Old-timey freak shows and handlebar mustaches.

I’ve got to just get a Tumblr, I think. Or maybe a Pinterest? Sometimes I just want to share photos, convey a vibe. Maybe this is what TikTok is for. I’m a great consumer of TikTok, not as good at creating them.

Anyway. I don’t even think I’m going to email this one out. If you see it, you see it.

I want to share my preferred aesthetic in the pre-2008 world: an imagined, romanticized-yet-still-with-fingerprints-of-darkness turn of the 20th century with some Weimar-era-all-the-way-up-to-WWII bleed-through. It was a confused time. My pre-teen (and teen!) ass loved it.

As you might be able to imagine, I was a big fan of artists like The Dresden Dolls, Dame Darcy, The Decemberists, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Gogol Bordello.

For me, it was less about handle bar mustaches, tattoos, barbershop quartet looking dudes, stripes, and frontier-inspired aesthetics, and more about paper dolls, old-timey circuses and freak shows, sea monsters, and pressed flowers. One thing I’d be interested in exploring is the genealogy of this particular kind of nostalgia.

It seems to me that the sexy, scary, gothic circus (NOT the psycho-billy or ICP expression of this same instinct, though) thing is distinct from the heritage hipster vibe but still a continuum. It also bled into other subcultures and media properties.

Exhibits A, B, and C:

Not to get in the habit of ending these posts with song lyrics, but, how could I not?

What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me