It seems that lately I can’t quite get off the Nostalgia Train. Could it be because I’m getting old?
My bud MadSector sent me a link of old Colombian commercials (go ahead and click; laugh at me) and other things people growing up in Colombia in the 70s and 80s would probably recognize right away, so of course those things have been buzzing in my head a lot lately.
Like at 3 am, while Herr Meow lives fat off the ‘aina, kinda lately. Friggin’ kid’s teeth are wrecking my beauty sleep. But –and please don’t tell anyone– I must admit that when he’s asleep with us in bed, he feels so warm and so snuggy that I’m kinda glad he ends up in our bed.
Back to nostalgia:
The other day at lovely, lovely Safeway I espied yet another chunk of memory-inducers: apparently, Goya –the also lovely multinational purveyor of Latino foods– makes a soda I used to drink when I was a kid. And a drink which, if I must be completely honest, tasted better when I was little. My sweet Monsieur Meow was subjected to it, and I think he was far too gallant when he said it was “okay.” I didn’t even finish drinking mine, and now I have some mixed memories and four bottles of the stuff in the fridge.
I am talking about something they package under the possibly alcoholic name of Malta Goya. It is thicker than a Guinness and the first sip greets you with a heavy waft of molasses, which then turns to just this robust, thick, sweet, malty flavor. Kind of like drinking a Guiness but searching in vain for the alcohol, is this experience. My grandmother –in what I now realize was one of her more contradictory moments in life– both extolled the virtues of this malt drink and of cod liver oil (EW) and urged me to take them both because they were excellent for staying healthy AND gaining weight. And then, of course, she’d say I was fat. Insert confused sigh.
And of course, in yet another wave of nostalgia, MTV is trying its damnedest to make us give one and a half flying craps about the Video Music Awards.
One day after turning 15, back in 1991, I caught my first LIVE VMAs and I watched Michael Stipe be totally cool and take off a million shirts with *important* messages, one after the other. I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen in my life, and I kept trying to figure out everyday occasions where it could be relevant, possible, and lawful to remove my clothes to make political statements. Those VMAs also taught us that the Best New Artist category is usually the artistic Kiss Of Death category (Jesus Jones? Jesus Who?)
Of course, most people back then thought that Quensrÿche was the coolest band ever, because that’s the band that won Viewer’s Choice.
You get to say, “Wha? Queens-who?”
I get to say that this proves that most people have very little taste, although that was a nice song.
I think it was one of the best birthday presents ever, to me: I was introduced to my now-second-nature culture. I remember talking to my friend S. on the phone (Or did you come over to watch them? Or maybe I went over to your house?) and feeling like it was, well, my birthday, because here was THE MOST COOLESTEST, MOST OUTLANDISH SHOW ON THE LAND!!!!!!!
I was a first-generation MTVer, and here was my prom-night-debutante-ball-rolled-into-one and on steroids, staring back at me. The glow and the rich jewel tones of the 90s never looked so good as in my own mind.
The VMAs, many shocking moments later, are sadly starting to look middle-aged and bloated at 23. What felt like a deliberate present to me every year from age 15 to 2…… something, suddenly has turned into an aging, pancaked event where you can see the network’s honchos hoping that one of the guests, hosts or presenters does something wildly inappropriate that lasts WAY longer than five seconds.
Do we still watch and/or keep abreast of the nominees? Yes.
Do older people still hope they sucked? Yes.
Do people of the current MTV generation think it’s the coolest.shit.ever.omg.like.LOL? Yes.
Is MTV still relevant? Kinda.
Is MTV better in my own mind? Totally.
In my own mind, it still plays videos. ;o)