I don’t know whether it started with death or not, but there’s every chance that it did. Somewhere this year I started thinking about the future, the past and just about everything else in between. This book outlined the science of beating death, and somewhere among the pages there’s a point he makes that has squatted in my brain ever since I first heard it; that if we can get around the problem of cell degradation (not such a ridiculous proposal after all, so the author suggests) then our thousand-year lifespans will turn up something extra intriguing. Just as we cannot fully recall what we were like as an infant, so will we at age 387 struggle to remember the person we were at 126. In that way we will become a series of people during our epic lifetimes, not just one.
Which brings me round to a reflection I had with a friend on Monday night. We were reminiscing about the Acid Jazz days – the phase that lasted the first half of the 90s. There we were, middle class, British and white and channeling the urban American black pimp for all we were worth. Being a lanky, long haired type I opted for brown suede safari jacket, 2 inch heeled hand crafted Romanian boots (which were impossible to dance in, but good for drug smuggling) and a viscose bowling/barbeque top that left me both drenched in sweat and severely restricted around the lung area. I looked, as you can guess, fantastic. Or, as one old schoolfriend who saw me dressed up one day en-route to see Primal Scream support Norman Jay at the Brixton Academy in Easter 1992, like a complete tosser.
The whole routine was based on the secret that we all shared; none of us were black, all of us wanted to be black, and if someone who was genuinely black turned up to one of our functions he would be greeted like a returning Spartan war hero, particularly if he had some new dance moves that we could copy and adopt like the rest of the second hand items we wore. Of course, if it turned out that the guy was unimpressed by our attempts to revere his cultural roots running numbers in Brooklyn during the mid 70s, then we’d just shrink a little like busted children.
So that was another me. I don’t recognize the person that was so captivated by the idea of being exclusive, and I’m not sure I remember quite why I thought I wanted to adopt an entirely new identity in the first place. It was only fifteen years ago, but it was seems now like a different me entirely.
If we met now, I wonder what I’d say. I’d probably just play it safe, compliment the boots and move on. It’s probably all that the other me could cope with.
- the death of busyness
- does charity need reinvention?
- social media, christianity and the whiff of hypocrisy (or why I get annoyed with christians on twitter and Facebook)
- Deciding Enough Is Enough
- the way the river flows