Thursday, December 29, 2016

I know statistically speaking fewer people will probably see it here than in the comments of the original video but I needed to vent just a little more.

Maybe I was just tired after spending the night before down at the ER dealing with a blood clot in my leg, but last week I watched a video about why we are "so nostalgic" and was offended by the simplistic way it attacked the question, from its lack of defining the question or the basic terms to the junk-science way it then tackled the self-fulfilling prophecy of its so-called thesis.

Here is the video, which originally I saw on Sploid but which is from something called "8 Bit Philosophy," which itself seems to exploit some nostalgia, both of which I would avoid in the future. Following it is the comment I quickly dashed off in my anger.

My comment:

Awesome! Cereal-box psychology! It makes sense as long as you don’t think about it.
If “nostalgia” doesn’t change, then changing the past to adapt our views of the new world — adapting Star Trek to terrorism — isn’t consistent with the definition of “nostalgia” they give. There was no talk of the Industrial Revolution-era workers ‘adapting’ King Arthur to address their more modern fears.
Also, it seems like ‘nostalgia’ is a pretty broad idea, if Mussolini’s nostalgia for fascism and modern people’s nostalgia for Full House are the same concept.
The ‘nostalgia’ feeling people get has a lot more to do with branding than with nostalgia or fear of an information revolution. The ‘revolution’ people are talking about is 17 years old, at least, and the things people are ‘nostalgic’ for include movies that are only 20 years old. A far cry from the nostalgia for the Roman Empire, which wasn’t so much nostalgia as it was adoption of a rallying cry and motif, the way our soldiers might put sharks on planes; it’s not that they’re secret icthyologists.
It’s just plain easier to sell a rando space opera as “Star Wars” branded ( than it is to create a whole new market: the old business adage that selling more to existing customers is easier than finding new customers applies no less to pop culture than to potato chips or cars (if “nostalgia” is so big why are there no retro cars?).
Moreover, where are the facts that we are any MORE nostalgic these days than in say the 1970s when Lucas was creating “American Graffiti” or the 1980s when they were making Indiana Jones movies — updating the old “serials” — and remaking ‘Clash of the Titans’ using old fashioned techniques.
I guess if you loosely define a word enough, and then don’t care about the comparisons you make, you can make ANYTHING sound smart. Watching this was a waste of 4 minutes (I stopped early.)


Andrew Leon said...

I didn't watch the video. I'm not feeling the need.
Psychology has already done a pretty decent job of explaining nostalgia, anyway, so you can just look it up rather than making up something.

My real question is
Are you okay?
I figured you were just busy with the holidays, not being in the hospital!

Briane Pagel said...

You can pretty much gather what the video was about. It's a joke. The website which posted it is part of the (former) Gawker site, which on another of their feeds spends time decrying how fake news stole the election. Then they go and post fake science.