A tweet recently popped up on my Twitter feed that Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time” came out 20 years ago.
Well, it’s actually 20 years and about a month and a half, so you missed the true anniversary.
But, still, I get it. The point attempting to be made here was: “FEEL OLD YET?!”
And, no. I don’t. Telling me that “…Baby One More Time” is almost old enough to legally drink alcohol does not make me feel any older than I am. I remember it with fondness. In 20 years, when someone laser etches “Billie Eilish “Bad Guy” came out 20 years ago” into my frontal lobe, I might start to think I’m getting old.
This phenomenon isn’t rare. It seems every content website needs a filler piece, so they mine Google for images of products from the 90s. The picture are low definition, sometimes a picture of a television commercial.
Did I just leave this blog post for fifteen minutes to play an emulator of Number Munchers? You bet.
These lists don’t make me feel old. Usually, they make me wonder what we were thinking or why some things went away.
Why did Gushers survive, but Dunkaroo’s failed? What was the Mr. Sketch scented black marker supposed to smell like vs. what it actually did smell like? Are all the Tamagotchis dead? Is Tamagotchis the plural of Tamagotchi? Should it be Tamagotchae?
Like the flavor of Fruit Stripe gum, some things are only meant to exist for a fleeting moment.
When “…Baby One More Time” came out, I was a child. I have not been a child for a long time. I don’t eat garbage anymore. If given the chance to have a Surge soda, I would decline. If given the choice between real food and a Lunchable, I would take the real food. Those other things don’t interest me anymore. I don’t hav I have moved on with my life; I have moved on to more mature things.
Maybe this is a secret negative review of nostalgia culture. Every new Star Wars movie seems to inspire a wave of hatred, not because it is bad (sure, @ me, but you’re wrong), but because it is not the thing they grew up with. Just because you had a fondness for something or you are a member of a particular fandom doesn’t mean you own it or have any say in the matter.
Nostalgia culture is the non-drug equivalent of chasing the dragon. It will never be as good as you remember, not because it isn’t good, nor because it never was. YOU are the thing that has changed and that’s a good thing.
You never get anywhere by standing still.