Saturday, November 28, 2015

Age vs. History

      The other day, Company, I saw a late-eighties Ford Festiva tooling around the Worldwide Headquarters with classic car license plates.  And that is...well, fucking ridiculous.  Because a 1988 Ford Festiva is not a classic car.  It is just an old car.  It doesn't belong in a museum, it isn't going to be in any history books really unless it is the history of crappy cars.  Maybe in the Ford museum you will find one but all in all it is a car destined to be forgotten by history, or by at least 99.99999999999999999% of the population.  Which brings me to my point, Company: Not everything that is old is a classic.
     It is true.  Spend a couple of minutes and watch any random episode of Antiques Roadshow.  There is always some geriatric dingbat who wanders into the convention center with a pyrex baking dish from 1953 and tells the appraiser that it is insured for $25,000 and is going to be her nest egg for the upcoming retirement.  Once the appraiser is finished destroying the person's dream and future and informs the person that those things are a dime a dozen and that actually they can be purchased at any friendly local thrift store you can see the person slowly realize this one important central fact: Not everything that is old is a classic.
     The fact remains for so many things:  coffee grinders, dining room tables, pool cues, cars, combines, books, movies, wallets, china, etc, etc, etc.  Everyday people like you or I, Company, have this nasty habit of ascribing value to things that simple does not exist.  Sometimes we do it because we own the object, sometimes we have a good memory tied to it, but it is just something we do.  "I mean, this is a really nice, old, classic hair brush.  In 1920 this would have been a girl's prize possession and she would have had it all her life."  Okay, whatever.  You could also buy it for a nickel at Woolworth's and everybody and their sister had one.  Just because your grandmother used it to brush her hair before she put on her flapper outfit and did the Lindy doesn't mean that it is classic or valuable in the grand sense of the world.  99.8% of the value that comes to that old hairbrush - notice I didn't say antique - is because it was your grandmother's.  And that is okay.  But realize that it wasn't my grandmother's and that in my eyes 99.8% of the value simply isn't there.
    So cool it with all this business, Company.  Just because the movie is in black and white doesn't mean it is a classic, it just means that it is old.  And if you prefer old movies that is fine, but I have seen plenty of B&W films that are just terrible.  I mean, that is the whole premise of Mystery Science Theater 3000.  That is just the way it is.  That junky old Chrysler runabout boat isn't anything special.  Neither is that Dreamcast that you have packed away in your closet.
     I am not saying that you have to get rid of all of your junk, Company.  If you want to be a hoarder and build garage after garage to store all of your not-quite-priceless non-antiques that if just find.  A store near the Worldwide Headquarters always called it "Junque." So if you want to have all your junque that is fine.  But it is time to give up the delusions of grandeur.  Don't stop bringing that stuff to Antiques Roadshow, though.  That shit is hilarious.

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