On a recent podcast, we talked about our nostalgia for several cabinet/enclosed video games and the arcades we visited them in. The swelling wave of Generation X seems poised to roll over everyone, now that the Boomers are entering retirement. I wonder if it’s such a good thing.
No doubt, it’s unstoppable. Golden visions of the past will always out. And there are advantages to nostalgia, they’re described in research about it. It’s when it becomes more important than today that it matters.
In order to be the best makers and creators, we need to be present. We reflect the world both as it is and how we wish it were—or fear it could become.
It’s not living in or for the future. It’s not indulging in the past. It’s being and living now.
I feel like an old man, sometimes. It’s not new, but as Gen-Xers, um, inexorably slip into the trick-knee-bad-back zone, I expect the frequency of this feeling will, irritatingly, increase.
But this is okay. Every generation—in addition to blaming the one before1—inevitably succeeds the previous one, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. No amount of kicking and screaming will prevent Baby Boomer influence from subsumation. For example.
What I’m also aware of in me regarding Millennials, specifically, are feelings of admiration, desire to protect, and inspiration to act. Every generation also trashes the one after them. They’re always wrong. No millions-strong group is any one thing, and there are plenty of conscious, engaged, competent people among the next generation. I’m so unworried about the future. At least, not where the capabilities of the young are concerned.
The Parkland student protests and activism is one of those inspirational zeitgeist markers, and it edges into post-Millennial/Gen-Z territory, even.
And I was again thinking of David Bowie, who was always thinking about what was happening “now,” and searching for the pulse of history as it moved through. Immune to your consultation, old folks. raises fist like John Bender