Way-Back Machines

History has always been one of my favorite things. It was always one of my better subjects in school. I like learning about the past, whether it be through reading, watching a documentary, or visiting Wikipedia. And I always keep in mind something my 10th grade World History teacher told us: History books are nice, but they're mostly written by curmudgeonly, aristocratic white men. Grains of salt required. My love of history has made its way into other interests of mine, namely sports, movies, and music. Not only do I find the historical perspectives interesting, but I also think it helps me maintain a wider scope in terms of what I listen to or what I watch. In other words, I'm happy that I'm mature enough (in age and in taste) that what I like doesn't wholly exist in the "here and now". For instance...

  • Sports. I love sports, especially baseball. I like talking about sports, reading about sports, watching sports, and once upon a time, even playing sports. But more than that, I love sports history. I love learning about the histories of sports and great teams, players, etc. My bookshelf is filled with historical works and stats-based books (encyclopedias) spanning several sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey, etc. The only thing that could make my love of sports history even stronger is if I liked math. Or were any good at it.
  • Movies. Aside from Food Network, my favorite channel, without question, is Turner Classic Movies. I love classic B&W films. I love watching Abbott & Costello, Bogart & Bacall, Astaire & Rogers. Or the hard-boiled gangster films of the '30s from Warner Bros. Or the low-budget yet well-made murder mysteries that RKO churned out like clockwork in the '40s. And I'll take the original King Kong over Peter Jackson's version any day of the week. I love classic film so much that I've even built up a good-sized DVD collection, with more to come.
  • Music. This one is relatively new for me. As much as I love my current hip-hop, rock, and R&B, I've slowly been getting into some older material. A few months ago, I bought Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. Great album. And after watching a cool profile on Jimi Hendrix a couple weeks back, I've decided I want to download one of his albums, too. And hopefully I can discover even more cool tunes.

The old cliche, "oldies but goodies", is so appropriate here. To me, old is good.