The 1971 Maple Leafs. Note the forward in the back row with the maverick non-white helmet. A whole season without scoring a goal

The 1971 Maple Leafs. Note the forward in the back row with the maverick non-white helmet. A whole season without scoring a goal

Welcome to Throwback Thursday

Perhaps Thowback Thursday will spread beyond its digital confines, into the broader cultural consciousness

Barry Coulter

It’s Throwback Thursday, good people. Every week, that is now what Thursday is, among other things.

It’s a social media thing, good people, brought to you courtesy of Facebook. Every Thursday, the social media world posts pictures — usually though not necessarily of ourselves — out of the past.

Perhaps Thowback Thursday will spread beyond its digital confines, into the broader cultural consciousness, until Thursday becomes a day for reflection and reminiscence, for regrets, for rejoicing that you made that one particular decision 25 years ago and not the other (or ruing that you made that decision). What the world might have looked like if the Nazis had won the war. What it was like to have bangs. The scoring chance you had in Grade 3, but missed the net. A day to ponder the marvels of the V-8 or Slant-6 engines, or make carburetor jokes. Remember the carburetor? A day to dig out those old marks from high school, and think back to those chemistry labs, ha ha. And so on, into infinite memory.

Much as Friday is a day to not eat meat, Sunday a day of rest, Thursday may become a day of remembering the past. Throwback Thursday, ladies and gentlemen.

You will be aware from reading our “Behind the Lens” column, courtesy of Cranbrook Photo, that the era of the photographic print and the photo album is passing, to be replaced with a digital version, where the images of our past lives and times are locked into our devices, to be wiped out at the appearance of a virus, the crash of a hard-drive or a sudden power surge. It’s true, it’s happened here at the Townsman, where my hard drive crashed and I lost years worth of wonderful file photos.

The photo album is a great memory prompt, and I agree with “Behind the Lens” that the end of the print era would be most unfortunate — the downside of the digital era, which allows us to take photos so quickly and easily.

There were Greek philosophers, back in the day, who decried the advent of the written word, that all that literacy would have a negative effect on true literature — the oral tradition, whereby illiterate poets would recount vast epics from memory. There were those who viewed mass production of the Bible, via the printing press, as the beginning of the end of a unified Christian Church. There are those who see the digital, internet age as the beginning of the end of literacy — even proper knowledge — where we are bombarded by information from all sides, so much of it suspect, where instant gratification is the desire. Perhaps this is all true.

In any case, Throwback Thursday is here, and so, for the first time, I am going to post something for it. I’m going to do it here, and I promise I won’t make a habit of it. Today is the day for me to remember that I did not spring fully formed from the head of Zeus. It’s a day to remember that I played organized hockey for four seasons before scoring a goal.

After all, if we remember the past, we won’t be doomed to repeat it, isn’t that so?

Happy Throwback Thursday, and happy reminiscence, everybody.

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