Saturday, April 04, 2009

glory daze

I grew up in New Jersey. The Shore, to be exact. I was born a stone's throw from the Stone Pony but I was never much of a Springsteen fan. Just the rebel in me, I guess. I've never bought one of his albums or even downloaded a song, but I do like a few of them. Born to Run is of course the quintessential Boss tune and so very Jersey, but the one I like from that era is 10th Avenue Freeze Out. Please don't make me sit through Pink Cadillac ever again.

But I have to say that Glory Days has been running through my head lately - partly because someone at the local radio station must like it, because it turns up fairly frequently in their rotation, and partly because it seems to sum up the facebook experience. The song paints a picture of a guy in a bar with a buddy ruefully reminiscing about their glory days. Pretty simple. But there is something that Bruce is able to capture, both in the words and the music - the mixture of shame and delight - which is so much a part of the memory-laning I (and I suspect a lot of my friends) have been doing lately.

Facebook, as their tagline states, does help you connect and reconnect, with people in your life. In a matter of moments you can be back in touch with someone you haven't seen or heard from in over a decade and see pictures and hear what they are saying and sharing and what their friends are saying and sharing back. A back-and-forth begins by posting old videos, pictures, memories. Your new friends and acquaintances can discover how cool or geeky you really were way back when.

Some people are justifiably terrified at the prospect of looking back. But if you look at these reconnects as a virtual gab session a la Bruce, in a bar, it's not so bad. It's possibly even a microcosm of growing old gracefully. Honoring the past while living in the present.


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