New Here?
     
Posts tagged "Nostalgia"

Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

Grateful for this incredible piece by Nate Mills:

When I was 3 or 4 I had an apocalyptic vision. It may not have been as otherworldly as the Ancient of Days appearing in resplendent glory like in Daniel 7, but it was unmistakably surreal. My family was taking a road trip from our home in rural Canada across the 49th parallel when, as we crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit, it appeared: Michigan Central Station, blazing in decrepit glory before my eyes. I was entranced.

Abandoned since 1989, the stunning 18-story neoclassical building appeared as a monolith presiding ominously over the Detroit…

Read More > > >

Another Week Ends: Mandating Happiness, Facetuning Your Face, The Never-Ever Golden Age, and The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

Another Week Ends: Mandating Happiness, Facetuning Your Face, The Never-Ever Golden Age, and The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere

Click here to listen to this week’s episode of The Mockingcast, which features an interview with psychologist and ‘experimental theologian’ Richard Beck, author of Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted.

1. The New Yorker asked last week whether or not you can mandate happiness? Looking specifically at workplaces—workplaces that are basing their strategy from positive psychology and “science of happiness” studies—the article describes that happiness (believe it or not, people!) triggers better personal relationships in the workplace, and thus higher productivity. What the studies do not show, though, is that that happiness cannot be…

Read More > > >

The Magnetism of the Exiled Soul to Stranger Things

The Magnetism of the Exiled Soul to Stranger Things

The most succinct way to describe Stranger Things is to say that it’s Steven Spielberg meets Stephen King–meets Netflix. It’s eight episodes and totally watchable in one week, or one night, depending on how willing you are to sacrifice your REMs. (Be warned: You’ll find it hard to finish one episode and resist at least watching the incredible opening credits for the next.)

Stranger Things tells the story of Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) who, like the woman searching for coins (Lk 15), frantically searches for her missing son, Will; meanwhile Will’s group of motley twelve-year-old friends, who have also been searching for him, stumble across…

Read More > > >

Giving Up the Ghost Dance

Giving Up the Ghost Dance

This Advent I’m going Southern and weird for my daily devotional. I’ll be standing in this season of anticipation and light with a copy of Rodger Lyle Brown’s Ghost Dancing on the Cracker Circuit placed firmly in my hand.

In the early 1990’s Brown traveled the southeastern United States visiting Mayberry Days, hillbilly festivals, and street parades that celebrate Hernando De Soto. You know, “fun” stuff for southern white folks. He documents a people trying desperately to hang onto their past:

I’d been to a Rattlesnake Roundup, Swine Time, the North Carolina Tobacco Festival of Clarkton, Inc., and now the International Banana…

Read More > > >

Idols of Nostalgia and the Downfall of Doc Huxtable

Idols of Nostalgia and the Downfall of Doc Huxtable

It’s hard to cross the Internet these days without reading an update on Bill Cosby’s falling star. As of this writing, a planned NBC comeback sitcom has been cancelled, and other new initiatives (like an ill-conceived social media meme push) have been met with anger and sarcasm. Perhaps most salient: TV Land has quietly stopped airing reruns of The Cosby Show, the sitcom that rocketed Bill Cosby to the national spotlight in the 80s. I missed the golden years of Dr. Huxtable and clan on The Cosby Show, so I’ve been discovering in tandem the tremendous legacy of hope that was Cosby’s acting work…

Read More > > >

Aphex Twin's Syro and the Joy of Forgetting (and Remembering)

Aphex Twin’s Syro and the Joy of Forgetting (and Remembering)

Enigmatic and revered electronic artist Aphex Twin (real name Richard D. James) released his long awaited new album, Syro, last week, ending a 13-year hiatus that followed his previous album, Drukqs. The new album is–in true Aphex Twin form–a colossally dense and impeccably composed piece of electronic music that morphs, warps, and toils considerably for its 65 minute run time. This tends to make for a somewhat unsettling listen in places (given the harsh and, in some cases, terrifying sounds he exuded during much of his 90s output, it’s not unexpected). As soon as you get your footing on a…

Read More > > >

Mama Liked the Roses (And So Did T.S. Eliot): Deciphering "Burnt Norton" - Part 1

Mama Liked the Roses (And So Did T.S. Eliot): Deciphering “Burnt Norton” – Part 1

Eliot’s Four Quartets remain among his most critically acclaimed and notoriously inscrutable works. Although there’s no established consensus on the precise meaning of these poems, they’ve all been viewed as meditations on time, each focusing on a particular aspect of this central reality of human life. Constantly going back to the Quartets and always enjoying them, this summer I’ve taken it upon myself to try and tease out some of the questions and ideas Eliot develops. Feel free to comment with other takes on the poem.

In “Burnt Norton,” Eliot struggles with the contingency of the past: there was a genuinely…

Read More > > >

Cartoon Nostalgia, Cartoon Revolution, Part 3: Cartoon Morality in Transformers

Cartoon Nostalgia, Cartoon Revolution, Part 3: Cartoon Morality in Transformers

With Transformers 3 less than a week away, we present the third installment of Jeremiah Lawson’s excellent four-part series on Cartoon Nostalgia, in which our hero takes a hard look at moral undercurrents in the Transformers universe. And speaking of nostalgia (and golden ageism), if you haven’t yet seen Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, it’s a delightful look at the same subject, and one that comes to similar conclusions:

When certain friends of mine saw the Transformers movie in 1986, they reported, “Honestly, it was pretty lame. It was kinda cool that Optimus Prime died but it was done in a…

Read More > > >

Cartoon Nostalgia, Cartoon Revolution, Part 1: Blasts From the Past Keep on Blasting

Cartoon Nostalgia, Cartoon Revolution, Part 1: Blasts From the Past Keep on Blasting

We are very excited to present the first installment of our new four-part series from resident animation expert/philosopher Jeremiah Lawson aka Wenatchee the Hatchet, this time exploring the roots of Hollywood’s increasingly absurd obsession with 80s cartoons (Transformers, Alvin & The Chipmunks, GI Joe, etc etc etc).

“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

It is an irrefutable cultural law that popularity waxes and wanes in twenty year cycles. Twenty years being roughly the amount of time it takes for a generation of children to…

Read More > > >

Nostalgia and Spiritual Longing

From Svetlana Boym’s The Future of Nostalgia:

Modern nostalgia is a mourning for the impossibility of mythical return, for the loss of an enchanted world with clear borders and values; it could be a secular expression of a spiritual longing, a nostalgia for an absolute, a home that is both physical and spiritual, the edenic unity of time and space before entry into history. The nostalgic is looking for a spiritual addressee. Encountering silence, he looks for memorable signs, desperately misreading them.