Nostalgia and its Inferior Guardians

The inferior 4 have been posting of late about our culture’s out-of-control obesssion with nostalgia. Let’s not wonder what this says about, for example, their recent extensive coverage of 1960s novels.

Let’s follow them to my favorite paper, where there’s an article on how popular culture is increasingly defined by an unhealthy refusal to let go of the past. John Harris considers various explanations before deciding as follows.

The best bet, however, might be to recognise that fixating on the past is an in-built aspect of the human condition, but limited technology used to keep it in check… And now? Bandwidth and memory grow exponentially… The same technology that we once thought would propel us into a fast-changing future stokes nostalgic appetites and condemns us to a present so laden with repetition that it’s beginning to feed back on itself.

There are some good points in the ensuing online discussion. Of course, there was never ensuing online discussion in the days when I used to read my favorite paper on paper.