When I was at school people insisted on telling me they were the best days of my life. Not the people I was actually at school with, they were too busy tripping me up, spitting in my hair and trying to dislocate my shoulder each time they walked past me in a corridor, but adults. Those mystical and wonderful creatures with their stale coffee breath and bags under their eyes. “These are the best days of your life, it’s all downhill from here” my dad once said to me, elaborating further on the sentiment. This came from a man I respect not just because he managed to not kill and eat any of his offspring but also because he continues working the same job he has for the last forty years. That’s the kind of commitment that makes me feel dizzy. Being at school were not the best years of my life and nobody ever told me it was okay that I didn’t enjoy the experience. I made friends and I will never regret not knowing how to deconstruct the poetry of Robert Browning but the best days of my life did not take place until much later than my supposed salad days – “Anyone for tennis, bleurrrrghhh!”
I wish people had not told me those were the best days of my life like every single one of them was fucking Bryan Adams because I subsequently felt I needed to detract myself from the situation and look at it with all this misty Wonder Years sentiment thinking constantly that one day it would make a worthwhile anecdote. Maybe that is what provided me with the tools to be such a gifted and handsome storyteller. School is terribly organised bullshit of the highest order and I got a hell of a lot better once I was done with the lot of it. What would have been more useful to me as a growing Schierneckerling is if someone told me how surreal it is for the stuff that happened within your lifetime to suddenly become worthy of being celebrated as nostalgia. 1993 is not history. Don’t try and celebrate it like it was over tweeennnttyyy yeaaarsss aggggoooo. Oh hang on… Ford unveiled the Mondeo in 1993, a stellar year for the future of family rows, especially for us on the confusing roads of France on our way to another static caravan ready for butter to be flicked down its longside (This is a very niche joke that possibly four other people will get but maybe two will read).
What I never realised when I was growing up is that all of the odd little things that happened in pop culture would eventually fade only to come back at me through a number of memes aimed at making me feel terribly old. Diana died eighteen years ago. That’s a whole adult person’s lifetime now. A person born in the same year Diana died can now go into a pub and order gin. That’s the kind of mindpoke I do not need on a Tuesday. Diana’s death hit us all in a way. I remember everything coming to a halt, literally. People didn’t seem to be able to function. It made me question the very nature of existence which is dangerous to do when you’re ten and wearing glow in the dark pyjamas. My folks tried to fob me off with some kind of nonsense about heaven but I was yet to see the Swayze/Moore paranormal porn epic that is Ghost so didn’t believe in such things. What was my point? Oh yes, nostalgia.
If you’re young and using the Internet and my blog as a source of news and light entertainment, well done, I have no doubt you are both young and funky fresh, but this my warning to you, like the ghost of future past but with nicer hair. Don’t let other people bombard you with new nostalgia or newstalgia if you will. Your lifetime is short. In the history of time we have been here for the last second of the last minute of the first day. That’s some Carl Sagan shit I just dropped right there. Appreciate.
It doesn’t matter if you remember growing up watching Hey Arnold or if your diet was solely Panda Pops and asbestos, you’re a person living your life and doing what you can. Make every day your last but don’t cry over the fragility of it all. You can start anything today. You can achieve and be great. Don’t be blindsided by newstalgia and keep on trucking. Just don’t think about Screech from Saved By The Bell’s sex tape.
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