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.
Joan wants to know what you think.