Objects in Mirror

Objects in Mirror: February 21, 2009 Archive

Is there a nostalgia crisis?

Posted at 7:24 AM on February 21, 2009 by Julia Schrenkler

Over the last couple of days my mind keeps wandering back to Bob Collins' News Cut post about the nostalgia crisis. He refers to cover on how GM is changing their business model and wonders about the societal impact. After all, if cars look alike how do they stand out in our memories?

At first I thought that people have a different relationship with cars anyway. Now we have small gadgets to cling to, and won't nostalgia be focused on topics like, "Oh man, remember that iPhone 3g?! That thing was sweet. I should buy on for grins and hack it."

Then I read the comments, which are smarter perspectives. (In these excerpts, bold mine.) Krista tries a little future-time-travel approach:

" [...] My family had a 1976 LTD which barely fit in our garage. My mom didn't mind it--she was an awesome parallel parker. Still, I don't look back at the old beast with the two giant doors with nostalgia, the same way my kids won't look back at our minivan with anything but disdain! I'm sure they will be telling their kids "we had a giant VAN that ran on GAS."

...At least I hope that will be the case."

But even negative recollections have an element of nostalgia. bsimon posted a sensible answer early:

"Don't be silly. Nostalgia itself will change. The hotrodders that oogle are doing as adults the same things they did as kids. Therefore, modern kids will clearly be exercising their nostalgia in virtual fairgrounds online, reliving their more clever facebook posts and fancy moves in Grand Theft Auto."
If bsimon is correct, the interesting thing is that future generations will have nostalgia for things they did or created, not commercial items.

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