Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nostalgia (for the Obama Era) Isn't What It Used To Be

Inspired by the Mad Men phenomenon, The New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnick observes that "nostalgia"--that pining for/obsession with/warm glow with which past eras are painted--tends to follow a 40 year pattern. That is, in the 1940s, the first great age of nostalgia, they longed for the good old days of the oughts (think Meet Me in St. Louis and Take Me Out to the Ball Game); 1960s, the Mad Men era, they had a thing for the 1920s; in the 1970s, for the dirty Thirties (although I seem to most recall fondness for the 50s--hence the popularity of Grease, Sha Na Na and American Grafitti); and, now, in our oughts, we seem to crave the 1960s. "And so," concludes Gopnick,
if we can hang on, it will be in the twenty-fifties that the manners and meanings of the Obama era will be truly revealed: only then will we know our own essence.
The 2050s?! America should only live so long. Because of the, ahem, Obama era, the American economy is on track to be defunct by 2027.

No comments: