I’m not that pregnant, but every once in a while my body feels more like a very strange science experiment. Bit bloated…. bit tired….. strange pulling sensations when I sneeze/cough/turn/turn back in pain/sit/breathe/sit again, statically. Bit of gas. Bit of itchiness every once in a while.
Right now on the tube, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (“Who does…. number two…. work for….?’). Ah…. the laughs are a bit old; the jokes can be lip-synched; and the lovely little network quirks make the watching a bit odd (“Swedish __ ENLARGER Pump” just doesn’t sound the same). However there is something comforting and happy about watching something that’s brought you so much happiness and loads of laughs in the past. In one word, it’s that *comfort* that makes it so good, really.
But the movie is already eight years old.
I know that doesn’t sound so old, but really… does 1997 feel like it’s so far away? Don’t get me started on my beloved Holy of Holies, the darling Miss Hello Kitty having turned 30 on November 1st, 2004. I mean…… thirty? MY darling Hello Kitty? The source of happy childhood memories and the one childhood character who, more than Barbie ever did, dared girls to be absolutely anything they wanted to be– even without a mouth?
But she’s thirty. Even the Care Bears are in their twenties, and Strawberry Shortcake and friends are even older. Although both are making strong comebacks, I am informed by a very reliable source that Strawberry Shortcake and her friends no longer wear bloomers and stockings, but have replaced the dubious attire with pants instead.
We’re all getting older, and it’s a strange feeling. Seeing Mike Myers looking so much younger and even kind of cute it a little weird. And seeing Elizabeth Hurley at the apex of her sexiness is kind of fun and almost nostalgic. But I guess that is truly what life is all about: nostalgia about things that just went away and are just beyond your reach. They aren’t quite too far, but they are far away enough that you can suddenly remember what life was like when they were new and shiny.
And now we have an entire generation of babies being fed the same line as their young-but-soon-to-be-aging parents. A generation discovering the thrill of yelling, “THUNDER! THUNDER! THUNDERCATS!!!! AAAUUUUUUGH!!!!!!!!!!!” while watching the Saturday cartoons in their underoos and practicing the Care Bear Stare in earnest. And getting a whole new generation hooked on yelling “YEEEE-HAWWW!” but having a decidedly lesser version of a Dodge Charger to get excited about.
Among my favorite moments in the movie is when Austin realizes all he’s missed in thirty years of being frozen, and gets to experience this canned not-nostalgia– much as if he’d never lived any of what happened– which is the point. So all these kids walking around in faded Def Leppard t-shirts that were being silk-screened when they were nothing but a couple of cells living in separate bodies and with no rigid agenda, well…. they get to live that not-nostalgia as well. Only for them it’s somehow fresh and new. For us sort-of-aging hipsters, it’s already the second time around. Sometimes it’s depressing, but sometimes the encore is really the best part, with the added benefit of depth of understanding (for some, anyway).
And all the while, I realize that there can never be too many iterations of Hello Kitty (or enough closet space to house them all).