Wednesday, 3 February 2010


We all love a nice bit of nostalgia.

Wikipedia says:

The term nostalgia describes a yearning for the past, often in idealized form. The word is a learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος, nóstos, "returning home", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος, álgos, "pain" or "ache". It was described as a medical condition, a form of melancholy, in the Early Modern period, and came to be an important topic in Romanticism.

In the ‘60s the hippies were all about nostalgia, believing that it was possible to regress into a simpler and more peaceful time. Nowadays we’re incredibly nostalgic about the hippies, despite the fact that in reality they would all be on jobseekers, several different drugs and stink. People died at Woodstock! They don’t mention that so much now, do they!

As long as you don’t think you’re achieving anything by it, it’s fine. Looking back over their shoulders never got Mike & The Mechanics anywhere past that one single, and it’s not going to get you anywhere either, some might say.

I think Wikipedia, as usual, is talking a load of wikicrap. Nostalgia is not as much of a bad thing as these modern folks would have you believe. We learn from our mistakes, after all. Look behind you – there’s a bear! No, not really, I was just demonstrating how looking back is a good thing sometimes. Especially if you've sat infront of a bear before, you should really have learnt your lesson.

Nostalgia isn’t the bad aspect; it’s the aspirations of regression which will cause the harm. We should progress, we seem to be quite good at it. The future is in reality no better or worse than the past or present day. The only thing that’s guaranteed is that we will always think that today is the shittest, and that's because tomorrow has optimism and yesterday has nostalgia. In short - we will never have that ruddy jam! When it comes down to it, it’s a case of choosing your weapon: optimism or nostalgia? Or a cheeky mix of both? Forget about the jam.

It’s all very well for me, I live in 1973. I send my blog posts to Sandra Bullock’s house and she posts them for me in the future.