I stumbled across this article which showcased an art exhibit where the artist Refik Anadol graphically illustrated the functions or patterns of the mind as it recalls memories. He calls the exhibit Melting Memories. Fascinating. Here’s a video that shows some visual examples:
Watching that video reminded me of a fad that kicked off back in the late 60s and early 70s. Almost everyone I knew had one of these somewhere in their house including us:
The lava lamp – it was easy to operate, did one thing and was mesmerizing to watch… for a while. Life when I was growing up was filled with such fads as marketers looked for that one thing that would capture the country’s attention and make them a gazillion dollars. Like these:
Pet Rock – stupidest gift idea ever. I think I received three the year they came out. Had to keep them separated as I didn’t want them to have pebbles.
Chia Pet. I think the lamb was the most popular. They all looked rather stupid. I was recently reminded that I gifted each of my family members with one of these one Christmas. It must have been the year I worked in a nursery. That’s a memory for another post.
Troll Dolls. These creepy things were everywhere. I never did understand why but you would see them hanging from rear view mirrors in cars, peeking out of shirt pockets, attached to purses, sitting atop of pencils. For a while, it seemed as though they would overrun the world.
Soap-on-a-Rope. This became something of a family joke. One year one of us got this for Christmas. Just as pictured it was a soap shaped like a microphone attached to a rope that could be hung over the showerhead. We all made fun of the gift because… well, it was stupid. The next year, the person who received the gift had re-wrapped it and re-gifted it to another person. It became a thing. I think it was re-gifted year after year for a decade. I can’t remember who ended up with it finally. I don’t think it was ever actually used for its designed purpose.
The Super Ball. OK, so this one was actually cool. The thing was alien-like, behaving like no other ball ever did. I wish I still had one.
There’s no rhyme or reason to what will captivate a culture. When one fad dies off, there will always be another one to take its place. Fidget spinners, anyone?
Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of films, videotapes, audio cassettes, photos and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.