Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yabba Dabba Doo

Good ol' nostalgia.
I often hear folks pine away about the "good old days". When I do, I wonder, "When, exactly, were those good old days?".

Lately, I've been thinking our tendacy toward this kind of thinking is just a sympton of getting older.

I mean, "the good old days" never really existed, did they?
I think what we actually miss is our own personal innocence.
We didn't know what the world was. We didn't know that the world was ugly, full of danger.

Basically the "good old days" were only good if you were white, male, Christian, played along with your government, or weren't old enough to know better.

But, even then, how good was it if you couldn't be yourself?
If we go back to those idealyc days, does that mean we go back to the persecution of anything different? Well, I for one, don't want to go!

And, yeah. I just get a kick out these old smoking videos :-)


Gray said...

I think you are right. Personal innocence usually equals a better time in life.

Senorita said...

I agree that when people are talking about the "good ole days" that they are talking about a time in their lives where they still had their innocence.

Michael Lockridge said...

My mother in law is nostalgic for the 1940's. She longs to return, forgetting that the world was on fire and people were dying by the millions, and the outcome of events was then not so sure.

Should I long for the 1960's? I remember lots of good things, but those were not easy times, either. I would not return to them, if I could.

Today? Two stupid wars, rather than the one of my childhood (and young adulthood). A severely depressed economy, rather than rampant inflation.

Days of innocence are days of ignorance. Good to recall with fondness, if you don't look too closely.

Don't look too closely.


rita said...

Posting those old cigarette commercials is a good way to illustrate ignorance & innocence...& the benefits of moving forward. Besides people who STAY ignorant & innocent are considered mentally deficient.
The only time I yearn for the old days is when I look in the mirror. Music can make me feel very nostalgic, but I'm not sure what for. I find too much nostalgia depressing. I am more confident & feel better about myself now then anytime in the past. Looking back is not something I like to do. It is fun to dredge up good memories, but if that is all a person has, it's pretty sad.

オテモヤン said...
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Harvey said...

Inasmuch as I am now 71 years old, I think I can comment (at least for myself) about "the Good Old Days". Even though I am overdue for retirement and am already making much less money than I once did, I can think of no time in my life that I would choose to go back to, even if that were possible. I think much of nostalgia for the past is couched in a combination of the certainty that hindsight provides as to outcomes of any previous time in our lives along with the uncertainty/fear we may have about what will happen in the as yet unknown future. If one is not only content with their present life situation, but also has no fear of the immediate future, let alone the ultimate ending to life as we "know" it, I think most of us would not choose to "go back" to any particular previous time in our lives. Since it appears that many of us are neither totally happy with what we may have achieved up to this point in time, nor content with the realization that our return to the same non-existance as was true before we were conceived gets more imminent every day, I suppose it is no surprise that we remember our younger days with fondness.

mac said...

I like the vids too.

They give me a tiny chance to rationalize my own smoking ;-)

Anonymous said...

The good old days could have been yesterday, it all has to do with feelings, not the calendar.


Asylum Seeker said...

Why is everything blue? I remember the good ol' days...

Anyway, nostalgia definitely doesn't seem to be based on the time period you are nostalgic for being objectively better. Depending on how far back the time is that you hoping to revisit, it's increasingly likely that you are simply misremembering what that period was like (rosy retrospection). But if this time period also happened to coincide with your childhood, there's not only memory in play, but the innocence that you mention as well. I would call it "youthful ignorance" personally, but I think that most people would probably already accept that as a synonym :)

mac said...

Yes, Seeker. I remember when everything was blue...good times ;-)

Ily said...

I look back and remember the good times, but I wouldn't want to go back there. I like right where I am. One day I hope to look back and remember today with a smile on my face.

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Anonymous said...

You know what mac,

I think you're a lot smarter than you might give yourself credit for.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Anonymous.

Anonymous usually has everybody's best interests at heart. On a personal level they've made me question deeply held values and created space in my stony heart for the roots of a new 'brotherhood of man.'

How about you mac?