May 30, 2008

A Haunting Window Into the Soul

EVERYONE LOVES LOOKING at old photographs. When they date from the 19th century, they showcase success or aspirations to it; when they date from the early 20th century, they are a window onto a young republic on the rise. During the Wars and the Depression, the joys and agonies and victories and defeats seem to burn through the paper; and today, although our photos are largely electronic, they carry with them our own hopes and dreams.

Then there are all those old photos from the Sixties and Seventies, which cause relatively young people like myself much mirth and glee. You see, this is one of the few pleasures of being part of Generation X. We can collectively express our frustrations towards our immediate forebears through snickering at their silly fashions, odd ideas and general non-coolness. But at the same time, we can also use our knowledge of that era to lord it over Generation Y, which being young and foolish has no idea what it was like back in the day. Some of us remember a time without microwaves, personal computers, and cable television -- and these experiences allow us to make fun of the kids these days, whom we resent for their youth and fear for their weird and outlandish behaviors.

This brings us to Mango Falls -- the excellent site which a Portland, Maine, Web designer dreamed up after he discovered undeveloped film inside ancient cameras. He developed this film and has displayed the best of the photos on his Web site. It is SO COOL. Anyway, there are hundreds of different photos, but here are my favorites (with my own captions):

"Mom! Dad! I scored!" wrote the College Republican.

"You'd think Floyd would realize I think he's groovy," said the girl in pink.

"I told you we should have bought American-made signs."

"Oh my God, I have to go to Michigan State!"

"In today's lesson, we look at the events of Isaiah 38." (viz)

"Gee, everybody at the Woody Allen Film Fest will LOVE this!"

"I''ve been waiting for this Jets-Raiders game the entire year!" (viz)

"Guaaaaaaaan - taaaan - a - merrrrra!"

"This postwar prosperity thing would be great if the hippies didn't make fun of my cardigan."

"I didn't have the heart to tell them about the oil shocks and stagflation heading their way."

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 30, 2008 10:13 PM | TrackBack
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