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Nostalgia

Bob James

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I belong to several Facebook groups that relish the past.

"Abandoned Homes America," for example.

"Paperback, Pulp and Book Collectors Anonymous."

"The Golden Age of Hollywood."

These groups attract fellow aficionados: people avid about old houses, books and films.

But they also attract whiny weirdos who can't handle the here and now.

"As many of us get older, we might hearken back to simpler times," blogger Michael Kwan write in Beyond the Rhetoric.

"We may look upon the present with a certain level of disdain. We might admonish 'kids these days' for ruining everything. But, are we all just falling victim to the golden age fallacy?"

Nostalgia, also known as the "golden age fallacy," insists we'd be more content in times gone by.

Nostalgia drives malcontents and misérables to look backwards for happiness.

Nostalgia a disease of longing.

It's so crippling that philosopher Karl Jaspers blamed the most heinous sorts of crimes—murder, arson, and child molestation—on it.

Not every contemporary psychiatrist believes nostalgia is a mental disorder.

But I do.

That's why I'm disturbed by the relentless Facebook posts like, "We have too much today an overindulged society, as kids we ate what was on the table" and "Bring back Aunt Jemima, screw the woke crowd!" (both verbatim quotes taken from "The Golden Age of Hollywood").

I see those crabby statements and think, with Jaspers, "There's a potential child molester."

Michael Kwan calls wistful reminiscence a "flaw in the romantic imagination of people who find it difficult to cope with the present."

I think it's a much deeper—and darker—flaw.

A flaw in character.

Benjamin Hotel
Benjamin Hotel

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob James

Bob James is a second-act still-life painter and obsessive blogger. His oil paintings can be found on his website.

While first to admit all his opinions are merely his own, Bob agrees with Oscar Wilde, who said, “In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

He currently resides in Delaware.