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Nostalgia is a Factor

black and silver cassette player
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Rugby Versus Football

A few months ago in Saigon, I watched a rugby match with British friends. It was the 2003 World Cup championship game between England and Australia on YouTube. Most rugby fans argue it was the greatest of all time. Though I didn’t understand the logistics of rugby, it was entertaining. Throughout the game, I would debate with my British friends like I would with some of my Australian, South African, and New Zealand colleagues about which was more exciting to watch between this and American football. Most of them were convinced rugby was better while I was convinced football was. For the longest time, many insisted the latter was a game for pansies because football players wear helmets and padding. Little did they know football players are get hit harder than their rugby counterparts. They couldn’t argue once we watched videos of the different types of tackles. Most rugby players pile atop each other and aim for the lower body. Football players are getting crushed and speared often. It’s like driving a car 20 MPH without a seat belt getting rear ended versus going 50 MPH with a seat belt getting hit in a head on collision. It’s tantamount to cyclones and low-pressure storms. Hurricane Katrina did more damage to New Orleans than Gustav because of how they made landfall. Both were equally powerful, but Gustav sideswiped the Crescent City. Katrina was more devastating because it T-boned the Big Easy. Its storm surge was stronger. The bottom line is you can’t compare the two.

Yesterday, Today, and the Future

This relates to my article the other day about old people whining about how the world today isn’t like it was in the past. The draconian discipline they used when they were young wouldn’t fly in most developed countries. Back in their day, things seemed rosy because nobody talked about the problems they moan about. The divorce and drug abuse rates weren’t as high then as they are now, nor was the income disparity. Baby boomers who scorn millennials about their work ethic or lack thereof didn’t inherit the mess the millennials did. The boomers were spoiled, too, so let’s not kid ourselves here. They were born after World War Ii. None of them lived through the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl. Minimum wage was livable when they were young, and the boomers only needed a high school diploma to find a good job not a college degree and experience. The economy wasn’t in the worst shape since the Great Depression when the baby boomers traversed the stage in their caps and gowns. Most of them weren’t overqualified or had to work two jobs to make ends meet. Neither the Gen X’ers nor the millennials were old enough to vote for Ronald Reagan who implemented trickle-down economics. I was in kindergarten when Reagan got elected. Almost every socioeconomic problem in society I hear folks over 50 bellyache over has been around since the time I started school.

The Nostalgia Factor

I think the real factor is nostalgia. The reason I find football more entertaining than rugby is because I was born and raised in Texas. It’s like a religion where I’m from. It stands to reason I would pick football because that’s the sport I grew up with and vice versa. This reminds of the movie No Country for Old Men. The sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones has cognitive dissonance throughout the film. He grows more cynical as he reaches retirement because the man realizes he wasn’t fitted for the times in which he lived. I imagine the Gen X’ers and millennials will share the same sentiment about society after the baby boomers kick the bucket and the iGeneration enters the workforce. I’m sure we’ll claim pop culture is awful and that the music from the next era has no substance and try telling those kids how much more talented Katy Perry, Adele, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj were. We’ll rehash how hard things were during the Great Recession and how the Trump Administration wrecked America. Meanwhile, new problems with the environment will emerge. Then we’ll start shaming the iGeneration for using fossil fuels instead of green technology when we’ve had the wherewithal since the 70’s. We’ll place the onus on the iGeneration though the baby boomers and Gen X’ers left massive carbon footprints. Of that I’m certain.

Welcome to Synthwave

This is why I surmise the best way to keep everyone happy and prevent elderly people from losing their minds is with novelties. I got addicted to that show Stranger Things because I grew up during the 80’s. Chronologically, I’d be part of Generation X. However, I was born in 1979 at the tail end and the cusp between Generation X and the millennials. I was raised with the latter, and most of my friends are millennials. The aforementioned program got me hooked because of the musical score, moreover. I’m happy to be alive when synthwave music is popular. For those who don’t know, that’s like new wave music from the 80’s born again during the teens. It’s made a comeback the same way swing did in 1997 with bands like Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Squirrel Nut Zippers. You can’t call it newer wave, so they gave it other names like synthwave, retrowave, and futuresynth. That genre began with the resurgence of the synthesizer from bands like Foster the People and with the musical score from the 2011 crime drama Drive. Bands like The Midnight, Gunship, Electric Youth, and others have followed suit. That music soothes my soul because it reminds me of movies I’d seen during the 80’s with soundtracks by Tangerine Dream and such. Said bands have even had videos paying homage to that era.

How to Live Our Golden Years

For all we know, hair metal and grunge music might make a comeback during the 20s to make middle-aged Gen X’ers feel young again. There have been studies suggesting music helps treat Alzheimer patients. I remember seeing an expose where folks in a nursing home would listen to jazz and other music popular during their youth. It helped trigger memories and kept their neurotransmitters functioning. Therefore, I declare they should have drive-in movie theaters in retirement areas showing classic pictures from their time. If novelties keep us happy and allow us to reminisce about the good old days, I see nothing wrong with this practice. Ultimately, this is where I’ve reached my conclusion towards older people reflecting upon their glory days and the British, Australian, South African, and New Zealand expats favoring rugby over American football. These are the novelties they grew up with, and it’s all they know. The philosophies and customs are what they’re most familiar with. They’re not used to things out of the ordinary which they hadn’t witnessed during their youth. Last but not least, nostalgia is a powerful emotion.


2 thoughts on “Nostalgia is a Factor”

  1. Dustin I enjoyed reading this sectipn of your blog. I wish I could be experiencing some of the things you ‘ve been able to do. Like chatting with various friends from different countries not necessarily regarding sports but music, animals , favorite writers & movies. ☺
    And you are so right about Nostalgia is a powerful emotion! I still get choked up every time I watch that music video When You Grow Up………by Gunship.
    I hope you are doing well Dustin and enjoying your visit in the States. xx

    1. Glad to know I’ve piqued your interest. Nostalgia is so powerful that it tends to affect our judgment and our own beliefs. That’s the argument I was making, Bridget. 🙂

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