Era-ism

Have you ever felt the tingling sensation that for the briefest of moments, you’ve been transported to another era?

Being that it’s President’s Day, I’m reminded of how much I love the city of Washington D.C. After having traveled there many a time, I’ve grown to adore how much the city spans the gap between the past and present.

For instance, you can walk into Ford’s Theater and learn all about the dreaded last night of Abraham Lincoln. As Daniel Day Lewis’ character once said in the film Gangs of New York:

“This is a night for Americans.”

While his character’s agenda was violent and bloodthirsty, his quote is nonetheless one that represents historical America. Back in the 17 and 18 hundreds, there were many nights that became buried time capsules within the belly our culture.

In the instance of Lincoln’s final show, the stage was set, the theater was decorated, the seats were plush red and occupied with guests…it was the epitome of that kind of night.

When you walk down the mall in the direction of Washington’s monument, you can smell the nineteen sixties. The protests, the music, speeches, the grainy television clarity and scratchy verbal broadcasts, Martin Luther, the east coast version of Hunter S. Thompson’s “high and beautiful wave” that eventually broke and rolled back.

It’s all there, contained within a modern age, yet overflowing with nostalgic time and place.

And for one final quote to sum up the concept of a single moment where one tends to feel uprooted from the present date, hour, minute, and second, I’ll have to borrow a few words from Dexter Morgan to describe my feelings about era-ism:

“It sets my teeth on edge.”

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