Monday, March 18, 2013

Let's Get Atavistic in Nashville, Man.

I just found out that humans organize our world around three ways of thinking about time. People either:
1) Center their thoughts on the future
2) Center their thoughts on the present, or
3) Center their thoughts on the past

It does make sense. The video I watched about it (here's a link) said the future-focused folks tend to get along pretty well in life. The present-focused folks are usually either teenagers or really messy adults. (They live for the moment.) And the past-focused folks, bless their hearts, have a hard, hard time. They tend to be nostalgic and remember the past as either much better or much worse than it was.

And that's when it hit me--that's Nashville. Or more specifically, the element of Nashville that makes me feel weird when I go there. That's the subset of country music adherents who get all freaked out over people being gay. They are nostalgic for a past that never was, and they are fighting tooth and nail to hang on to it.

Their world, in their minds, should be the one where gay men kept to themselves and gay women were invisible and transgendered people were just a punchline for comedians. The world existed for those in the majority, and others needed to just stay out of the way--ideally, way out of the way. Those "others," of course were around, but hidden. They found ways to make life work for them or, too often, simply took their lives. Usually they had to move away or live in a distortion of pronouns.

And now those days are gone! (Thank you Jesus.) The future-centered folks in Nashville are doing their job of pulling us all forward (and we thank you, too), and the present-centered folks are probably out partying it up somewhere, having a good time. And the atavists are, well, atavisting.

I'll try to be more patient with the past-focused people. They fear an uncertain future, and they are just being themselves I suppose. Here's that video, if you'd like to watch it. I learned a lot: