Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nostalgia Goggles

When I criticize someone for being blinded by Nostalgia, it's never to criticize them for liking something.  I completely disagree with the whole "people only like it because their Nostalgic for it" attitude.  Any movie or TV show or song or Cartoon or Game has to do something right in order to become something people will be nostalgic for.

There seems to be an attitude that kids will just enjoy anything, and then Nostalgia will make some unwilling to see it's flaws as an adult.  Well I can tell you that is false.  I have Anti-Nostalgia for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I was made to watch that in school (I still don't see how a movie about a magical chocolate factory was educational) and I hated every minute of it.  Now I am willing to acknowledge it must have done something right if lots of other people like it, but whatever it did right is not something I can relate to at all.

There are other things I failed to enjoy as a kid that I can appreciate now.  Like ironically enough The Lion King, I was a hater of that movie when I was little.

If you're Nostalgic for something, that is proof it was good.  Your inability to enjoy it now that you're older doesn't invalidate it, it just means what you enjoy has changed, and that's fine.  I personally however think it's a good thing that I can still enjoy just about everything I liked as a kid, and that maturity has only increased and never decreased what I can enjoy.

So when Digibro says something like "I enjoyed Sonic Adventure 2 as a kid, but I know it's a bad game now".  I just laugh at him.  If anything, when it comes to media made for kids, you should perhaps consider that their opinion on it is more valid then an adult's.  I however still like the Sonic Adventure games.

The Nostalgia Filter is a bad thing only when it causes people to constantly trash what's new in comparison to the equivalents they grew up with.  Constantly being annoyed at tolerance of weaknesses in modern media that absolutely existed in what they grew up with, but are selectively ignoring.  We see this with Star Wars Prequel haters, and with lots of other nerdy media.

Popcorn action films have always been ridiculous.  Mainstream Hip Hop has always included a lot of songs that don't hold up well under lyrical scrutiny.  SciFi has always tended to be more Fi then Sci.  And Anime has always been pretty formulaic.

Pro-Wrestling is the one form of entertainment media where I fear that I have or will become what I hate on this issue.

I'm Nostalgic for plenty of other stuff.  But no where else do I fail to see the value in what's new.  With Music I feel I have definitely become less harsh of a critic.  My preferences with Anime are very much post 2000, I am perhaps the Anti-thesis of ThatAnimeSnob even more so then Digibro.  My favorite Live Action Western TV show is one that just ended, Pretty Little Liars.  And Superhero movies have definitely only gotten better.  And I think Frozen is the absolute best Disney film.

Now with Video Games, I'm definitely a Retro-Gamer, I like 8 and 16 bit the best. But it's never with a lack of ability with get why people would enjoy newer fully 3D stuff.

But Pro-Wrestling, especially the WWE, is something where I can rarely get why anyone still tolerates it.  Now there are lots of things you can point to as objective evidence that the quality has gone down, Raw's Ratings have been consistently low.  And I've seen on YouTube lots of Wrestling fans younger then me, who wouldn't have grown up on the Attitude Era in the same way, expressing similar frustrations.  And the Crowds in the arenas mostly seem apathetic to what is going on.

The thing is, to some extent I've been feeling this way since 2000, since we were still in the Attitude Era, a year many people think was the WWF's best.  But it's gone up and down.  The last time I was truly excited about Wrestling was in 2013 and early 2014, the year of Daniel Bryan.  So it's definitely at it's worst now, I feel like I was being a stupid picky douche for not getting the Ruthless Aggression era when I compare it to what's going on now.

And meanwhile the Pre-Atitude area periods of WWF where they weren't doing that well financially, from 92-96, are periods where I enjoy most of what I've watched from it.  So I still fear my Nostalgia Goggles are a major factor in why I can't enjoy it now.

But at least I'm self aware about it. 


  1. It is interesting when we think of nostalgia. It can fog our memory, but as you said - it does not invalidate that things were enjoyable to us in the past. It does not make children's shows less enjoyable to children. Some things we grow out of or are only interested in it for a season. Other things hold up to people of various ages. It's a good point. Well said.