If you could turn back time, how far back would you go?
I would want to also turn back the hands of time on my chronological age and regress to being a newborn baby in the year 1957. I would be a witness to unbelievable change and progress in my most formative years, witness the turmoil of the late '60s as a preadolescent, and turn 13 at the dawn of the best decade ever, the 1970s. I would thoroughly enjoy the '70s as a teen, immerse myself in the glam rock culture, also listen to The Who, The Kinks, and the Stones when they were all great, enjoy Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd as well, go to as many concerts as I could, also listen a lot to singer/songwriters and mellower music such as Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Chicago, graduate high school in 1975, go off to college, let steam off at discotheques, learn more about the punk scene, get involved with post-punk, graduate from college in 1979, be a huge post-punk and New Wave fan, still be young enough to be excited over the introduction of MTV, enjoy the best parts of the '80s, get married, turn 30 in 1987, let my interests go more toward the underground/college radio (the whole "120 Minutes" scene) as I started a family, still be in touch with what's going on in pop culture as I potty trained my children and sent them off to preschool, get my children started with music by playing them all my old records from when I was a young girl, admire the new generation and their teen idols, feel sad for them when their spokesman Kurt Cobain commits suicide, watch Dennis Miller and cheer him on when he talks about the egocentrism of certain unsavory elements in my generation on his HBO program and how it translates to Generation X, turn 40 in 1997 and find less and less about contemporary pop culture to feel excited about, turn toward cooking programs and this new channel called the Food Network, hear about the "quiet is the new loud" movement toward the end of the '90s and listen to that, feel sad again when Elliot Smith commits suicide, remember the sadness I felt when Nick Drake committed suicide, go back to that, encourage my adolescent children to be outcasts and enjoy the periphery of pop culture, also encourage them to do exceptionally well on their studies and don't settle for "average" anything, fail to understand the "emo" subculture but feel relieved that none of my teens are interested in "American Idol" or "Glee", let out a quiet cheer when one of my teens asks me to burn him/her a copy of one of my Nick Drake or Joni Mitchell or Pink Floyd CDs, see them all graduate high school in the "noughts", reach 50 in 2007 and instead of racing to get Botox injections or buy wildly inappropriate attire or attempt to live life as if I were a teenager, embrace 50 completely, turn contemplative, write a novel or two, and maybe get one published by 2010.
As you can tell, music is pretty much my life, and I'd have to define this life by the accompanying soundtrack too. I'd think 1957 would be a fantastic year to be born because you'd get to spend a significant majority of your life in eras that were genuinely exciting, from the joyous and ever-changing 1960s to the stellar-from-end-to-end 1970s to pretty much the entirety of the 1980s to most of the 1990s, and by the time pop culture started to peter out in the final years of the '90s I'd be old enough to where it wouldn't cut as close to the bone as it did in the reality of my circumstances, when I graduated high school in 1997 only to find a vast and barren pop cultural wasteland only occasionally punctuated by things to get excited over. Things were so sad by that point that the most exciting new development by far for me that year was finally being able to access the Internet at home, after years of hearing about it and months of accessing it from other sites. I was born at a terrible time, really. I was too young to fully appreciate the '80s (and I wasn't even paying attention to the decade when I was living through it), I had to spend so much time playing catch-up with the '80s in the 1990s that I didn't appreciate it as much as I should've, and by the time I was fully caught up with everything I was too late for everything. The only time when I think I got it right was when I was younger and being exposed to some great music from the '60s and '70s. I think that created a solid base for me to work with, so that I could be a better judge of what was good or bad about the music I'd encounter from beyond that point. The children today whose parents expose them solely to prefabricated, contrived nonsense aren't getting that solid basis to work from. Their parents are no better than the parents who only feed their children fatty junk food and expect them to gain all the nutrients they need to grow and develop from those foods. I'm glad my parents weren't like that, nor was the era in which I grew up an era where such filth was an overabundant part of the pop culture. So things could've been worse -- I could be forced to be a child living today, with stupid parents who buy me Justin Bieber and Disney Channel shit and expect me to like it.
But going back to the original question -- I think I would've had a better life had I been born in 1957. It would've been a richer, more rewarding life. But I wasn't born in 1957, I was born in 1979, and I have to work with that. At least the Internet allows me to live through those missing years vicariously.