Have you noticed how “nostalgia” sells? This hit me like an antique butter churn the other day as I was watching television, and so many of the commercials have incorporated “old rock” music into their marketing spiels. And we can say, “Yes I remember that one!” We might even say, “Hey, that was our song!”
As well, many radio stations have revamped as “oldies” stations. That has a lot to do with nostalgia along with the fact that the stuff they record today so often sounds like cats dying inside a shooting gallery. I tried to listen to some “modern” rock the other day, and if I’m not mistaken, they used only two chords in one particular piece, and they repeated the same lyrics over and over. For the most part it sounded like someone was just pouting out loud and there just happened to be someone in the background practicing his guitar lessons.
As for rap, I don’t even consider that music. You only need to play one chord. And so much of it is so vulgar and downright nasty, I’m embarrassed by it even being in my vicinity. I just can’t see some guy saying to his wife many years later, “Hey baby, they’re playing our old song ... you know, the one where he pops a cap in his old lady!”
Yes, nostalgia sells. People like to reminisce in various genres. And they like to have physical stuff around them that reminds them of another time.
Just look at how many people are going back to tin roofs. I remember as a kid when we took the tin off the old farm house and put on shingles. And then we covered tongue and groove heart pine with paneling.
Now we’re ripping the paneling off and restoring the tongue and groove. I’m not sure if that’s about nostalgia or if we just realized what a mistake we made, and now we’re fixing it.
And we do make mistakes. Take double-knit suits for instance. No one is going back to them in nostalgic mode. They were a mistake.
I have an old cross-cut saw hanging in my den. It’s in good shape and would still work if you had two people who actually knew how to use it.
I can still hear my dad instructing me, “Pull it! Don’t push it!”
Now some people long for those days and talk about them fondly. I can remember them fondly because of the associations with the people and the peripheral good times that were had. But I don’t want to go back there except in my mind.
There can be a fine line between nostalgia and nausea. I have no desire to get up again at 4 a.m. and unload a barn of cured tobacco. Then go eat a hearty breakfast after which I would wade into a sea of dew-soaked buffalo grass to harvest more tobacco. Well, the hearty breakfast thing is still good, but the other...naw, I’ll pass.
Some people love antiques. They collect stuff they never had any close association with but it looks good on a shelf. They may even make up stories about them. Someone once said that the best stories are about remembering things that never happened.
I tend to collect things that I have a direct relation to, such as the block and tackle set, a sugar cane stripper, a corn sheller, a well pulley, a brace and bit set, — things I’ve actually put my hands to.
But while nostalgia sells, I didn’t purchase any of this stuff. I just saved it. And it’s not for sale. You won’t find me on that TV show “Pawn Stars” trying to get a few bucks for it. I’ll hand it down to my son along with the stories that go with it. For now they are just reminders. I walk out of my den on my way to work and I look back at that cross-cut saw and I realize what a great day I have ahead of me. It’s sort of therapeutic that way.