Monday, February 23, 2009

A Tale of Two Eras

A tale of two eras.

In one, we find the family sitting in the living room, Junior and Princess sitting at Father’s knee as he leans back in his easy chair. Mother is on the sofa, the very picture of the suburban homemaker. Their favorite television show is coming on, and the music is cueing up – “Seems Like Old Times.” They spend the next 90 minutes (shows ran long in those days) watching Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, enjoying the talents of the likes of Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Connie Francis, and Steve Lawrence.

It was the picture of wholesome, earnest, entertaining, black-and-white television from the medium’s Golden Age.

It is a memory of time gone by.

It is Sidney Crosby.

In the other, we have You Tube, Twitter, phone-cams, and films you can “snag.” It is the 30-second burst. The bite. The pop. Everyone is a producer, and their moment lasts as long as it takes the eye to blink. We move on to the next burst…the next bite…the next pop. We enjoy performers who have “buzz.” But we’re always looking for the next one…bigger, sassier, eccentric, unique. The one who can get us to ask, “What will he do next?” is the one we’ll come back to. The one who we can’t miss because, well, we’ll miss something grand and as yet unseen…we won’t miss.

It is the picture of attention spans measured in seconds, of the outlandish, of red – the color of passion.

It’s looking forward.

It is Alex Ovechkin.

1 comment:

pepper said...

A good friend likes to say that Crosby and Ovechkin are like Bird and Magic, or the Beatles and the Stones. Corporate/mainstream vs. "showtime"/counter-culture. Much more fun to be the latter!