erik lundegaard

What's the Sweet Spot for Nostalgia: 20 Years? 40? Or Is It All About the Boomers?

I got some smart reaction to the post the other day about Adam Gopnik's “Mad Men”-inspired 40-Year Golden Rule on nostalgia. I basically argued for 20 years.

From Larry Rosen:

Ridiculous thesis statement by Gopnik. The sweet spot for nostalgia moves at exactly the same pace as baby boomers age.

From Chris Knapp:

I agree with your rejoinder to Gopnik on the nostalgia cycle. Twenty years is the primary lookback because nostalgia is typically about recapturing a feeling of innocence or wonderment — and so for most creators it means looking back to when they were 11-12 (maybe 13) years old. MAD MEN is the exception rather than the rule, because it is not looking back at Matthew Wiener's “age of innocence” but at the apex (and subsequent erosion) of American credulity. In that sense MAD MEN is not really a nostalgia tale but fits more in the genre of tragedy.

Other thoughts?

Joan from Mad Men

Joan wants to know what you think.

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Posted at 04:00 PM on Wed. Apr 18, 2012 in category TV  


Reed wrote:

I've never seen an episode of Mad Men, but I have long believed that there is a 20 year cycle, and it's most evident in music trends. In the early 70s people go crazy for fuzz-rock, led by Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Hendrix. In the early 90s people go crazy for grunge-rock inspired by Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Hendrix. The late 70s features the rise of prog rock, and the late 90s Tool becomes huge the proggier they get despite no radio play.

In the late 1980s and early 90s, Madonna takes over. Now Lady Gaga leads. The 1980s featured electronic trends, which resurged in the 00s. The 80s had the glam rock trend, the 00s has surprise hits by Andrew WK and The Darkness.

I just hope this means someone starts emulating Jane's Addiction soon (back when they were good).

Comment posted on Thu. Apr 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM
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