Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Black & White

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke | c1967

Nothing is ever original as people say. No amount of research or breakthrough creative storms can brew something out of pure originality. Striking gold with new ideas is like chipping off what is left of the big mined out mountain top.

Everything old has a natural patina to them. Old watches that still tick (hello Submariner), old boots that still kick (hello favorites) and old knives that still cut (Mark I and KA-BAR) are a few things that make the olden days seem much more alive today. 

I don't believe that nothing is original anymore, it's just that people seem to think of originality as somewhat a glimmering "fuck" that no one else apparently gives nowadays. There are things that we have to accept and a few of those is that people live way long before us and the originality that we claim it to be is as banal as the coffee making ritual many of us do every morning. We can still achieve originality in different ways. Some do more than others and some just really scrape the barrel.

People draw inspiration from others. Works of the past have been mere representations of their creators experience though new instances challenge the modern minds to think of ways to go around the different plights and hurdles of the current times. Originality comes from the tweaks and specs of the minds of their new creators. Inspiration itself is original. Influencing the world's clockwork turn are people who draw from the gears of the past; they oil those things up to give them new life.

The souls of old are just as influential to me. Back then, men were real men. They walked the streets as any other gentleman would: brash but refined, noble in deeds but hooligans in their distinct animal bases. Those gents cared less what people think when they are seen holding a rum in the afternoon lounge. They smoked reds, they drank liquor and they carried knuckle dusters for those back alley melees. From where we stand now, old souls are hard to find.

Then there were times of iconic resistance. Those were the days when "fuck you" was a word to express disregard of the status quo. People had skills rooted in belief of one's self. Pride was something that people clutched next to .45 cal semi-auto pistols in their side holsters. It would have been fun to dance to their tunes and witness the most revolutionary movements the world has ever seen. Workmanship and top tier crafts were rooted during those glorious years. Boot straps, chambray work shirts, meaty road tires and dog eared books - a glimpse of what have been. 

Guitars flinging, ink splashing and smoke billows were few of what mattered back then. Finding old souls are now becoming more difficult. But the sense of belonging to a generation that's exposed to these backdrops is somewhat a sigh of relief. Since, everything can now be GMG'ed. We just need to be more wary of what we hold now, believing everything may lead to utter waste of our fast-paced time.


  1. You're an old soul, does that mean you're hard to find?

  2. On a sidenote: A year ago my professor blurted out something about "the fallacy of the golden past", whatever that is; then I've read a New Yorker article written by Adam Gopnik about the forty-years-ago nostalgia ( and I wonder if this is one of the reasons why people like you and I pine for the sixties (Paul Newman, pistol-clutching) and the seventies ("iconic resistance").

    With originality, I think the "original" concept has been subjected recently to much exhaustion, thanks to Tumblr, and to the CTRL-C machine the Internet is. But by extending the limits of originality to accommodate mash-ups, remixes, and collages (which is SO LIKE THE SIXTIES), I must say I still believe in originality.