Welcome to Beyond the Zeitgeist

Zeitgeist: The spirit of the time.

This is a blog for people who, finding themselves beyond the zeitgeist, nevertheless remain in a dialogue with it.

It’s not a question of being on the shelf. Those of us who came of age in the 60’s and early 70’s were part of a particularly powerful zeitgeist, still channeled today. At the Democratic National Convention, it was used to bless Obama, as Caroline Kennedy told us that he offers the hope not felt since her father was president. She was introducing her uncle Teddy, who literally embodies the era.

On a less exalted plane, there are all those aging rockers, still touring, still the objects of adoring fans, not all of whom were around the first time.

If you’ve been there the first time, you may take a more nuanced view of the reruns.

The first time, you live and breathe the zeitgeist whatever you do—talk, negotiate new technology, work, make art, make love, cook, dance, drive or saunter down the street. Simply by being, you embody the spirit of the age. Even if you find yourself standing apart from it, it shapes your complaint.

At some point, though, the zeitgeist moves on. You find yourself at an angle to it, your spirit that of a different age. The zeitgeist is always the present.

You might at that point retreat into curmudgeon-hood, or desperately try to keep up. For people who reject both of those options, this blog will commit random acts of culture from beyond the zeitgeist.

Of course, there is also the view that all zeitgeists are continually floating or flowing, so many separate currents in the same stream, and anyone can swim in any one at will. In that case, welcome to this one.

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2 Responses to “Welcome to Beyond the Zeitgeist”

  1. holly Says:

    great, love the idea of the blog —

    from beyond the beyond

    holly

  2. Amei Says:

    Way to go, Signe. Such a complex time needs a nuanced response from someone who has been there.

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