Second Time Around
I have noticed as I’ve gotten older, that looking back and reflecting has become a hobby. I tend to tell the same stories over and over again, or I will reminisce with friends anytime we get together. Old stories have a way of comforting us, connecting us. It doesn’t help that I get Facebook reminders of memories of years gone by. These little pieces of nostalgia pop up like whack-a-mole memories. Some are fake nostalgia though, Facebook will use its shitty algorithm to pull up a memory of me and a guy I haven’t talked to since high-school and proceed to play some sappy slide show about how we’ve been Facebook friends for 5 years. Kinda creepy, kinda sad really.
According to Baz Luhrmann, from his song-poem called “Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen,” he says” Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it’s worth.” This rings true for me. We use nostalgia to feel good, remembering times gone by, but the best version of it. We believe the past was a simpler time and that the future is scary and unknown. Memory is a lie.
I’ve have read articles about planting memories in people by the power of suggestion. They would plant a memory about the person being involved in a hot air balloon accident. This is relatively specific, how could anyone be tricked into remembering that! But low and behold, they would spout back a vague memory of being involved in some type of hot air balloon accident. That is some sneaky-brain-melty-hypnotizing-shit right there.
I have also had lapses in my own memory, things I remember entirely different from my wife. Some of the recollections could have been affected by a few beers, and I will give you those ones, but it is the memories that are solid in my mind, the pillars of my reminiscence. Like the birth of my daughter and how we named her. Or things that just drop out of my memory bank, forgotten in the cloud. Both of these scenarios scare me. What if people are intentionally messing with my most personal powers of recall, planting subliminal messages and images to rewrite my own history. It wouldn’t be that hard.
Television is getting nostalgic too. Stranger Things is casting 80’s stars, with 80’s creepy music, and 80’s style Stephen King book cover title designs (see an example in my nostalgia slideshow at the end of the blog). Movies are getting in on the 80’s vibe as well, with the likes of Ready Player One, Turbo Kid, Drive, American Psycho, Kung Fury, just to name a few. But it all ebbs and flows, next decade we will bring back all of the 90’s stuff…well, maybe not, the 90’s kinda sucked. But we will recycle something else, mark my words.
Even my daughter, who is twelve gets nostalgia. Things are moving too quickly these days that a pre-teen can reminisce about days gone by. She says “Remember the show Lazy Town?” like it was back in the old days, it was 6 years ago, I have underwear older than that!! There is so much packed into the brain of hers and all kids for that matter, that they don’t have time to remember one thing to the next. It is so much, so fast, that I should be happy that my daughter is holding onto anything in her brain that means enough to her that she can reminisce about it.
But I digress, memory is what you make it. Whether it is right or wrong, I don’t think it matters. It’s how you plug into the world and interpret it through your own personal slideshow in your mind. All is good unless you’re a witness to a murder, then you better make sure you got it right.
So look back, think back and remember times gone by. Good memories, bad memories and mundane memories like eating breakfast this morning. Work that muscle you call a brain, then think to the future because that is where this present will become a memory. Good old nostalgia. Happy remembering!