There is a great force at play in the world today, a force that’s beyond comprehension, that threatens to rule all we hold dear. That force is: nostalgia.
It seems to be the driving force for my generation, who spent a record amount of its youth playing. More than any other generation, my generation got to take it for granted it could watch TV for 14 hours a day and still have time for bungee jumping.
But with middle age on the distant horizon, people my age have all suddenly finished school and got real jobs. I’m not kidding about this. Just about everyone I know in their mid-thirties finally graduated and now are working or looking for work. And they are looking for work in fields that make a whole lot more money than they have ever made, because that’s what it takes to pay off 15 years of student loans.
But they still hang on to their childhood. One example is the band “New Kids on the Block,” in which all the “new” kids are now in their mid-40s. The New Kids were a studio created act popular in the late 80s, riding the boy band wave of that era. They were so popular among preteen girls that there were Barbie-type dolls made in their likeness. But as with most pop music trends, the band grew up, the audience grew up, and their fame fizzled. Fast forward 25 years, and now all those pre-teen girls have something they didn’t have before: mortgages. No, just kidding, they also have money. Money and nostalgia. That’s always a dangerous combination.
Somebody finally recognized this, and brought the New Kids back together again, although “Old Kids on the Block” might be a better name for them. And now, deja vu, they’re famous all over again.
There’s a moral to this story. If at first you don’t succeed, wait 25 years and try again is probably it. Another moral is that inside every woman is a pre-teen girl who wants to cut a rug to dancing, singing guys.
Whatever the moral is, I’m not sure. I was never that impressed by New Kids on the Block. Now if they ever made “Thundercats: The Movie,” based on one of the weirdest Saturday morning cartoons ever created, that would be a different story. I’d totally be there for that one.