"Submitted for your approval: a society that is fixated on its past, living in a time-suspended trance. You are about to enter a new dimension of sequence and space, beyond time travel, beyond nostalgia. You are about to enter - The Anniversary Zone."
I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I was sitting in a chair. No, wait, I was driving a car.Funny, it's so vivid. You ask, why am I taking time to remembering it all today?
Because today is the one-day anniversary of yesterday, which was Monday. Remember Monday with me. How have our lives changed since Monday?
Monday was the third day of the second Woodstock, observing that which first occurred 25 years ago. For days we were ankle-deep in muddy anniversary nostalgia. Remember?
Just before that was the 25-year anniversary of the first moon landing. I remember vividly what I was doing. I was watching 25th anniversary TV specials about it. I hope to be alive to see the 25-year salutes to those TV specials.
One might say that time stands still for a society in The Anniversary Zone. Not true. It seems like only yesterday that we were hearing Crosby, Stills and Nash reminisce on 20 years since Woodstock.
USA Today, which claims to have its finger on the pulse of America (and claims to have found one), had a story recently about America's - excuse me, USA's - fixation with anniversaries.
This month Americans gathered their families together to reflect on what the Manson family has meant to their lives. It's 25 years this month since its dirtiest deed, you know (though more than 25 years since Charlie Manson auditioned for "The Monkees.")
Richard Nixon was not one of Manson's followers but behaved suspiciously anyway. He resigned in disgrace 20 years ago this month.
Each of these events is given considerable teleplay in The Anniversary Zone.
"Like everything else, anniversaries become a commodity - they sell," historian Allan Lichtman told USA Today. Not only that, but Lichtman says they inflate. They inflate the significance of events that aren't that significant in the march of time.
He calls baby boomers, for instance, "navel-gazers and self-documenters" who have assigned themselves more importance than they deserve.
What do you mean, Mr. Lichtman? That the Barbie Doll, introduced 35 years ago, and GI Joe, turning 30 years old this week, shouldn't command our immediate attention? Of course they should.
Has it dawned on anyone else that all we've done in 1994 is observe anniversaries?
By the way, let us remember that although introduced 30 years ago, G.I. Joe didn't become a hit until five years later when he performed at Woodstock as G.I. Joe and the Fish.