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The Nostalgia Problem: Being Born is Not an Accomplishment; Finding Solutions is

When Nickelodeon brought back the 90’s shows earlier this year, they proved that people will always flock to the familiar. My facebook friends were celebrating this moment like an aging hippie who just heard Hendrix on their grandson’s ipod.

There were so many posts about loving the 90’s and growing up in the 90’s that I almost expected to read a “the problem kids these days” post. While I didn’t see that on facebook, I did see it on tumblr. And I found more lists of self-congratulatory 90’s nostalgia online.

The New York Times already did an article where they crapped all over twenty year olds feeling nostalgic, so I’m not going to rehash their argument. My problem is how people are branding nostalgia like it has some great importance when we really need to be looking at the issues ahead of us.

Society is always going to progress and that is a good thing. We should be happy when there is a new breakthrough or something different comes along. I’m not going to buy a tablet device, but I can appreciate the people who are making them and trying to move technology forward.

Who cares if my kids never know what a Videotape looks like or what dial-up internet sounds like? My grandfather lived in a time before Tv, but once he got one he couldn’t live without it until the day he died. He never talked to me about the glory days of silent pictures, he liked Tv too much.

Let me be clear, I have no issue with occasionally strolling down memory lane. A spark of electricity goes through my spine every time I see something that reminds me of the Power Rangers; but I don’t go around demanding that they bring back those old episodes. If people want to post them on the internet or something, that’s fine. But I am perfectly comfortable with letting today's elementary school kids pick their own heroes.

The most laughable part of uber-nostalgia is that people always look at it through rose-colored glasses. Like I said, Power Rangers imagery excites me, but I’m not going to go back and watch the all the old episodes. You wanna know why? Because they are cheesy, repetitive, and sometimes just downright stupid. They were perfect for me when I was a kid, but now I need entertainment that is more challenging and mature.

And to those of you who wish to continue to indulge in this “back in my day” behavior; remember that nostalgia puts both the good and the bad on a pedestal.

The Jonas Brothers will be played on classic rock stations at some point in the future. Little old ladies will look back fondly on their crushes on Justin Bieber.  You’ll complain about how the young people don’t listen to real music anymore like Miley Cyrus and Rebecca Black. Are you scared yet? Because this is the future!

“Kids these days have too much internet and electronics, we had imagination” says the twenty-year-old kid on tumblr.

You know what the kids also have, a vaccine for HPV. Aids is no longer a death sentence. The deaf can get surgery to hear their own voice for the first time.

Kids will always have imagination; it’s just that the format they use it in may change. I had action figures; my kids will probably have mini-computers. The important thing is their enjoyment, not who had a “better” childhood.

Look nostalgia kids, I know modern life is tough. We had to come of age in a post 9-11 world where we were always taught to be afraid of what could happen tomorrow. Now we have this economic crisis to deal with and a lot of us can’t even find a crappy job. Who wouldn’t want to escape to good ‘ole 1996 in a time like this? Space Jam just came out!

The world is scary, but that’s how it’s always been. It doesn’t matter if its 9-11, Vietnam, Pearl Harbor, or the Civil War, there will always be a conflict that seems unbearable.

But it must be beared (I don’t know, I just made it up). We have to confront these issues so that we can fix them. News correspondents will often talk about what we can learn from a crisis to prevent it in the future. And just so you know, when they say we they are talking about us.

That’s right my fellow young people. You may be in your quarter life crisis right now, but you better wake up because we are going to be running the show soon.

I don’t know about you, but I want to fix some of these problems so my kids can grow up and brag to my grandchildren about how good they had it back in the day.




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