Saturday, November 12, 2011

1980s Ditto

1980s Ditto
The eternal recurrence of things that rock...

Nostalgia is like "hypochrondria of the heart" ... from a passing ailment to an incurable modern condition. 

Who of us born in the 70s - who hit the throws of adolescence in the 80s - could not look at these images without the distinctly warm feeling that accompanies a romp through our memories?

The mysteries and rhythms of longing are perhaps no where more prominent in my mind than in Emma Lazarus's poem: The New Colossus.  

Lazarus took Lady Liberty from what was considered "an aggressive monument" into the notion "Liberty Enlightening the World" ...

Trying to make sense of nostalgia for times past is like trying to make perfect toast without having to pull down the lever a second time. 

It's not just the objects that bring this warm feeling about. It's the memories associated with playing Rubix cube for the first time, wondering if you'd ever get it back the way it came, wondering why you didn't write down each step on paper instead of thinking you could put it back together into its original solid colored cubic state. 

These warm feelings also come from our longing for the friends and family members we knew then...

In the 80s' we learned that it was cool to wear sunglasses at night...

And in advertisements.

Images of times past are great intellectual companions who make us miss them.  In this regard, nostalgic objects, images, and videos should be pre-packaged with a "get out of Nostalgia free card"

Sometimes the nostalgia doesn't come from either of these two elements, but rather a longing for a ritual gesture known from the movies, television advertisements, or the "buzz" around school. When I think of Atari, the first thing that hits my brain is thoughts of "new" "quality" "better games" because these were the words my friends associated to Atari when they told me about it for the first time. 

We stood in line for ET for what felt like an eternity. A few kids boasted that they had already seen it and that this was their "2nd, 3rd, or 4th time" seeing it. Show-offs! 

The crowd of people lined up to see the movie extended outside the doors of the theater. Everyone was anxiously waiting, laughing, and conjecturing about this mysterious movie. Mysterious because the producers of the film marketed the movie with just the letters: ET.

Phone home ET, phone home...

How'd this picture of my cousin and her family, circa 1986, get in here? 

After like 50-million tries, I resolved myself to the idea that my Rubix cube actually looked better when it wasn't a solid color on all sides. 

Nostalgia (from nostos - return home, and algia - longing) is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one's own fantasy. - Svetlana Boym. 

I would have never survived the 80s had it not been for my MTV......

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