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  1. I quite agree. I’ve watched memories change over the years, and I know we’ve talked about this previously here as well.

    I wonder if the apparent need to have a wondrous past is rooted at all in a frustrating or terrible present? No, wait… wouldn’t that just cause the frustrated person to look forwards more? Unless… they can’t see any possible solution to their current terrible situation, maybe…?

    Clearly I need to consider this more. Thank you for commenting, though! :)

  2. I’ve pondered this particular subject many times as I’ve always thought the ‘high school is best time in your life’ stuff was bullshit. I remember HS as being as stressful as now, it’s just that the stress was about whether Kathi loved me as much as I loved her, or could I get through the Algebra test, or remember my lines for the play. The worries, by comparison to today, were rather insignificant, and I think a lot of people do a bit of real life retconning and forget all the negative emotions that coursed through our still developing brains at the time.

  3. Further, I cannot help but wonder if most nostalgia is not so much wishing for the old days so much as it is wishing the current days weren’t quite so barren or frustrating.

    Well, there you go. There’s definitely elements of that as well. Nostalgia is what makes older people long for a time when things were better, less difficult, less depressing. Unfortunately, when thing were less difficult, less depressing, was when they *were* younger, and the world itself was less complicated because they didn’t know nearly as much as they do now, didn’t have the responsibility they do now. More importantly, because we’re looking into our past, where are memories are hazier, less defined, where it’s more likely that the memories that are the most self-serving are the ones that bubble up to the surface. It’s no wonder we look at our youth as ‘the best time of our lives’. It’s that kind of mentality that your earlier review on ‘Unreliable Truth’ hits on pretty thoroughly.

  4. It is my completely unscientifically researched belief that high school is the last time where we are still treated like children, with all its attendant lack of responsibility. I can’t help but wonder if this effect was in place several generations ago, when farming-community children were part of the working community, had less time for playing around pointlessly, and were lauded for things that would actually be of use to the community. As one of my friends once put it, farming communities didn’t have time for teenage angst and depression, so I would guess not.

    OTOH, I wouldn’t want to live in such a community today. I really appreciate being able to engage in studies which are not immediately and visibly useful to the community. I can’t help but think that a lot of art and innovation comes from having free time, you know?

    Further, I cannot help but wonder if most nostalgia is not so much wishing for the old days so much as it is wishing the current days weren’t quite so barren or frustrating. I’ll have to think about that more, as the idea just occurred to me recently.

    Thanks for commenting! :)

  5. Songs like ‘Glory Days’ very much hype the myth of the halcyon nature of youth. Maybe there is something to the myth: at this point in their lives, they are not yet a part of the ‘real world’. They are not responsible for their own money, food, shelter. If they have something they are lauded for, something that the media they watch reinforces are the kinds of thing that will make them set for the rest of their lives, it bosters their ego. They are young and convinced of their own rightness, superiority, immortality, as young people often are.

    That’s why I enjoyed the cartoon ‘Daria’ when I was that age. Daria was the cynical outcast, the ‘brain’, the girl that didn’t believe in fashion, or hype, had no friends except for a fellow iconoclast, and did her level best to puncture that ‘hype’ that surrounds high school and it’s ‘halcyonifying’ tendencies. Did she have her own problems? Yes. Like someone else I’m fairly well aquainted with (me), she had a bit of a chip on her shoulder, and was also fairly convinced of *her* own rightness. Did she have a tendency to push away people before they could hurt her? Yep. Was it hard for her to live up even to her own ideals? You bet.

    But to me, and a lot of other dissaffected youth, Daria was a symbol of just how fucked up high school (and even Junior high) is.

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