Author Topic: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?  (Read 1110 times)

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Offline Shiny

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Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« on: February 01, 2013, 12:08:34 AM »
I hear this quite a bit, but curious as to why it can be harmful on someone.

I'll play some old video games to get nostalgic about it, some of them really can't hold up, but it takes me back to places in my youth where I was happy.

Is it a thing where you negatively look at everything in the present and things in the past seem brighter than they actually were?
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 12:14:05 AM »
Who says nostalgia is bad? As I grow older I feel nostalgia for people, places things from my childhood and young adult years. Heck I was listening to Three Dog Night on my home form work tonight. I guess the danger is in not growing, learning or exploring and just wrapping yourself in the past.
Proverbs 22:7

Offline Shiny

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 12:19:25 AM »
I hear you on the last bit you wrote.

How is nostalgia defined here? Isn't it more than just being a state of being homesick?

The only potential issue I have is that I can be so caught up with nostalgia that it makes what I have now in a much dimmer light, eventhough I have it pretty good. The don't know what you have thing...

There are certain songs I cannot play whatsoever, it just invokes something deep inside of me, a longing for the ignorance of youth and those songs just stir up a lot of sadness because I feel like that innocence is gone. Or the carefree feeling I had when I was younger. But also these songs to me are reserved in a particular time and place when I remember being very happy.
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Offline JamesR

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 12:26:05 AM »
To be honest, I wouldn't know. I've never been so concerned with the past as I am with the future. I never really had a great time in my past to look back to. I find solace in fantasizing over my future because it is the one thing I could control.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:26:17 AM by JamesR »
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Offline Tallitot

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 12:50:55 AM »
I hear you on the last bit you wrote.

How is nostalgia defined here? Isn't it more than just being a state of being homesick?

The only potential issue I have is that I can be so caught up with nostalgia that it makes what I have now in a much dimmer light, eventhough I have it pretty good. The don't know what you have thing...

There are certain songs I cannot play whatsoever, it just invokes something deep inside of me, a longing for the ignorance of youth and those songs just stir up a lot of sadness because I feel like that innocence is gone. Or the carefree feeling I had when I was younger. But also these songs to me are reserved in a particular time and place when I remember being very happy.

understood. After all, "A dragon lives forever, not so little boys.. Which btw, was actually written as a song for adults to evoke the feeling you're talking about. Even though we think of it as a kid's song.
Proverbs 22:7

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 01:00:33 AM »
I don't see the problem as long as it doesn't become obsessive. I really enjoy those moments of nostalgia when I get "taken back" to another time.
"One part dream, one part sound business decision"

Online Cyrillic

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 03:26:55 AM »

I'll play some old video games to get nostalgic about it, some of them really can't hold up, but it takes me back to places in my youth where I was happy.


I do that too. A few days ago I installed an old game again, just for the nostalgia. Then again, most of my friendsdo that.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 03:28:07 AM by Cyrillic »
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2013, 04:52:35 AM »
It isn't bad or harmful.

Offline Ansgar

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 04:58:17 AM »
I watch old cartoon series on YouTube.
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 09:56:50 AM »
Hey, my priest says we should be nostalgic about the fast, so, cant be too bad

Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 10:11:20 AM »
Anyone warning against nostalgia probably has more in mind than the occasional trip down "memory lane."

Some people live in the past and carry with them a nostalgia for past relationships, past experiences . . . to the point where their ability to live and serve God today is hampered.  Their emotions are bound up in the past which can cripple their ability to respond to the present path they must follow.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 12:08:57 PM »
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline theistgal

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 12:56:07 PM »
If you ever get a chance, watch the classic "Night Gallery" episode, "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar" (starring the late great +William Windom), for a good lesson in how nostalgia can keep you from seeing the good things (and people) in your life right now.

http://youtu.be/E4w6cPKDLzw
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:57:33 PM by theistgal »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 01:01:24 PM »
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Very Yogi Berraeseque...
"One part dream, one part sound business decision"

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 03:08:53 PM »
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Very Yogi Berraeseque...

And true. People here are talking about sentimentality for an idealized past.

Not nostalgia as such.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline Shiny

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2013, 11:16:07 PM »
People here are talking about sentimentality for an idealized past.
So what is it if it's not nostalgia?

Is this a bad thing?
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2013, 11:53:25 PM »
People here are talking about sentimentality for an idealized past.
So what is it if it's not nostalgia?

Is this a bad thing?

"Bad"? I am not sure how that word applies here. A quick and tired ramble . . .

The sentimentalizing of the often idealized past can have less than desired consequences: disappointment and dissatisfaction with the present.

This can take on the shape of a general belief one's best days are past.

Or worse:

That the WORLD used to be better and one might want to act in order to restore it to the past that never was (see all reactionary traditionalisms for examples).

Really, it is not something I understand on a personal level. I just don't get it. Although by many objective metrics my "life" was better at another time, I just don't relate to the past at all in the manner described above. And I feel a little sorry for those who do, especially if they are so young, which is a change I have witnessed in my own lifetime. Young people sentimentalizing their past and more interesting their past they have yet to have. (Young women before their weddings actually crafting the memories they hope to have later for example and wistfully discussing how they will look back on them. The examples are myriad and nearly daily anymore.)

Rather than the common suggestion that the late modern world or post modern world is full of differing and complex and irreconcilable narratives, I see (I didn't get a chance to chuckle at vamrat's thoughts on feminism but the same structure would apply there) a greater "integration" of life (or leveling down life to a few common denominators) as lived or in other words because the postmodern in the day to day is the excess of the modern and thus the attempt for everyone to collectively cling to some single truth, the notion of post / late modernity as being divergent must exist to allow a critical manner of furthering the distillation of daily life into the same.

Real nostalgia is something that undoes us (there are various qualities of nostalgia). The sorrowful remembrance of lost spouse. Out of nowhere, one is overcome with a pained longing for what can never be again. Never. It reveals the unique and irreducible quality of life. There is no cure for nostalgia. You can't go back home. To do so would smack of incredible violence to the persons or moments who are made fully present through their absence and obliterate the possibility for the re-presentation.

Wanting to escape your life today and return to some imagined better time, when you were probably trying to escape then as well, is meaningless and sorta boring but something than can be marketed to.

There is money to be had and anxiety to be relieved in sentimentality. Nostalgia lines the pocket books of no one and does nothing to relieve of our pain but compounds it and thus shows us what the sentimental attempts to cover up. No that moment will not happen again no matter how much we wish it could, cause if it could indeed be recreated at whim it would then no longer matter.

We are strange and contradictory creatures. We long for the singular to be relived at our disposal.

Or something like that.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline biro

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2013, 12:26:45 AM »
Is it bad to have old board games?

No.

Is it bad to think there was some super-awesome time when everyone was perfect?

Yes.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 12:35:22 AM »
Is it bad to have old board games?

No.

I didn't even get into the reduction of all persons to about the age of middle school children. But there is only enough time.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline William

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Re: Why is nostalgia harmful/bad?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2013, 01:06:14 AM »
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Very Yogi Berraeseque...

Better cut that pizza into four pieces, 'cuz I ain't hungry enough to eat six.
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