Nostalgia is a very weird thing. What’s nostalgic for some may not be nostalgic for others.
For example, people who grew up in the 80s fondly remember the song “Take On Me” and the iconic music video that went with the song. However, I was born in 1990, so I don’t have any real memories of hearing that song as a kid or seeing the music video. However, if you ask me if I recall the theme song to Sailor Moon, I can pretty much sing it by heart. Also, I was too young for the target audience of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and yet my afternoons as a kid still revolved around a blonde teenage girl from California…she just lived in Beverly Hills and went by the name of Cher Horowitz. Yep, I watched Clueless the TV series. As well as Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
What prompted this trip down memory lane? Nostalgia Critic’s video about the Disney Afternoon. Unfortunately, as much as I loved watching this guy’s reviews I had no nostalgic recollection of coming home after school to watch the Disney Afternoon. Whenever I came home from school, I would usually do my homework first. However, I did remember One Saturday Morning, which was something that Critic mentioned.
No, my childhood at the time consisted of a mix of Fox Kids (to watch Power Rangers), Nickelodeon’s shows, and Toonami.
Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflection talks about what we take with us when we die. This brings me to the funniest thing about nostalgia: hindsight.
The word “nostalgia” implies yearning, a longing for something happy from the past. But sometimes, hindsight removes that filter we put around our nostalgic memories and makes us see them for what they really are.
For example, when I was a kid, I used to watch Beast Wars. When I found it on Netflix, I was super excited to watch it again…but it wasn’t as cool as I remembered it. The show overall was hammy and sometimes the dialogue was seriously laughable. But it still holds up okay.
That same hindsight can apply to our past actions. Are there parts of our lives we look back on with more fondness than we ought to? I mean, there are people out there making movies about how nostalgia can turn into a nightmare. Sometimes the things from our past that seemed right at the time may not hold up now.
In the end, we can’t even take our own memories with us.