Quotes: Nostalgia Filter

"No matter how golden an age, there will always be someone complaining that everything looks too yellow."
Randall Jarrell

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    film - live action 

"It's old rock. That doesn't make it classic. What sucked back then still sucks today."
Matt Farrell, Live Free or Die Hard


"Say not, 'Why were the former days better than these?' For it is not from wisdom that you ask this."

"And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’"

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
— Opening line of A Tale of Two Cities, quoted on the box of the first (1989) Trivial Pursuit 1980s Edition

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have express'd
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 106"

"Anything before you’re thirty-five is new and exciting, and anything after that is proof the world’s going to hell."
Daniel Suarez, Influx

"I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip."
Ignatius J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces

"...confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do, to whom all the past is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches, divided from them now by the narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years."

"Farewell, Romance!" the Cave-men said;
With bone well carved He went away,
Flint arms the ignoble arrowhead,
And jasper tips the spear to-day.
Changed are the Gods of Hunt and Dance,
And He with these. Farewell, Romance!"
The King by Rudyard Kipling

"Get enough of them together, looking for the America they always believed they'd grow up in, and they glom together like overcooked rice, form integral starchy little units. With their power tools, portable generators, weapons, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and personal computers, they are like beavers hyped up on crystal meth, manic engineers without a blueprint, chewing through the wilderness, building things and abandoning them, altering the flow of mighty rivers and then moving on because the place ain't what it used to be."
Hiro, Snow Crash

    Live-action tv 

"I have tender feelings for Nixon, because everybody has warm feelings about their childhood. (Actually, I didn't like the Watergate trials 'cause they interrupted The Munsters.)"


"Yeah things were simpler then
You ask exactly
The New Pornographers, "Sweet Talk Sweet Talk"

"As your body floats down Third Street
With the burn smell factory closing up
Yes it's sad to say, you will romanticize
All the things you've known before"
'They Might Be Giants, "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head"

"We recognize the present
Is half as pleasant
As our nostalgia for
A past that we resented
Recast and reinvented
Until it's how we meant it"
Barenaked Ladies, Testing 1, 2, 3

When I was a little man
Play-Doh came in a little can
I was Star Wars' biggest fan
Now I'm stuck without a plan

G.I. Joe was an action man
Shaggy drove the Mystery Van
Devo was my favorite band
Take me back to my happy land!
The Aquabats!, "Play Dough!"

    Newspaper Comics 

Roger: Andy, you can't judge Captain Goofballon a day-to-day basis, or even a month-to-month one! You have to look at the broader body of work!
Andy: How broad?
Roger: When I was 13, the strip was a riot.


You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still do just what they want to do!
Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way?
What's the matter with kids today?"
Bye Bye Birdie, "Kids"

"Forward, America! Forward! ...to the hallowed principles of our forefathers! Forward! ...to the sweet tranquility of the status quo! Forward! ...to yesterday!"
Sen. Billboard Rawkins, Finians Rainbow

    web animation 

"Nostalgia is like putting cocaine infused marbles into your mouth in that it makes you say stupid things."
Yahtzee, Zero Punctuation

    Web Original 

"Power and authority coincide with gorgeousness and opulence in a world where there are dirty people to look down on who never object because they accept their lot. Men get to slice each other up while radiating honour and nobility; women get to luxuriate and self-subjugate in a version of femininity steeped in both virtue and beauteous uselessness - and all without any of the guilt that a modern context forces on almost all of us."
Jack Graham, "Bring Back the Stocks!"

"Nostalgia is never a return to the actual time. It’s a specific reconstruction of the past, a rewriting of it, to soothe present-tense anxieties. Boomer lust for WWII was a simultaneous lame tribute to dying vets (Happy Father’s Day! Here’s another copy of The Greatest Generation!) and a slap in the face to their slacker kids, Generation X."
Molly Brown, "Time Travel and the New Nostalgia"

"What is happening? Good fucking God, MOVE ON. The reason there hasn't been a new Cobain to emerge on the scene lately is because everyone is so busy reading reviews of the latest In Utero remastering."
Drew Magary, Make It Stop

"We watch I Love the 80s to wax nostalgic about movies that we have no nostalgia for in order to build up the illusion of nostalgia for the purposes of being made to buy something new, but at every turn the actual object of pleasure is displaced — the fun is somewhere else. Dreadful practice. To be avoided at all costs."

"Hi and Lois has apparently decided to embrace its status as one of the squarest comics in syndication by just doing a whole week of 'weren’t things different and maybe better in decades past?' Yesterday we had 'Cars sure were larger and less fuel efficient back when gas was cheaper'; today we’ve got 'remember when everyone used to watch TV, before the entertainment options available today existed?' Super psyched to see if they can drag this out for another four days!"

"The success of Marvels showed the Big Two that there was a market for stories set in the past starring characters that the audience had grown up with. That (Kurt) Busiek is a fantastic writer who can push characters into the future even while tying everything into older continuity (as he did in Avengers Forever'') was largely ignored. All the Big Two saw were dollar signs in stories about the past.

"So, next time you’re feeling nostalgic about how great Quakeworld or the original Donkey Kong Country was, I recommend going with it. It’ll make you feel better even if you overlook the problems at the time or the improvements that have been made since. Just don’t over commit yourself to any opinions born of memory’s fickle biases. Because graph paper, himem.sys, and two buttons on a controller were worse than you really remember."

· Stone Cold should come back and give John Cena a stunner.
· WWE should try and get the old WWF name and scratch logo back.
· John Cena is the worst wrestler in the world. Anyone that praises Cena in any way is a terrible wrestling fan.
· Although... turning him heel may make him good again.
· Children and women are the cancer of professional wrestling.
· Although, children can redeem themselves by watching Attitude Era clips and favoring it over today's product.
Taimapedia, Popular YouTube Wrestling Community Opinions

'Schlafly’s work was pivotal in the victory of the “pro-family” movement over the Equal Rights Amendment...For instance, she laments the loss of “real men” who went to war to save damsels in distress, men like the draft dodging wife beater John Wayne."
Encyclopedia of American Loons on Phyllis Schlafly

"Waah, where’s the glorious philosopher-kings who’ll take me back to their enlightened caves and regale me with their vast manly wisdom and fawn over how intelligent and philosophical I am before sheathing off their heavy robes and—? Oh yeah, hurgygurgy, something something cocktail chit-chat has gone downhill these days."
Cerberus, "But Nobody Bleeds For the Hack Writer"

"Living in the modern world is hard. Trying to be a decent person in a diverse, pluralistic society takes work, and there will inevitably be missteps along the way. All of us across the political spectrum believe that democracy has problems, the government has problems, 'political correctness' has problems. But even in its most innocent form...a dislike of 'political correctness' and the modern world can take you to some very ugly places very fast—the past was, as only some of us have the privilege of forgetting, a very ugly place."
Arthur Chu, "Occupying the Throne"

"I look forward to Star Wars Episode VII. I look forward to see the visual effects from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but done ten years later. It should be stunningly cool to see. We live in a time when storytellers can tell any story and it generally amazes me there are people who cross their arms and want to go back to a time that never really existed. The thesis that limitations lead to genius is just flat-out illogical. If we gave The Beatles crappier guitars or we gave your new favorite band vintage equipment, would they make better music? No. They would make music with the tools at their disposal. The anti-CGI discourse needs to end."


"Now that there's a NEW Generation of Pokémon, I immediately abandon ALL the hatred I had of Gen III and IV in favour of saying how much the Gen V sucks. I hated Gen III? when?"
— Quote from VGF.

    Web Video 

Kid: You know this is a kids' movie, right? It's not like the Turtles were better in your day.
Narrator: They were!
(plays the infamous dance scene from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze)
Narrator: Ugh... Touché.

"Fuck anime! Anime used to be good. Or I used to be dumber."

If anyone tells you that they miss The '80s, point them to this song and ask if they still do.
-Bennett the Sage, on Milli Vanilli's "Baby Don't Forget My Number"

    Western Animation 

"You know, in retrospect, I may have over-romanticised those memories."
Phineas Flynn, Phineas and Ferb

    real life 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine."

"There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present and invoke the security of a past, which in fact, never existed."

"Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow."
Bill Clinton, speech at the University of North Carolina's 200th Anniversary

"In the post historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual care taking of the museum of human history. I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a powerful nostalgia for the time when history existed."
Francis Fukuyama, The End of History

"Being the lice lady was quite a good job in those days as so many of us were lousey a good deal of the time. Whenever I see the visual cliche of a character scratching his head as if deep in thought, I am transported back to my happy, lousey childhood."
Tom Baker, Who On Earth is Tom Baker?

"The Memory Cheats."
John Nathan-Turner (Doctor Who producer 1980-1989), Points of View

"It's an Orwellian quirk of this country that we are extremely fond of our heritage of bloody murder, the gore of yore, the poisonings, bodysnatchings, and slit throats of a reassuringly long time ago."
David Stubbs, The Guide, issue 28th Jan-3rd Feb

"Not only are all ages in chart pop equal, chart pop never changes, it only appears to change on its surface level."

"To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence...I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."
Alan Moore on superhero movies

'The Golden Age of Science Fiction is 'twelve'."
— Peter Graham, science fiction fan.