverse as the years themselves? What a fascinating conglomerate we could be!