19A0

It's time for you to re-familiarize yourself with the suppressed decade known as 19A0 and the Phantom Time Hypothesis. Rob Beschizza's brilliant Mixtape of the Lost Decade is a fine introduction.

This has been coming up in conversation for me more and more lately, most recently at the Com Truise show last night (I hear they're Tyansologists).

Evidence is mounting that points to a "lost decade" between what we now remember as the 1970s and 1980s, a time whose full cultural trauma and resulting suppression from memory was so complete as to effect itself even on the living. [...]

The space: do we not all feel it? The space. It may be said that the consumer cultures of the 1980s and 1990s, successively exhorting us to embrace artifice and then soul-crushing blandess, were manufactured to "cure" the residual confusion and cultural inconsistency that resulted from the methods used to effect mankind's collective psychic displacement. The hidden "space," however, manifests itself in curious ways -- the obsession with youth and physical condition in those born in the 1960s and 1970s; oddities in climate change data; the apparently freakish pace of economic change in what we believe now to be the 1980s; and so forth. [...] Likewise, no-one familiar with the Lost Decade hypothesis can fail to grasp the religious significance of shutter shades.

Relatedly, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick:

In that instant, as I stared at the gleaming fish sign and heard her words, I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis -- a Greek word meaning, literally, "loss of forgetfulness." I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me. And not only could I remember it but I could see it. The girl was a secret Christian and so was I. We lived in fear of detection by the Romans. We had to communicate with cryptic signs. She had just told me all this, and it was true.

For a short time, as hard as this is to believe or explain, I saw fading into view the black prison-like contours of hateful Rome. But, of much more importance, I remembered Jesus, who had just recently been with us, and had gone temporarily away, and would very soon return. [...]

If you were me, and had this happen to you, I'm sure you wouldn't be able to leave it alone. You would seek a theory that would account for it. For over four years now, I have been trying one theory after another: circular time, frozen time, timeless time, what is called "sacred" as contrasted to "mundane" time... I can't count the theories I've tried out.

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13 Responses:

  1. Leo says:

    What's a "Tyansologists"?
    - Additionally, Google not having the answer was kind of eerie.

  2. Dan L says:

    I feel I speak for myself what I say "wat".

    • James says:

      Then explain the sudden disappearance of cowboy hats in midwestern high school yearbooks.

  3. solarbird says:

    I am fully aware of the irony when I say that I am simultaneously aware that you should never trust anyone who says you're better off not knowing and nonetheless saying that you are better off not knowing.

    Trust me on this. Which, of course, means you shouldn't.

  4. Ian Young says:

    That ginger kid needs to get the fuck off my lawn.

    It's like a college freshman who--upon discovering that none of his friends knows who Slavoj Zizek is--starts writing crypto-philosophical dadaist essays to impress the chicks.

    Remix Culture can only end in a grey smear, like a box of crayons melted on the highway. In the end, perhaps "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" will be the only Art left: something so absurdely mundane can shock us now.

  5. You rule, Jamie. Thanks!

  6. Ian Dutton says:

    I blame time travel. it was a popular destination for first timers. so the p.Branes formed a "chitinous shell" around that period.

  7. Jon Dowland says:

    I remember trying to read that about a year ago, but giving up. Your endorsement means I may try again.

    Having said that, maybe it wasn't a year ago. It felt like a year, but…

  8. Line Noise says:

    The Phantom Time Hypothesis is nothing new although this is the first I heard of it about a recent decade.

    • Brian B says:

      The one in the Wikipedia article and the 19A0 one work in opposite directions: The first concerns years that were invented but never happened; the second concerns years that happened but were covered up. Future historians will have to be careful about the signs in their calculations.

  9. Duncan Smith says:

    I got completely sidetracked by the picture. For the curious, it comes from James White.