Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Old Things and Me

I like old stuff. It doesn't hurt that I'm old and like myself, but I really believe that many things were better in the "Good Ol' Days."

Clean Sports
The death of Stan 'The Man' Musial reminded me that athletes used to be human beings before the days of chemical enhancement. Barry Bonds (above) used to be a svelte gazelle before he discovered steroids and bulked up to the point he could crack walnuts with his forehead muscles. There is not an offensive tackle in professional football who doesn't have more PEDs in his system than blood.

Old time sports was far from perfect. Aldolph Rupp coached the University of Kentucky basketball team for 39 years before succumbing to the pressure to integrate in 1969. Mickey Mantle was a drunken womanizer who liked to play naked golf.

Jazz Age Jazz
New Orleans jazz in the 1920's might sound like a cacophony of instruments but the sounds merge into rich story. Modern fusion jazz, even from masters like Herbie Hancock, can also sound like a cacophony but the whole is often just an endless repetition of cords with minor inflections.

Give me a Monet landscape over the just about every art movement that followed. Cubism and most abstract art merges geometry with nature, both lose. Abstract expressionism is remarkably similar to finger painting while blindfolded. Most 21st century art is big on fractals and is just a retelling of what computers do only computers do it better.

Another thing ruined by computers. For centuries chess was an artistic endeavor requiring creativity and vision. Thanks to the Soviet School of Chess and computers chess has been reduced to a game of memorization.

Hunting used to require skill. I could respect that. Taking down a deer with a single bullet from a Kentucky long rifle took patience, you only got one shot and you had to make it count. Even 100 years ago, if a hunter went out with five bullets he was expected to return with five ducks. Modern hunters take their automatic rifles and hundreds of rounds. They find a target and keep throwing lead around until they hit something. Any drunken slob can do that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, as Monet aged, his painting became increasingly impressionistic, coinciding with a degradation of his vision. Perhaps he really just painted what he saw. He just didn't see as well?