Too many memories.

A well documented problem of old age seems to be memory loss. I suppose that we all live in fear of that affliction. Not knowing who you are, or who your family and friends are must be really disturbing, though probably more for the friends and family than the sufferer.

But now it occurs to me that a similar problem may well be not memory deficiency but memory excess. Too many memories, rather than not enough. A recent example occurred when I created a picture comment (posted here”- picturecomments.wordpress.com).

I took what I thought would be a universally recognised still shot from the really famous movie by the Russian director Eisenstein “Ivan the Terrible” If you are not a film buff and were born after 1950 you probably haven’t seen it. In place of the face of the medieval tzar, I superimposed that of the current Russian Tsar (sorry, I mean President) Putin. In place of the poor Prince I put the face of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and added the caption, merciful Tzar spares poor prince.

I thought this was pretty clever and sent it to a few friends but found that only one recognised the picture at all. For the rest it was completely unknown. In fact much of what my own character is built upon is unknown to the vast majority of the population.  My personality creating books, tv shows and movies have been superseded by more modern offerings (though not necessarily better, have you seen the re-make of The Wicker Man? Ugh). In a nutshell, I have become an anachronism.  The younger generation dances to a different beat and my memories are irrelevant.

Does it matter? Well actually I think it does, especially when we consider that well know aphorism penned by the famous (but only if you know him) philosopher George Santayana. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. It increasingly seems to me that modern politics thrives on memory loss. You might, if you are old enough, remember a time when there was a family “bread winner” usually the man, who could earn enough to support his wife and children. What do we have now? A western world where both man and woman must work to support the household. That’s real progress.

Clearly very many women like to work, and may even be more competent than the “man”. I don’t wish to criticise that at all, just point out that, where once a family could manage with one “bread winner”, now it really does need two.

aphorism

a pithy observation which contains a general truth

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