January 24, 2010

Dereliction Row: A Tour Through the Dust and Treasures OR Why do I call this blog "Dereliction Row"?

Well, I've been the Derelict since high school, when I used it as my nom de plume as the humor columnist for the school newspaper (why anyone on the editorial staff, including the journalism teacher, thought I could write a humor column I'll never know -- it was painfully unfunny and mostly consisted of me trying so see how many swear words I could sneak past the censoring eye of the Vice Principal), but I was the Derelict back then and when I decided to start blogging I thought I'd be the Derelict again. So, I'm the Derelict. It helps that I'm a lazy bum in real life too.

And I've always enjoyed the Bob Dylan song "Desolation Row," so I thought I'd steal that title and modify it a little bit and call my latest blog, "Dereliction Row." And that's about as much thought as I put into naming this new blog.

But as it turns out, the name "Dereliction Row" is a lot more fitting than I first realized. See, one of the definitions of "dereliction" is, "a state of abandonment or neglect," and on this blog I've been all about watching and reading and listening to the great pop culture of the past -- Retroville, basically, i.e.: all the cool stuff from the past that's in danger of being forgotten and abandoned -- and I've been pretty strident in my claims that this old pop culture stuff is worth rediscovering, so what better "place" to rediscover and champion the "abandoned and neglected" relics of the past than.... Dereliction Row!

So, this blog, this "Dereliction Row," is where I hunt around the attics of our cultural lives and try to dust off and bring back into the light those great little bits of pop art that have shaped American culture, influenced and inspired so many artists and audiences, and deserve to be remembered by my generation, by the twenty-somethings and teens coming up who ignorantly think black and white is a death sentence and swing jazz is extra cheese with too much saxophone. Old movies, old music, old TV, pop art, pop literature, comics, and more -- all the things I think are worth enjoying and celebrating, a past culture that's "old" but still vibrantly relevant.... if we give it a chance -- these are the treasures you'll find rediscovered on "Dereliction Row."

That's the story behind the name.

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