Change is inevitable. This is what we tell ourselves while we cling to the things of our past – the music, movies, cartoons, trappings of our youth, or at least more youthful years. The things that just aren’t made like they used to be and never will be again. Change is the driver of the creepy van with spray-painted art on the side and no windows. Change tells you to get in. At first you resist, but he is persistent and makes convincing arguments about progress and evolution. And he just won’t take “no” for an answer. Change is like Bono telling you to give the next U2 record a chance.
Bono: You know you want it. It’ll be grand. Rolling Stone called it the best since All That You Can’t Leave Behind.
Me: No, really, thanks for the offer but… [sigh]… fine, it’ll never be as good as Achtung Baby or Joshua Tree or even October or [sigh] Pop… but here’s a twenty. Just keep the change.
Bono: How about a few extra quid to save starving children in Rwanda?
Me: Fine. Actually, here’s my bank PIN #. Take whatever you want and send me the Deluxe Vinyl Edition with the acoustic outtakes from Rattle and Hum.
This is what we do. We march forward, but not without taking certain things with us, whatever we can carry. Others get left behind in the 90s, like Boyz II Men. We’ve accepted their fate, the temporary nature of their existence even when one of them pops up on a reality TV series and the quartet books a date at Heinz Hall. Since I am no longer 15, I will consider attending in passing, to acknowledge the whimsy I might still possess and acknowledge that at one point in my life I knew all the words to every song on Cooleyhighharmony. But we change. And we evolve, sometimes motivated by self preservation but more often by absolute necessity.