The Consolation of Nostalgia – The New York Times
When the present moment is tense or uncomfortable, when the future seems particularly bleak or uncertain, nostalgia provides some relief. That’s why many of us turn to “Friends” reunions, the childhood video game of “Sopranos.” earlier during the pandemic.
As Gen Xers and many generations of millennials approach or pass middle age, the entertainment industry has become determined to smooth their journeys with relentless and emotional flashbacks of the past: “Sex and the City,” “Gossip Girl,” “Jackass,” “The Matrix” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” have all had other twists and turns on the square over the past year. “Frasier,” “Night Court,” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” are rumored to be returning. Even “Law & Order” is back.
The Super Bowl halftime performance, which featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent, certainly set its sights on the adjacent middle-class world. This fall, Avril Lavigne, Bright Eyes and My Chemical Romance will perform at the new rock and rock festival When We Were Young, a gathering seemingly designed to evoke nostalgia. Its name serves both to rebrand sad music for lonely people as a group act and to remove the lingering illusions of any thirtysomething that their best days are on. front.
Nostalgia is easy to package and sell because it promises to create a cohort community. We experience this every day on social media: Strangers become best friends when you exchange stories about your favorite music or the clothes you wore when you were both in sixth grade. The internet is an ever-innovative mine of nostalgia from which anyone can extract a cultural gem – a music video from the early days of MTV, a ringtone for a long-ago production. still in circulation – and post it for all to appreciate.
In a recent essay in Town and Country, Kyle Chayka warns of the danger of too much nostalgia. “With our digital culture channels, art can only be profitable if it attracts attention, and can only attract attention if it fits the established pattern,” he writes. prior to. “That model is called nostalgic, and while it’s fun, isn’t it boring after all?”
For now, nostalgia is serving a purpose: It provides a retreat, a respite, a way to feel less alone. This word, roughly translated from Greek, means “longing to return home.” It makes sense that some of us are now seeking and finding comfort in pop culture that feels at home, that is soothing and predictable, in a world not too many things.
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/26/briefing/nostalgia-oscars-mardi-gras.html The Consolation of Nostalgia – The New York Times