Friday, January 27, 2006

Guest Publication #4: Nostalgia - should we relive our childhood?

So I was looking around Wikipedia and I stumbled upon a page relating to Garbage Pail Kids. This got me thinking that I would love it if I had the whole collection. Every kid collected them when I was young, so how did so many cards translate into so few full collections and hardly any cards still in existence?

Wouldn't it be cool if you could relive some parts of your childhood again, like GPK or He-Man? The sort of things that were so popular then and are completely unpopular now. And why is that? Has He-Man got any less manly? Do the "...and that's why we shouldn't play with matches, Orko" endings not still carry weight?
Or perhaps there are so many things to be wary of nowadays that parents would rather their kids just lived in the blissful, dangerous ignorance of Spongebob Squarepants.

They did bring back Transformers though. I was so happy when I first sat down, tuned into Cartoon Network and got ready for the nostalgia trip of a lifetime. What a pity they decided to dig up the corpse of this once-great animated series and violate it so commercially...

There are now only 5 Auto-bots and 5 Decepticons, and they are accompanied by a young boy and girl and their annoying pet dog. I can't remember the dog's name, but "Irritating" would suit it perfectly.

So strange then, that I watched the old D&D cartoons and loved every moment all over again, but the modern commercial film happened to die faster than a goblin at a Barbarian kill-a-thon. Why? Because they went for budget and no plot, despite the fact that all D&D gamers
(their target audience) are people who play plot-heavy games with no money or special effects outside of their own imagination necessary, and kids (the rest of their audience) want something more than a bit of CGI.

Maybe people have ran out of creative steam and simply can't think of original ideas any more. Re-releases from Hollywood now make up a large part of the box-office market. Remakes like Oceans 11, The Italian Job and others make it quite clear that the box office film industry is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Even Madonna's new album is full of samples and mixing of unoriginal, uninspired music (like the song "Hung Up", which is what she should do with her career while she still has one), while TV is the most repetitious of them all. Second Chance Sunday? Sky Mix? All are nice ways of saying "E4 Repeats" and "Sky One Repeats". Don't get me started on + 1hour...

Having seen the commercial side of the world, I'm not sure whether I would like to see a re-release of Garbage Pail Kids stickers. Would they even be able to get away with that any more? I'm sure that some parent with too much time on their hands would try to get them banned (despite the fact that they never harmed anyone first time around, unless you saw the GPK film - that was pretty poor).

Right now I feel that I'd prefer to keep the happy memories I have than gamble them on what would likely be an attempt at commercialising and poorly reproducing a classic set of 80's fun stickers to maximise profit margins.

Good memories are good memories, and they represent a time that you were happy. Try to relive the feeling but don't try to relive the experience.

[Article by KA. PA will return on Monday with a new links section and weekend update]

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