"Ceaselessly into the past..."

Punk_Flapper

From the Met's much-anticipated tribute to punk fashion, to the hype and buzz surrounding The Great Gatsby (opening this weekend), it's been one dizzying week for those of us living in these present times. Whether you're keen on using either event as an opportunity to channel your inner Blondie or doll yourself up like Daisy Buchanan, one thing is certain: we're obsessed with the past.

And not just in film and fashion, but also restaurants like NYC's Carbone which, almost theatrically, evokes the grandeur of Big Night-era red sauce joints, with its exaggerated portions of baked clams, veal marsala, and plated mountains of pasta, carried out by maroon-tuxedoed servers. And then of course all the speakeasy-style cocktail joints and industrial-chic bars, presided over by barmen in suspenders, with mustaches waxed into curlicues. Is it all getting a little too...predictable? Of course everyone's adding their own particular spin to these present-day iterations, but even that's what's to be expected.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. 

So goes Fitzgerald's famous last line in Gatsby. It's true, we can't escape our pasts, but in terms of what's going on right now—our culture, and the zeitgeist of mining decades of yore—no one's rowing against the tide. THIS IS THE CURRENT. This is the new new. The new old new. The old new new. Will it ever get old?

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