||[Aug. 4th, 2016|03:50 am]
I've noticed a dismissive attitude towards nostalgia and any media that taps into it. As though it were inherently superficial or shallow.|
Similarly baby boomers like to bemoan the "extended adolescence" of generation x and millennials.
Memories are like stones in a rock tumbler. Every time you access a memory your brain edits it. Over time the rough edges are smoothed away and even negative experiences often acquire a sheen of poetic tragic significance.
I think a lot of us start to miss that as we get older, as we are confronted with harsh realities. We crave simpler times (however unreliable our memories might be), before we were weighed down by responsibilities. It might even account for the slide into conservatism many people undergo later in life. Romanticizing the past, yearning for it. Fearing the future.
Our past becomes a series of iconic images, places we can retreat to, where we can smell the dust, feel the grass beneath our feet, moments crystallized.
Earlier today as I was listening to Tegan And Sara - So Jealous I thought it could be neat to make a post where everyone picks a handful of their favorite albums, and then describes the memories most closely associated with them.
So Jealous is experiencing that album for the first time at the listening station at the downtown a&b Sound, with its massive pillars and gilded ceilings. Another time sitting alone in the airport in San Jose, California listening to that album on my expensive Discman that had ridiculously good battery life, in the army surplus medic pouch I bought from the Ribtor Warehouse for a couple dollars.
I think there's immense value in nostalgia. Nostalgia can bring joy (and the world desperately needs more joy). Stranger Things' appeal is based almost entirely around it and it's currently one of the most popular shows on television. For previous generations it was stuff like The Wonder Years.
As for the charge of "extended adolescence", I find the notion that people are supposed to stop having fun when they get older positively horrific. What is the point of life if you can't enjoy it?