LUV - Cor, the past. Wonnit brilliant?
Trains used to be brilliant. Do you remember? In the past, they made proper chugga-chugga train noises, and had smoking carriages and slam-doors, and this lent the everyday a frisson of danger of death from fire or decapitation. It was a simpler, more exciting time.
Last night, whereas, I was on a packed train, jammed into the armpit of a man who was watching Mock the Week on his iPad. He was wearing earphones, which meant he couldn’t hear that he was a) giggling girlishly and repeating “oh Frankie Boyle, Frankie Boyle.” or b) producing the wettest, most rattling, snot-filled sniffs I have ever had the misfortune to listen to in close proximity. For about an hour.
This couldn’t have happened in the past. Five years ago we wouldn’t have had the technology. Ten years ago people would have habitually carried hankies, and forcibly offered the man one. TWENTY years ago, he would have been burned as a witch.
THE PAST IS BRILLIANT.
Look, I grew up in the 1980s. I had a hot-pink onesie, day-glo socks, a giant candy-striped hula hoop that, for reasons beyond my comprehension, was scented with peppermint. I also had a BMX, a pair of ACE red suede rollerboots, AND A FUCKING PONY. Of course I’m going to reminisce.
It was a wonderful time to be a child. I got to enjoy Transformers the first time round; Battle of the Planets and the fuzzy-felt Moomins the second time round; AND I had plenty of opportunities to learn to deal with casual and inaccurate racism!
The 1980s made me the adult I am now. I thank them for it, and I often think back nostalgically to these days.
But that’s sort of all I do. I’m not the sort of dickhead who honks on and on about fucking deelypoppers and space hoppers. My ideal nostalgic conversation would go like this:
THEM: “Hey Robyn, do you remember Button Moon?”
ME: “Why yes I do. Thank you for reminding me. Now please go about your day.”
Because I don’t need to endlessly reference the past in conversation. That’s why we have nostalgia TV specials featuring Stuart Maconie and Gina Yashere.
Wait, do they even make those any more?
- Robyn Wilder
HAT - Remember when all your Facebook updates had to be clunky present-tense third-person eyesores like ‘Stuart is wanting porridge’? Remember how funny that was? You do? Well fuck you then, you dreadful nostalgia arsehole.
I hate nostalgia. I hate comedians who’ve built entire careers by remembering what a Rubik’s Cube was. I hate people who walk around with Lomo cameras even though THERE’S A BETTER FUCKING CAMERA ON YOUR PHONE NOW, YOU MINDLESS DIPSHIT. I’d rather cut my eyes out with a pair of garden scissors than acknowledge that Boy Meets World was ever a thing.
I’m quite fastidious about my hatred of nostalgia. For example, I’ve become convinced that my entire childhood was spent eating brown poison in a hole. If I had my way, I’d build a time machine and use it to destroy every single thing that has ever happened in the history of the planet. Yes, that’d mean undoing millennia of human progress – including the moment that I built the time machine itself, ultimately leaving me stranded in a hellish limbo for all of eternity – but it’d probably be worth it never to hear the fucking Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune ever again.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that the only person who hates the past more than me is that A Child Called It guy, and he’s probably nostalgic for the time he got rich from writing that book about his rubbish childhood. On the other hand, I’m never pleased with anything I’ve done. I even hate that last sentence I wrote, because I wrote it 15 seconds ago, back when EVERYTHING was SHIT.
Most of all, I hate Facebook nostalgia. Almost without exception, my old schoolmates have grown up to be angry, illiterate, immigrant-hating Uncle Ricos desperate to return to the mid-1990s, because back then they weren’t trapped in a meaningless job to support their loveless marriage that only happened because of an accidental teenage pregnancy. And this has meant that they now spend their days filling up Facebook with guff like this:
Oh boo hoo, now is so terrible because there are more television channels and you can use telephones outdoors and computers exist (even though they existed back then anyway) and sweets are more expensive (but only if you ignore inflation) and kids don’t sing at schools any more (although they obviously do, you ridiculous backwards-facing shithead).
Look, it’s 2013. Everything exists at the same time now. Want to be nostalgic? Knock yourself out. Gladiators is on Challenge TV most days. It’s terrible. It looks like it was filmed in an abandoned carpet showroom, everyone wears nylon and John Fashanu keeps saying ‘Awooga’. Want to buy some penny sweets? Go into literally any branch of Top Shop and you can remind yourself how inedible they are. Miss Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex? Go and watch it on YouTube. Also, you’re a cunt.
And this will only get worse. Soon, people much younger than you will start reminiscing about how Britain was great back when Take Me Out was on television and none of One Direction had killed themselves in horrible jetski accidents.
So you’ll retreat further back into your own past, sharing Facebook posts that say “If you remember sharing that Facebook post about remembering watching Baywatch, then you remember when Britain was not quite as great as it was back then but still better than it is now” and then you’ll all start wearing nappies and pooing a lot because you’ll don’t like the responsibility of being an adult in the present day. In summary: fuck you.
- Stuart Heritage