Monday, October 20, 2008

The Passage of Time

I don't actually read xkcd on a regular basis, but every once in a while my best friend points a specific strip out to me, and I read it. This strip is about Burma-Shave. Why did I get a joke about Burma-Shave? Because of a much older joke about Burma-Shave - from a Mad Magazine from the early 60s, one of the many that I used to read every single time I went over to my grandparents' house as a little kid. Remembering that reminds me of how important Mad was to me as a small child - not only did I obsessively devour 60s Mad magazines at my grandparents' house, but I also spent my time reading the more recent vintage in the children's section of the library every single time I went to the library. In retrospect, this is kind of strange - I probably knew very little about the pop culture of either the 60s or the 80s, so I doubt I got a lot of the jokes in either subset of Mad magazines. And yet I sure enjoyed reading them! I haven't even though about Mad in years - at some point, I read all of the ones there were at my grandparents' house, and I started actually caring about picking out my own books to read at the library (before that, while I sat reading magazines, my parents would pick out books for me). It's always slightly disconcerting to remember how something that was very important to you at some point in your life drops out of it almost completely. Or, at least, I find it so. It takes me a lot of time to realize that I no longer love something qute as much as I used to, because I find it so difficult to admit!

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