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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Nostalgia is great, but let’s move on

John Kesler (The Inquirer)

In David Lynch’s 1997 film “Lost Highway,” the main character Fred, played by Bill Pullman, is asked if he owns a video camera.

“No,” he says. “I like to remember things my own way…not necessarily the way they happened.”

To me, Fred’s thoughts are similar to my thoughts on pop cultural nostalgia.

Last summer, Viacom made some buzz by announcing that their cable channel TeenNICK would deviate from rerunning Drake vehicle “Degrassi: The Next Generation” to air a late-night block called “The 90’s are All That!”

The block consists of programming from the early to mid 90’s, featuring shows like “Doug,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” and of course, “All That!”

The block seems to be successful, proving that Nickelodeon can literally sell us nostalgia.

This is all good, but I’m going to avoid it.

Firstly, some things are just better off in my memories.

When I was 7, “All That!” was pretty funny. Now I’m 21 and that was two-thirds of a lifetime ago. I doubt the show will still be as funny as it was back then, on account of the fact that I grew up, but the writing didn’t.

I suppose this is probably another form of escapism, but the difference is that this emphasizes immaturity and safety.

Instead of watching shows like “Star Trek: The Next Generation” or “Mad Men,” which would challenge your mind in an entertaining manner, this nostalgic train of thought leads one to watching simple children’s fair like “The Angry Beavers.”

I should note here that I am a hypocrite in a sense, because I like to sit around with my buddies watching “Blue’s Clues” or “Dora the Explorer” late at night.

I would like to think that my case is slightly different because I get more enjoyment from approaching the show as an adult in a snarky manner as opposed to approaching the show as an adult going down memory lane, which is where the problem lies.

Mainly, my deal with venturing into nostalgia is that it ruins memories.

Memories are awesome because they’re affected by each of our own perceptions, and the beauty is that we can remember memories incorrectly.

Take my experience with “Blue’s Clues,” for instance. Before I started watching it again this summer, I remembered the show more as images than a coherent whole: the dog, Steve, the cut-paper style.

However, now that I’ve seen it again, my memories are ruined. All I associate “Blue’s Clues” with is a bad drug trip.

In the end, venturing into nostalgia restricts your personal growth. I find it safe to assume that being adventurous with your entertainment choices will lead to you being a better person overall.

Leave your memories as memories. Let’s see what’s out there.


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About the Contributor
John Kesler
John Kesler, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, spring 2012. Staff member, fall 2011.

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Nostalgia is great, but let’s move on