I’m not sure exactly what to call this thing I witness in a lot of younger people. It’s a sort of nostalgia for a time and events and things that they’re too young to remember. It is some undefined time period that pre-dates them. It’s not the pining for a lost future like hauntology but a real, tangible ache for some unspecified “good ol’ days.” It’s unclear when or what but they seem truly sad for it. It’s kind of like they feel there is no future so they want to rewind the clock and have a huge, cosmic-level do-over. A replay. Another chance to live it.
Maybe they are right. It’s not even like the do-over is to do things right or differently. There is no right or different. Just an again, because they aren’t ready for everything to be over. They aren’t ready to call the party over and go home, wherever home is.
I’m reminded of a co-worker who recently carried on to me about Dave Matthews Band, who certainly recorded all their most memorable (if any of it was memorable) hits when she was an infant (hard to believe it’s been that long).
“It was such a vibe!”
Like she missed it. Living vicariously through a parent maybe? I don’t know. She seemed pained. I don’t know. They were painful to me but it was a pain I’d rather forget. Well, let’s not be dramatic. They were more like an itch. I walk by the bars in the East Village and Hoboken though and they are playing all the bland pop hits of the 90s and maybe a few from the 80s. Where do they learn about this stuff? Has it all started to pop up in television soundtracks? The young people are keening for it though.
Was it a better time then? I don’t think it was. It was truly more simple but overall I’d have to say it was a harder time. We had to work harder for less. It was simple though. It was more morally uncomplicated. I can say that, but is this what the kids are going through and feeling?
I have to listen, maybe.