This week, Brian and Eda get nostalgic.
Inspirational quotes are a mixed bag. In a primary school report Brian did on Lil Wayne (don’t ask why), he used the rapper’s quote: “that was my first time doing it. I’m trying to get better everyday.” Now, without context that might sound motivational, but unfortunately it was said about stage diving.
Luckily, despite the efforts of rappers named ‘Lil _’, ‘Big _’ or ‘$$generic name$$’ there exists quotes worth remembering. Dr. Seuss’ “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” is a mantra difficult to live by, but ultimately reaps the most reward in our life.
Since we’ve all made it to University, we don’t have to tell you how quickly life goes by. Today’s kids don’t even know what Maroon 5 is, let alone Britney. To digest this disappointment, we tell ourselves ‘we’re old’ and complain about constantly nagging back pain, when we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us. However, despite looking forward, it’s also important to take time to appreciate our past, and what led us here, for instance your Moshi Monster you once cared for so dearly, but is now probably dying of scurvy.
This week, we’re here to celebrate the good old days, mostly through rose-tinted glasses! Perhaps it’s a genuine conversation you had over Omegle, despite the ten dicks you were flashed on your way to getting to it. Or, perhaps it’s that first date you had with someone you knew was special, despite the ten dicks you had to turn away to get to them.
We rewatch old beloved TV shows and listen to music that got us through our tween crises, finding some sense of old-timey comfort, but also a great deal of awe at how media got away with certain representations 10-20 years ago, particularly around race and sexuality. I mean, Pitbull’s song about all of the different kinds of girls he fucked around the globe was the kind of tune that would be played at intermediate school discoes without anyone batting an eyelid.
Boomers in the Newshub comments section will probably tell you it’s PC gone mad, and no one can enjoy anything these days without getting offended. For us, it’s a signal of progress. If you’re not looking back at your year nine video assignments without cringing, then something is wrong. And if we’re not looking reflexively at the celebrated media that once inhabited the space of the early 2000s and thinking that we can do better, then that’s probably not good either.
Turns out though, retrospect is a powerful tool, and improvement is a cyclic process. Kids now will look back in 20 years and think, wow, Ed Sheeran just wasn’t it. But on a more constructive note, they’ll begin to question whether the culture of gaming they grew up with encourages toxicity and bullying behaviour, or whether their mainstream media has value outside of being addictive.
Kids these days think nostalgia means stumbling upon Maroon 5 and think, ‘wow, old music was pretty good.’ They just need their parents to show them a blonde lady in an air hostess costume and say ‘That’s Britney, bitch.’
Brian Gu (he/him) and Eda Tang (she/her)
Co-Editors of Craccum 2021