You must be this old to feel nostalgic

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By Nathaniel Crouch

This summer, I went to see Incredibles 2, pumped to watch my favourite family team up again. I had waited 14 years for this, I had even rewatched the first one in pure anticipation. This movie was my childhood, it was the original reason I started to read comics and love superheroes.

Therefore, as the second installment came out for one of my favourite movies, I couldn’t help but feel very nostalgic. Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful  affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.”  As the theatre filled in I ended up in seats between two preschoolers.  In that moment I was perplexed and got angry enough to ask the mom if they really need to be there?

I mean come on, they hadn’t waited years to see the sequel. They weren’t six when the movie came out and amazed when Dash ran across water. I felt like they didn’t earn it like I did, I had waited and they’d just been born at the right time. 

I was in that theatre waiting to see the Parr family suit up again when it hit me that I shouldn’t be mad. Sure these kids had only experienced the first Incredibles on Blu-ray but who was I to take away from their excitement to see a great movie? 

I felt even worse afterwards because I had been on the opposite side of the same encounter three years ago as I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On opening night, I was making my way to my seat, when some neckbeard with a cherry cola and a Jar Jar Binks kink yelled at me for coming to this film when I hadn’t been around to see Episode Four in theatres. 

Why is it that people can’t let others enjoy or be nostalgic about things? Sure I didn’t see the originals when I came out and those four-year-olds didn’t see The Incredibles, but we still loved those movies equally, so why the animosity?

I had to ask myself, “who’s supposed to get nostalgic?” These four-year-olds who saw The Incredibles on Blu-ray last month don’t get nostalgic for it, they just like the movie. We’re all fans of this stuff, but the only people allowed to get nostalgic are the ones who were around to see it start as a kid.

So what about me and my generation? I like Star Wars plenty but I have no doubt every 40-year-old who spent two days camping in front of the theatre for Return of the Jedi doesn’t believe I can get as much enjoyment out of it as they can.  

Where does that leave us? Are we stuck floating in a void surrounded by constantly changing shows, movies, toys and foods, but unable to look back and reminisce because we simply haven’t been around for long enough? 

Bullshit, there’s no way I’ve endured countless hours on a Game Boy Color and too much time watching Kim Possible to be stopped by some 20-year-old who saw one more episode of Spongebob than me.

Simply let people enjoy the past,  and don’t worry about if they qualify to be nostalgic or not. Whether they were truly around for its beginnings or discovered it later.

Even if you’re not really into looking back on your childhood, there are moments in conversation and in writing when we get caught up in reminiscing about everything that used to entertain us.  

That’s what these next pages are all about; we’ve been working our asses off to compile anecdotes, research pieces and personal stories all centered around who, when or what we’re nostalgic for. 

This issue is to celebrate all we can be nostalgic about, a massive compilation of things we should laugh out loud at like we did back in the day.

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