Nostalgia IS, TOO, what it used to be :)
A Thelemite I've admired from afar for the better part of a decade* recently made a passing comment in a post, about a time we both lived through: the extraordinary 1960s -- dreadful, difficult, and wonderful years, so routinely misrepresented (when mentioned at all!) today. Most of you guys are probably sick of hearing about how cool (or awful) the Sixties were, and that's not where we're headed, so keep reading anyway. ;) The Sixties had a lot of clever Discordian gags, though (not least on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
), one of which is relevant here: "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be!"
Lots of nostalgia is simply regret for change, of course, understandable but pointless -- particularly given how rosy things look once the stresses of the past are forgotten, and only foggy (and conveniently edited) memories remain; and a large part of it is fear of personal aging and death ("It is Margaret you mourn for" (Google it! ;) ))...not to mention the fear of losing center stage: Dammit, we were the cool people! When did these stupid younger people get cool, and (worse yet) IN DIFFERENT WAYS!, some of which we don't like?
I suppose that's the bulk of nostalgia, per se, the literal meaning of which, after all, is "homesickness." Everyone misses the place they felt at home**...particularly its sanitized version.
But that's not what I wanted to post about, either. Fortunately, I'm almost done (and there's a request for your input at the end!).
My point is this: the post that prompted this included a real regret for the lost wonders of that distant time...and I wanted this love note to say, Don't worry: it's all coming back, however differently: it always does. Things are never identical, but the range of human feeling is fairly limited -- and in one form or another, the stuff we loved (or its third cousin) will be back, for other intense young folks (and not a few intense not-so-young folks, Milady, like you 'n' me!) to enjoy anew. As St. Ray Bradbury once*** put it: "When the fires die, we stir up new fires."
That is what human beings always
do: always have, always will, even unto the end of days. :D
So here's the question for you young whippersnappers (and everybody else!). Since nostalgia actually starts up virtually at birth, and is very pronounced in childhood itself...well, where do your own nostalgic yearnings focus, these days? What do you recall with a sort of poignant fondness? -- serious, silly, cultural or personal, your choice. The floor is all yours -- I probably won't comment much, but I really want to hear your examples. Nostalgia is, too
, what it used to be -- so, young or not so young, which nostalgia is all yours, as you read these words?
93 93/93 -- AJ
* But am (alas!) entirely too polite to Friend without encouragement. :(
** Not infrequently different from one's actual
home, of course.
*** "Buck Rogers in Apollo Year One," 1969 EV.