While I know very little about classic cars and I wouldn’t even go so far as to say I’m interested in learning more, I did attend a classic car show recently. It got me thinking, not about classic cars, but instead about the phrase “instant classic.”
See, the cars on display seemed to have withstood the test of time. They’ve been labored over and loved. Treasured and kept in pristine condition. Passed down between generations and restored to their original glory. They define what it means to be a classic.
But an “instant classic” doesn’t stand for any of that. Is anything so great that it should arrive and instantly be given such a title? Sure, things are “instant hits,” “instant sensations” or “instant favorites.” But “instant classic?” Shouldn’t we reserve that title for something more deserving?
To prove that it’s overused, I’ve found some recent examples:
– Dana Carvey’s Choppin Broccoli (funny, sure. instant classic…. jury’s still out.)
– Advertising during this week’s all-star game (c’mon, I work in advertising and don’t even think it should be labeled “instant classic.”)
– Melissa McCarthy’s Jet Ski Story (so, wigs make everything better?)
– This stupid picture (what grade are we in?)
Really. How can any of those ever live up to the standards and glory and beauty of a 1957 Chevy? Will “Choppin Broccoli” be searchable in 60 years? And will anyone really want to search it? And should that be what is known as a classic from our generation?
I’m not here to provide any further answers or insights. Just to say that “What really is an instant classic?” is a question we can all put some thought to, I suppose.