It’s not hard to find articles about Nineties nostalgia, many of which begin with this kind of personal narrative about one’s emotional connection with a cultural object. Though enjoyable, such pieces often fail to ask a single critical question about Snick, Metropolitan, ‘NSync, Beanie Babies, or whatever. Their discussions remain rooted in emotional reactions, barely departing from claims like “I LOVE Land of the Lost and you should watch it on Netflix Instant!” They end up saying little about either the object or about nostalgia itself. Perhaps more importantly, readers often feel entirely left out of such articles if they don’t already have affection for the thing being discussed. Nostalgia pieces can seem incredibly defensive, precisely because they focus on feelings, and not on ideas. They defiantly insist that the joy in revisiting the near past resides in reproducing the experience of falling in love again. And if you’re not already in love, too bad....

....An overdose on nostalgia for the things we once treasured often does them injustice by simplifying our memories of them. In the worst cases, it prevents us from seeing what they actually say about the world.

--AJ Aronstein, Calvin and Hobbes and the Trouble with Nostalgia (via Ian)

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