Listening to 1979 in 2017


An ode to the magical Smashing Pumpkins masterpiece

When I first head this song in the 90s, I knew it was nostalgia-tastic. It seems like each time I come back to the song, and even the video, it has this…. such a pure and vivid emotion content to it. No cell phones or facebook in this video. You can recall the Windows 95 screen, and the oregon trail, but that’s it. I never even went to a house party like pictured here, but “I did” because that was my culture and my time, too.

I think every generation of youth has its own apathy and rebellion and angst and golden years and what was the feel of the time. This song, when I heard it live, when I actually bought this album for this one song, back then, it is like a beacon, like some kind of a wormhole, a tear in space time. There are such perfectly bound memories and associations to it — which of course was its purpose in a way. One of the youtube comments says how it is a masterpiece, and I have to agree, that it is, for me.

It touches something irrevocably human, because I was there. I was there in ’95, ’96, ’97. I was there, and I didn’t know anything, but I was there, and now I remember. Twenty years…. so many life changes, so many things to forget and move past.

Even zipper blues, one of the meanings, that’s my meaning, and that’s my youth:

“A depressed feeling one gets from constantly having to move around or not being able to stay in one place. Comes from having to always zip up ones jacket because they always have to leave. Depression caused by successive movement and not being able to settle in one place. Frustration caused by constant mobility and inability to maintain a residence.”

That’s my story, and that’s part of my meaning. And it’s one of the strangest and most full of conviction feelings I know, whatever the link to this music and what its bound to is — because it’s one of the few things I can’t deny and one of the fewer things I don’t want to deny, this connection.

It’s an easy song to get lost in, any time its around. Tonight, it’s 25+ minutes on repeat, which I think is healthy every year or so, even.

Those perfect summer nights.

Those times when your mind was yours, yours alone too much even, and you were lonely because you couldn’t IM anyone.

Those rationalizations and imaginations you had, for why things were the way they were. The knowing there was something better, something waiting.

Even, even that sense of strange hope and triumph that I don’t know anyone in the following generations will ever feel again, when the 90s was this time where The End of History was an idea, because you could be proud to be an American and the problems of the world were on the way to being solved. And you didn’t realize how fleeting the PBS programming would be, or how good the critical thinking was that you were taught in high school, and how important it would be later in life. There was almost this sense of, for me “well it looks like all the problems in the world were solved”.

Ha ha ha.

The sound of the drums, guitar, and the soft voice.

I wish I could do one of those harry potter memory vials in the reflecting pool, and just breath it in.

Maybe I understand now that the older people crying about the good old days wasn’t actually crying, or remembering, but something about wholeness. Because it’s so easy to be made to feel un-whole the more time you spend in this world. But some things have ways of shining through the space-time. I’m sure this song has some of that for many. I’m glad that I still feel something, and in some ways feel something now, even strong, when I experience it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here