Up late, and I ran out of lolcats to look at, so I ended up at a sister site, the Nostalgia Win site.
It's a site of objects, movies, food and commercials from the childhoods of its posters - so mainly the 80s and 90s. But the weird thing is the way the descriptive blurbs are written, as if they're documenting some long-lost, nearly forgotten phenomenon, instead of something that is simply no longer the most popular item on the shelf (candy necklaces are a good example; likewise, the monkey bars).
The tone of these blurbs is intensely, lamely nostalgic - mostly "remember this?" as if, say, the first Nintendo was an obscure, long-dead thing that no one really knew at the time, and which has no contemporary counterpart. I think most of the writers must be in their early 20s, because some of the nostalgia win posts are of things that simply are not nostalgic to me - ie, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, TOY STORY, cars without power windows [of which i currently have one]. I guess I'm too old for Nostalgia win, because for me, a lot of these things are just movies I saw in high school. I remember them clearly but with none of that tug of nostalgia.
What is most striking is the desire to document, at all, and the freakish telescoping of time. The writers here seem to think they're writing about ANCIENT HISTORY, and not just things that happened 10 or 15 years ago. There's virtually no historical perspective, which makes me wonder: what the HELL would they make of a similar site composed of items from, say, the 1950s? what term do you use for that?
I've noticed a growing trend to refer to everything as "back in the day," a term meaning everything from 3 years ago, to the sixteenth century. This blurring of all history as simply history - it's all old, it's all irrelevant, except as quirky, funny humor posts - is really troubling. The need to document everything without actually experiencing it - the desire to record - is also troubling. It's what I think when I see people whipping out cellphones to take pictures of fireworks, instead of watching them. Or to take pictures of anything, instead of participating in the event.
The most bizarre - to me - post of all has to do with pre 9/11 airport security. Here's the description, posted by someone who clearly fell off the turnip truck yesterday: "Remember when you didn’t have to take your shoes off, stand in long lines or have Swiss Army knives confiscated because they pose a threat? Remember when you could sneak a flask on the plane so you didn’t have to pay $8 a shot to get a little liquored-up? And all of your family members could meet you right as you de-boarded the plane? It was a glorious time that we all wish we could return to… And if you’re not familiar with this pre-9/11 airport security, go watch any movie from the ’80s or ’90s that features an airport scene and you’ll quickly realize that things were far different back then"
"It was a glorious time that we all wish we could return to… And if you’re not familiar with this pre-9/11 airport security, go watch any movie from the ’80s or ’90s that features an airport scene and you’ll quickly realize that things were far different back then"
Yeah, but shit changes. I mean, things are different now than they were a year ago. I don't need to watch archival footage of 2007 to see how different things were Back In The Day. The security screening crap changed 8 years ago - hardly a lifetime. Hardly even a significant passage of time.
I don't know - maybe one needs to live long enough to see things change more than once, over time, the way telephones and computers have changed in my life, to get perspective. Then it looks like progress, like a process, rather than just some kind of wacky quaint thing people did in the olden days.