Baby, You’re So Classic

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.comAnd we buzz through everyday, barely aware that we are writing the history of tomorrow. Minutes counted down,  days ticked off calendars and before you know it, today becomes yesterday.

That philosophical feeling came to me as I listened to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on my old playlist.  Here I was, singing along to a song from 1982 (yep, just googled that) when I caught myself thinking “Ah! This song really is a classic!”.  The song has proved to be immensely popular, timeless… but a ‘classic’ – is it really one? Or is that territory only reserved for Beethoven’s and Mozart’s of earlier eras?

What does it take to make an artwork a classic? What does it mean to be a classic? And… which songs or books do you think will be the classics of tomorrow?

We often refer to something classic to say that it is timeless – like in my case, with the Thriller track. I thought of Jackson’s song as a classic because it was still enjoyable even now. Several years after its release, it still retained its charm.  Another key factor is that a classic is usually relatable – although in an indirect way. The song is still relatable – its subject of ghosts and zombies is an age old story that we would have all heard before and yet, a story that never goes out of fashion. It contains a message that we can relate with in a different time period.

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

The same goes for books. Shakespeare’s tragedies haven’t lost their charm because of their extensive portrayal of human emotion – a subject that is once again, timeless. We can feel jealousy like Othello, and crave power like Macbeth even though we don’t dress or talk like them.

Relatability is perhaps a criteria that people take with a pinch of salt. Many times we refer to books as classics, not because they were very popular or because they describe a relatable human experience – but simple because they are… old. Mark Twain seems to agree with this. He once said, ” Classic: a book which people praise and don’t read.”

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

Not to disregard classics, of course. There may be many works which are exemplary forms of literature despite being un-relatable. Dickens’ Great Expectations is often described as a classic although in my personal opinion, I found the story quite hard to relate with. But then, is ‘classic’ truly the right word to describe them? Or maybe it’s just me.

Either way, it’s interesting to wonder what parts of our present life will become classics tomorrow! I wonder if Justin Bieber’s ‘What do you mean?’  will become a “classic” in pop music. In the future, perhaps safari scenes in films depicting this decade will play Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. If only we could take a sneak peek and find out!

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

Well, for the time being- we could just borrow MKTO’s upbeat definition. If “they don’t make you like they used to” and “You’re never going out of style”, then…. Most certainly I’d say, “Baby, you’re so classic”.

Essay by Dee & Photos by Aaria Baid

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To Print or Not to Print?

To Print or Not to Print? via Opinion9.com- an Essay columnA habitual note-taker, I find it hard to focus in my classes at university without a pen and paper. And yes, I’m one of those students who turns up with a printed copy of the lecture material every time. But the environmentalist in me keeps urging me to embrace technology, stop printing every single set of notes and just read it off my computer. In vain, however. Usually it’s a passing feeling, and before I know it I’m standing in queue to use the library printer once again.

To be fair, I’ve tried it one too many times. Each time it’s the same. I resolve to read a set of notes online instead of printing. Type out my notes during class instead of writing them. But I just can’t get used to it – I find it hard to organize my thoughts without a pen and blank paper in my hand. And even when it comes to reading materials, it frustrating when I can’t flip back and forth between pages smoothly, or annotate with the freedom that handwritten marking provides.

I often see my tech savvy friends come to class just carrying their tablet – one place for all notes, all readings, and even an entertainment source during study breaks. Seems extremely effective –  but I wonder: does a physical copy to read or handwritten notes have a charm that hasn’t yet been recreated by technology?

Just the way our grandparents always say that an email can’t replace a handwritten letter – indeed there seems to be some unnamed charm in the feel of paper instead of a type-face on our laptop screen. It’s funny how touch, enhances our sensory perception of something we read in a book despite the fact that the content written doesn’t change.

But it’s also possible that the charm of paper only exists for grew up with that tradition. To me, books and e-books feel different – but perhaps not to the millennials who were born into a more tech savvy world. Maybe  I associate the pleasure of reading with the experience of reading books as a kid, snuggling in a bed with a book in my hand. Maybe I just can’t type fast enough as I think and that’s why handwritten notes are the more effortless alternative.  Maybe.

The gap between my laptop screen and notebook seems to stem more from my mind  than actual differences between the two media. If that’s the case – I think it’s time to step out of my comfort zone, and start embracing the virtual world in small steps (like typing out this blogpost on my text editor for example hehe). That way the sudden change won’t tempt me to resort to pen and paper all the time, and let me adapt to the change gradually. Well, it’s definitely worth a try! -Dee

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Uncovering the charm of Mafalda

Hello! I’m VERY pleased to introduce Opinion9’s newest contributor: Dee! This is also her own column: EXPRESS. Enjoy! Let’s begin with uncovering the charm of …Mafalda!

Mafalda Cumple

So, I started learning Spanish a few weeks ago as an elective for college. It was one of the first few classes, that my professor introduced us to Mafalda.

For those of you who have never seen this charming little girl, here she is:

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Mafalda is a cartoon kid among the spanish-speaking countries – and being introduced has been one of the best bonuses of my Spanish classes.

After persistently looking for Mafalda between study breaks for a few days I started to wonder – why did I like this cartoon so much?

The charm didn’t seem to be coming from the art, or the rather mundane household scenes depicted. It wasn’t particularly witty language, and neither was it involving any politically charged themes. What could it be?

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After some thought, I think the answer is this: Mafalda’s charm is in her character – she is not a child trapped in adults world.

It’s hardly a surprise that she appealed to a university student like me- curious and confused about the adult world of job hunting, MNC jobs and work-life balance.

Mafalda’s reactions to the world – be it laughing at the definition of democracy or literally trying to find the ever-so evasive notion of ‘happiness’ – captured my confusion, and often frustration, toward the real world situations I’ve often faced.

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Maybe you’re a student like me, and can relate with Mafalda.

Maybe you’re more of an adult, who could reminisce the feelings you first experienced as your grew up.

Maybe you’re just someone learning Spanish like me.

Either way, Mafalda could bring a smile to your face (especially if you’re learning Spanish)!

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picture credits: 1/2/3-6/7

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