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“Nostalgia is the file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

on April 23, 2012

Doug Larsen

When I am studying in the reading room of the Zell B. Miller Learning Center with my iPad, I almost always put on my beats and use Pandora to listen to music.  This morsel of information is more revealing than you’d think at first glance.  See, with about 20g of music stored on my iPad, there is no shortage of music from any genre that could entertain my ears for a few hours.  The reason I use Pandora is that when I type in a song I like, it plays thousands more just like it, many of which I have not heard before.  Why is that good news?

Well, I love 90’s music.  And when I listen to semi-charmed life, I want to hear thousands more songs like it.  Problem is, I only have hundred of songs like it, and sometimes I don’t want to hear wonder wall or bittersweet symphony, I want something fresh.  But, I was young in the 90’s.  I didn’t know all the great songs born during the .com era and certainly don’t have all the great albums from Blues Traveler.  So Pandora teaches me song after song from the Friends era.

And sometimes, while Pandora plays a particularly melodious tune, I get nostalgic.  How great were the nineties, man?  I mean I start to think about how cool the 90’s were, and I lose it.  Let’s see, besides  Weezer, U2, Greenday, Hootie, The Verve, Pearl Jam, Sublime, the Goo Goo Dolls, Sugar Ray, Everclear, we had Eminem, Ja Rule, Snoop, Dre, BIG, Tupac, Puff Daddy, Shakira, and Christina. Jordan and the Bulls were dominating the Jazz, the Lakers, the Celtics and everyone in their path.  WWF was in its prime with Steve Austin and the Undertaker and the Rock all making their start.  ’99 Lance wins the Tour de France.  We had Gretsky, and our president played the saxophone!

Look, girls wore scrunci’s and butterfly clips and chased Waterfalls with TLC, while boys stole pogs and played pokemon (either the card version or the gameboy version (either the red yellow or blue version)).  My shoes either lit up or had pumps, and I was probably the only child allowed to have neither a gigapet nor a furby.  I did have an N-64, and I beat the legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye 007.  We read goosebumps and tried to rollerblade.  Back to school meant new blinding trapper-keepers designed by Lisa Frank and the end of summer power ranger super soaker wars.  (As far as I knew, the pink ranger and Lara Croft were the world’s only sex symbols.)

Oh what a Golden Age!  We had so much brilliant TV- from Boy Meets world and the complete Nickelodeon line up (that one’s worth clicking) to sitcoms- Friends, Raymond, Fresh Prince, Full House, Family Matters,  and that 70’s show.  MTV had TRL and Real World/Road Rules.  And if you had a computer in the same room as your TV, you could watch while you went online (remember the sound the computer used to make?)  and chatted away in a chat room on AIM.  First we had really big floppy disks, then 3 1/2″, then ZIP, then CD’s.

And as I reminisce, I start to remember all the great things about high school, and then college.  I start to miss it all.  What has the world come to that I have to listen to the Beibs and Selena Gomez or GAGA, who wears meat dresses, on my way to school?  How has TV disintegrated to Duck Dynasty and Jersey Shore?  How is Lebron the best player in the NBA?

This is a very dangerous game to play, for after not too much effort you have spent hours thinking about the past, dwelling on it.  What’s worse is that we remember all of the great parts and forget the horrible things.  It’s some messed up human psychology trick, the same one that makes the grass always greener on the other side.  It’s actually probably a really good thing we remember the good stuff, because let’s see how much of this you remember about the 90’s:

Baseball went on strike.  A pipe-bomb exploded at the Atlanta olympics.  Diana.  Columbine.  Andrew. Anti-globalization protests.  Y2k. LA Earthquakes.  I’m sure there are more.

So what’s my point?  Before you get caught up in how great the past was, think instead about how you might spend your energy making today better.  

Have a great week everybody.



One response to ““Nostalgia is the file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

  1. […] “Nostalgia is the file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.” ( […]

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