Where’s Buddy Holly? Why Van Halen is killing my oldies experience

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Christina Clark JPEG
Columnist Christina Clark


I’ve noticed more and more Van Halen sneaking into my Oldies ra­dio station at work. Van Halen has never been something I considered an “oldie” (they’re certainly a good­ie, when the mood strikes).

I’ve begun to realize that though I’m in my mid-twenties, the world is shifting faster and faster, and things that I hadn’t noticed changing be­fore are suddenly disappearing.

I had noticed that Elvis, Buddy Holly and songs like “Soldier Boy” by The Shirelles (not to be confused with “Crank That,” Soulja Boy; this song is actually about staying true to a soldier who is away) have all but disappeared from my beloved Old­ies station.

Maybe it’s because singers like Be­yonce and Justin Timberlake have continued to top charts since I hit puberty. Maybe it’s because Metal­lica was huge for my cousin who is nine years older than me, and Me­tallica was a huge discovery for me in middle school. Everything old is new again, right?

This feeling of change and age has been most prominently felt in the 100-level courses that I am working through.

It took me a little bit to realize that the points I was attempting to make with examples that were relevant to me (presenting protest songs about 9/11 and the Iraq War were deeply personal to me), but to my classmates, who had no recollec­tion of the Twin Towers or 9/11, nor the news reporting and hearing of friends going overseas to fight, they couldn’t understand the depth I was trying to communicate.

It hit me: this is why learning his­tory is so important.

In wars past (and other economic situations and political climates), I’m sure those who have experi­enced hardships, fought, or known people who fought and died have a similar feeling when blank eyes meet theirs on a subject they hold very dear to their hearts. The feel­ing that you can’t make someone understand something on your level is very reminiscent of my younger, angrier, hormone-filled years.

Situations like these (as small and insignificant as they might seem) have created an appreciation for history in me.

Often I’ve heard Winston Churchill’s quote: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Up until recently, I thought that meant obvious things, and maybe not personal attitudes.

The more I notice things chang­ing, the more I find things seem to stay the same in some ways, when attitudes are not evolved.

Listening to others can create a world of difference in your per­spective on the world. Disagreeing and speaking up about it is great, and promotes change when enough people get together and voice griev­ances and create change.

However, in everyday life, listen­ing to people and paying attention to their stories will be what really preserves them and helps shape the future for us both personally and as a population.

So while “YOLO” (“you only live once,” and yes, it was painful to type) is all good and well, don’t forget to pay respect to elders and learn a little bit about what they’ve been through. It can be as easy as just offering a smile and a posi­tive attitude to someone, or sitting down with a parent or a friend and letting them tell you a story. Find­ing roots is important, and from the past and learning about heritage, a new future can be born.

Or in the very least, find the roots of rock and roll music and girl-groups/boy-bands and appreciate them.

1 comments on “Where’s Buddy Holly? Why Van Halen is killing my oldies experience”

  1. ‘YOLO’ is what’s wrong with today’s generation. Their minds are scattered as they chase ‘spontaneity.’ Today’s youth lives for whatever feels right, and they chase every impulsive emotion (alcohol, sex, vine fame), and in the process they sacrifice authenticity. There is nothing authentic about today’s young person because there is no foundation of right and wrong. Only a life of craving. And in the end, they will look back on their life and say, “I chased everything and ended up with nothing. I wasted my life. I wanted to be an individual, and to find my own identity.” And in the end, they disappear… a nobody.

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