If you were about forty years old when Oasis released their first album or, a few years later, when Tony Blair became Prime Minister for the first time, then the chances are you remember the 1960’s. Yet, I don't ever remember my parents turning forty and exhibiting a strong sense of nostalgia for the 60’s. The remaining members of the Beetles didn't reform for a reunion tour. Joni Mitchell didn't rerelease a remastered version of Blue, and, as far as I can remember my parents didn't start wearing retro remakes of 60’s clothing classics and just continued wearing, what were then, to a teenage boy, hideously embarrassing clothes — leather sandals and socks et al.
But that was the 90’s right? The narrative arc of the dominant social consensus was bending towards optimism; peaking at that hideous moment when Blair danced to D:ream, Noel went to Downing Street, Damian cut cows in half and Myra Hindley had her portrait painted with the hands of children — and we all went hand in hand, hand in hand through our parklife.
The need for nostalgia was negated and had delegated itself to the surge in collective optimism.
But if you, like me, have recently turned 40, it’s different. Nostalgia is fuelled by fear and in an uncertain age where fear cannot be masked by optimism, nostalgia breeds— I’m halfway through, what about my pension, kids, mortgage, job, savings etc… and so our fears are delegated to remakes of the T.V shows we grew up with, the trainers we wore when we were 16, the music we listened to and the celebrities we idolised (except for those who are now in prison).
The comfort blanket of nostalgia soothing the fears of this uncertain age.
I’m not necessarily saying its wrong; i’m just saying that it is.
That fear is the fuel of nostalgia and nostalgia is a powerful collective assemblage fuelling the capitalist machine, which itself feeds on fear.