I Saw The Old Approaching

Another old/new manifesto, this time the epigraph of David Edgerton’s terrific, game-changing book The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900:

I stood on a hill and I saw the Old approaching,
but it came as the New.
It hobbled up on new crutches which no one had ever seen before
and stank of new smells of decay which no one had ever smelt before.
–Bertolt Brecht, “Parade of the Old New,” 1939.


Damn Right Your Dad Drank It

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
–Mark Twain

Does this (via my college chum Joey “Accordion Guy” DeVilla) count as found history?

Faux-retro Canadian Club Ad
(Click thru for larger version.)

It’s a clever ad in a lad-magazine way. They’ve done a nice job with the retro look, and they play right to the “gee, maybe my Dad was cool” realization I and so many of my buddies have been going through as we age. Of course, if you’re sorry you missed out on unabashed Kennedy-era sexism, they also play to that too. (Why no distaff version: “Your Dad Wasn’t Your Mom’s First”?)

The sequel to the ad, Your Dad Wasn’t A Metrosexual, doesn’t work for me. Real or not–I’m assured in comments that all the photos used in the campaign are genuine pics from the 60s and 70s we seem to have confirmation now that these pictures are recreations, not originals, which is what I had assumed all along–the guys in the main picture look like 21st-century frat boys in Abercrombie & Fitch. My own Dad might have dressed like the guy in the first ad to go to a party, but there’s no way he ever wore a powder-blue cardigan to go fishing. Plus it’s pretty bold for the men’s lifestyle-magazine-industrial complex to take shots at “metrosexuals”–the very pseudo-phenomenon they created just a few years back to sell crap like men’s moisturizer, hair gel, and, yes, whisky cocktails.

What I want to see now is an ad where the retro Dads are awake and bleary-eyed at 4 am, pacing the wood panelled rec room with squalling babies, up to their necks in dirty diapers: “Your Dad Drank It… Because You Cried.”