Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Nostalgia

Word is getting around that Lindsay Lohan did a recent pictorial tribute to Marilyn Monroe-- at the behest of the original photographer. As I understand it, she used the same poses (including a blonde wig), the same frilly handkerchief thingies, the same backdrop.

It got me thinking about nostalgia; and my generation's seeming obsession with it. If our entertainment is any yardstick, we're positively hooked. Half the shows on the air are based on former incarnations of the same, from the seventies and eighties. A Get Smart movie is coming out this summer. Let's not forget last year's god-awful Transformers movie, cashing in on twenty-somethings' fond memories of their collective childhood. G.I. Joe isn't far behind. Remake after remake after remake.

Where's it end? Where's the good original material? We seem fixated on re-creating as much from our past as possible. But the problem is, it isn't going to be as good. The nature of the echo is to fade. What's more, these moments we're evoking-- are they worth the effort? Really? Last summer, prior to seeing the Michael Bay atrocity that was Transformers, a friend had a group of us over to his house to watch old episodes of the original cartoon to get us in the right mindset for the movie.

It left me flat. Not as good as I remember it being. Course, I was also seven when the show first premiered, not twenty-seven.

I'm not really sure where I'm trying to go with this. This weekend, when Andy was up for ToyFair, I mentioned that I wanted to put a list together of movies from our childhood that Oscar should see when he's old enough. They were good experiences that the little guy might not get otherwise. Who can say.

I just think it's possible (and easy) to get too bogged down with mementoes. We lose sight of what's new. Although, if what's new sucks; it's not much of an incentive not to hop in the mental way-back machine. Is it. Hurm.



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