Sunday, September 6, 2015

Classic Sources

Today, the idea of "returning to the sources" seems to make you more hip, more cool, and more "classic" in our day and age. In class, I liked when we talked about the "hipster" bands and how the more obscure or the older the band is, the cooler it makes you seem. This idea rings through in the  popular song, "Classic Man" by Jidenna:

I'm a classic man
You could be mean when you look this clean
I'm a classic man
Calling on me like a young OG
I'm a classic man
Your needs get met by the street elegant old fashioned man
Yeah baby I'm a classic man
As we continue to "return to the sources," our needs are met by the "old fashioned man"; the sources fuel our "hipster" mentality and culture. Our obsession with the need to be classy and old fashioned perhaps lies in our need to be different from our current culture. Even Petrarch in his time thought that his generation was a waste, which made him so obsessed with old texts. The "sources" seem to have a "classic" aura about them that we want to go back to because our current situation is lame. 

Jidenna keeping it classy. 

While I tried to find another explanation for our desire to be "classic," I found this from a college website, "Classics help us understand who and why we are, and where we might be going" ("Why Study Classics?"). Yes, this is from a page intended to advertise the classics major at the University of Colorado, but I think it has important elements that are worth looking at. Perhaps, our modern day interest to be "classic" is due to the fact that the classics and the "sources" show significant differences from our current culture and the culture in which it was written. We see the pros and cons of these differences and we want to emulate the traditional things that worked. The classic "sources" help us understand our modern day culture and gives us ideas on how it could be different and how we could change where we are going. 

Works Cited
"Why Study Classics?" Classics. University of Colorado Boulder, n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2015.


  1. Do you feel like the "classics," whatever they may be, have a more exclusive nature to them than mainstream material?

  2. You question hits an interesting point. The 'mainstream' is characterized as a mindless group. Petrarch described his generation to 'have minds slow and dull'. I wonder if this is a narrow view of society. Doesn't everything stem from the main stream at some point? What is the point of abandoning your own mainstream to cling to an old mainstream?