Posts tagged nostalgia
the thing about neoliberals/right-libertarians is that their supposed anti-statism is pure propaganda
the neoliberal project is utterly reliant on a pro-Capital interventionist state, interventionist both internally (e.g. bailouts, tax breaks) and in foreign policy (e.g. US installation of neoliberal dictatorships in Latin America)
the role of the state has changed, yes, but a strong centralised state is not just
implicated in the violence of neoliberalism, it’s what makes it possible to begin with
so I think it’s a tactical and theoretical mistake for the Left to support a strong centralised state in opposition to neoliberalism
it’s like opposing a progressive income tax because you support economic equality, or supporting union-smashing because you support freedom of association
it’s a mistake on the order of accepting right-wing ideas of freedom as freedom from Political Correctness and industrial pollution laws, or of equality as identical treatment insensitive to circumstances, or of a fundamental opposition between freedom and equality
i.e. a really fucking huge one
obviously there are other reasons why Leftists might be statist, but if you’re pro-state because you’re repulsed by neoliberalism, you’ve made a fatal error
plus I mean it’s just defensive and reactionary and unimaginative and mired in nostalgia for a supposed Golden Age for the left, it’s classic left melancholy, and we need to resist that
surely we can come up with something a bit more inspiring than “the socialist states of the 20th century may have been brutally repressive, but depending on who you ask they were often preferable to the current capitalist status quo, so like…”
and if not, we deserve to fail
I got kind of wangy about the end of the year, as I usually do, but I felt better immediately after crossing into 2013
I have been thinking a lot about nostalgia
basically I think it’s shit
I’ve been thinking about this a lot actually. “are CDs gonna ever have the kind of retro cachet of cassette tapes?” has been literally (figuratively) the most burning question occupying me as we’ve moved through the 80s revival and the early 90s revival, and now it’s a full late-90s party and I’ve seen the odd use of CD imagery but no real mix CD revival (comparable to the mixtape nostalgia fetish) or enthusiasm for the audio properties of the format (compared to the still-more-compressed mp3)
I’m gonna make the call that it’s not gonna happen: they’re not a neat size you can hold in your hand, and they’re not very durable
they’re really terrible for archiving
they seem like a really awkward transitional data storage technique
I remember burning a lot of non-rewritable CDs in the time between files getting too big for floppy drives and USB sticks becoming a thing I was aware of, it was really annoying
I own about five CDs and they baffle me
I dunno, I guess my starting assumption is that everything, no matter how cumbersome and dorky, will eventually be mined by the retro chic industries, so it’s interesting and notable when something is just so terrible as to avoid that fate
I have been trying to just generally not think about “Before Watchmen”
But David Brothers wrote an awesome, searing critique of that bullshit Newsarama article about it, and it’s worth a read.
I think what gets me about this idea though isn’t even the intellectual property issues — like, those bug the hell out of me, but they’re not my core issue.
My core issue is that Watchmen is a story specifically about the dangers of nostalgia. That’s like. The point. Of the book.
And the reason it is deservedly called a classic of the genre and hailed as one of the best things done in the medium is not because its characters are somehow brilliant (they’re not, particularly) or because its plot is amazing (it is kind of a mess in places, let’s be real), but because it does brilliant things with the structure of the sequential art narrative. It does things with the form no one had done before, and it does those in order to make a point about the human drive toward nostalgia and how dangerous it is.
Watchmen works specifically because we never actually really know what happened in the past of the book. We get snippets of events, we get the impressions of each character, but the Good Old Days they’re all imagining are vague and ephemeral as the ones people imagine in real life.
You can’t make a prequel book about those Good Old Days!
If there were awards for point-missing, this would be in major contention.
One question for fans of the “hipster indian” look
If its just that you “appreciate the culture” and “think its beautiful” why don’t I ever see fashion spreads of Native Americans dressed in the attire as it was meant to be worn? Why is it always shirtless white ladies in the desert with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of whisky in the other?
My theory? Its because the culture being appreciated is not any particular Native American culture. It is the culture of middle class America from 30 years ago, back when if you dressed your kid up as an “indian princess” for Halloween no one would think twice about it (I’m looking at you, mom.)
You can tell because all these pictures also often exhibit artifacts of the 70s, like feathered hair and tube socks pulled up to your knees, or have orangey red faded color palettes or excessive lens flare like a flashback in a Wes Anderson movie or something.
The “more innocent time” these images are hearkening back to is not to some imagined time of pre-colombian noble savagrey but the time from my childhood when middle America felt free to stomp all over Native American culture without guilt.
I plan on writing a more thought out post about this on blogger when I’m more awake. It will have spellchecking!
ooh, good point.
I read this interesting article a while ago — I wish I could remember where, sorry — about young women dressing in 50s fashion. and one of them mentioned in passing that women who were actually alive in that time had come up to her and been like “what the fuck are you doing? why do you want to go back to then? do you know what life was actually like?”
threadbared had a really good link round-up on the politics of vintage fashion a while ago, check it out