- The Lindy Newsletter
- Things You Don't See as Much of Anymore
Things You Don't See as Much of Anymore
We're sifting through a societal filter, every one of us, right now. It's a relentless process, stripping away layers of the past – decades, centuries even – those things we grew up with, took for granted. But seeing what's slipping through our fingers, that's the tough part. We're so caught up in the now, the immediate, that recognizing what's being lost becomes a nearly impossible feat.
I suspect one of the rarest skills is to have any sense whatsoever of how different things were in the past. I believe it's as rare as being able to solve hairy integrals, but we don't realize that because there are so few explicit tests of it.
— Paul Graham (@paulg)
Dec 10, 2021
Why are things disappearing? There are several reasons. Some things simply reach the end of their relevance, much like old fashion trends. Technology plays a big role, too, replacing older methods with its digital efficiency. And then there's the influence of modern culture, reshaping what's popular and what's not. The world has changed significantly. Today, immersed in platforms like TikTok and YouTube, many are disconnected from the wider scope of history. They miss out on the significant figures and events of the 20th century, once common knowledge.
Consider someone cast as Elvis in a new movie without knowing who Elvis was. Years ago, that would have been unimaginable. Now, it's just how things are.
Jacob Elordi admitted he didn't know much about Elvis Presley before portraying the King of Rock and Roll in Sofia Coppola's #Priscilla.
“The most I knew of Elvis was in ‘Lilo & Stitch,'” Elordi said.
— Variety (@Variety)
Oct 28, 2023
I wanted to focus today’s issue on just a few things that are going away. Some of them are not a big deal, but others are a big deal.
17 Things You Don’t See as Much of Anymore
When’s the last time you saw someone whistle? Probably a long time. People used to whistle a lot. The decline in public whistling is not a subject that has been extensively studied, but there are several cultural and social factors that might explain why it's less common now compared to earlier times. It’s not like it died out a hundred years ago. It was still in the movie Kill Bill 20 years ago.
Previous generations grew up with whistling commonly featured in music, movies, and TV, making it a normal, everyday sound. Today, it's much less common in media. Perhaps the rise of personal audio devices contributed to its decline? Few people seem to know how to whistle these days, myself included.
2) Bad Hair Cuts
Truly bad haircuts aren't around anymore. It used to be a big problem. One out of 40 people would have one and it would ruin their week. They looked weird. Why doesn’t it exist anymore? Maybe barbers have gotten better. We have had a barber renaissance in America in recent years. Maybe it’s the reliance on clippers now that makes it less likely. Or maybe the range of hair styles has been limited. You saw a little of it come back during Covid when people cut their own hair.
3) Littering in Public
Back in my childhood, I recall seeing people casually toss trash out of their car windows. It was just what everyone did. When you had garbage, the street was where it went. It's quite remarkable how that practice has faded, considering how normal it once seemed. It still happens, but not nearly as much as it used to.
I don't believe the change was due to government enforcement. The police weren't handing out fines for littering left and right. Instead, it just became something shameful, a shift in societal attitudes that made it unacceptable.
4) Hoisting Someone Triumphantly on Your Shoulders
The primal, exuberant ritual of hoisting victors on shoulders has mostly gone away in America.
Substance aside, when did America lose shoulder-hoisting as a regular feature of public life when someone did something popular with a crowd?
— David H. Montgomery (@dhmontgomery)
May 22, 2023
You’ll still see it in Soccer or in other countries. But for some reason it has mostly left American society.
Even in sports, it’s gone. Have we gotten too fat to lift each other up? Where once bodies were lifted high, a soaring symbol of collective joy and achievement. This disappearance, unspoken yet profound, echoes a deeper loss - the fading of raw, communal celebration in an age where connections are vast yet somehow more distant.
5) The Bermuda Triangle/Nostradamus/Bigfoot
There were these legends from the 20th century you would hear about. This pre-internet conspiracy adjacent culture. These folksy mysteries people would read about. They’ve mostly disappeared from the public consciousness.
Once a labyrinth of mystery, the Bermuda Triangle lingers in hushed whispers, a ghost story fading into the deep. It's a relic, a shiver in the spine of the world, now drowned by the roar of modernity's skepticism.
In Nostradamus's cryptic verses, the past and future once danced in a macabre tango of prophecy and fear. Now, his words are but echoes in the halls of forgotten lore, outshone by the glaring light of the present.
Bigfoot, a shadow in the forest of American folklore, now seems more myth than monster. Its elusive footprint, once a source of wonder and fear, has been eroded by the relentless march of time and reason.
6) The Free Tibet Movement
The support for Palestinians is a new thing in America. Growing up, you never saw any Palestinian advocacy. No large crowds. No protests. It wasn’t on the news or anything.
A massive crowd out in support of Palestine in Manhattan today
— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum)
Nov 24, 2023
Instead, we had Free Tibet. It was supported by high profile celebrities and even drew superstar concerts.
What Happened? No one really knows. Advocacy in the digital age is fragmented. Moreover, with the rise of China as a global economic power, many countries and international organizations may be more cautious in their approach to issues that could affect diplomatic and trade relations with China.
7) Unsupervised Kids
There was a time in America where kids roamed the streets of New York City unsupervised. They shared the city with adults. When you walk around NYC today it seems unimaginable. Parents today would be arrested for letting these small children out in the street.
The first wave was the suburbanization. The suburbs created order and specific places like school where kids could play. It was an attempt to get away from the urban life, with its unpredictable rhythms and unscripted dangers. But now we’re on to the second wave. Kids attached to the digital world of devices.
8) Rich People as Patron of Cities
Rich people used to be patrons of cities. They competed with rich people in other cities to see who could build the most beautiful place for citizens. They would boast about it. This includes Buildings. Stadiums. Statues. Gardens. Churches. That's not the case anymore. Today rich people do all types of crazy stuff but they only become patrons to universities. Not the city.
Bryan Johnson 45-year-old founder of Braintree Payment Solutions which also owned Venmo sold his companies to PayPal in 2013 for $800 Million. Johnson just revealed that he spends $2 million per year to retain youth and he uses his teenage son as what he calls his ‘blood boy.’
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre)
May 23, 2023
Originally, the sleeveless undershirt was simply functional, designed to be worn under a man's dress shirt. It offered comfort and absorbed sweat, making it practical for laborers and workers. But by the mid-20th century, the garment started to become more visible in popular culture. It was often associated with masculine, working-class imagery in movies and television, sometimes depicting characters who were rough around the edges.
In the 90s, the tank-top became fashionable. Further evolving the wife-beater garment. There was a brief comeback with the Sopranos in the 2000s. However the wife-beater does not really have a home anymore in a culture less masculine and also not formal (no one is wearing dress shirts/suits casually like they used to). It lost its cultural appeal and its functional value.
10) Political Assassinations
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