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“What if the feeling we like to call nostalgia is simply the byproduct of accidental repetition?”, asks Chuck Klosterman. In his article ‘Nostalgia On Repeat’, he does some etymological inside architecture on the idea of nostalgia which joins the lofty analysis of obvious contemplation to thinking back one’s childhood, to that of growing up with cherished recollections. He examines the action of real nostalgia, and how an abundance of accidental repetition is changing our impression of it. Helen Rosner portrays “The agony and the ecstasy of America’s favorite chain restaurant”, in her reading ‘Christ In The Garden Of Endless Breadsticks’. She has composed what Olive Garden intends to her directly, its classical setting, and what it intends to us significantly as an experience.
Klosterman says, “I’m much more interested in why people feel nostalgia, particularly when that feeling derives from things that don’t actually intersect with any personal experience they supposedly had.” This shows his reason for investigating the idea of nostalgia and its pros and cons. He talks about the cons by saying, “Nostalgia is an uncritical form of artistic appreciation.” and says, “Nostalgia is lazy, lifeless, and detrimental to creativity.” He says that people like nostalgia because “it feels good and feeling good is the point.” He concludes his pros and cons by saying, “It’s always based on the premise that we are nostalgic for things that transport us back to earlier draft of ourselves, and that this process of mental time travel is either wonderful or pathetic (because that’s certainly how it feels).” In all honesty, he is trying to portray that an image talks a thousand words. For instance- an infant picture. It is an interruption, a stop in time of an adorable, cute self, which is oblivious and ignorant of its past or its future.
Basically, what makes a difference in life is repetition. Repetition may from the outset sound inert and boring. To cycle forward to new spaces relies upon how and when we push ourselves, similar to the pushing of our feet on the similar pedals of a bike. Every day is not the same. To miss the fun of the bicycle ride and just have spotlight on accelerating guarantees bad results, just like for this situation- accidental repetition. Another significant point that Klosterman brushes by is the significance of repetition. He shows how accidental repetition is mistaken for nostalgia. Songs which we have essentially heard multiple times, sound better just by nature of their recognition. Some may regard tribal drumming soothing, just by the nature of “having multiple auditory experiences simultaneously.”(Klosterman pg.4)
Klosterman feels that the discussion about nostalgia will inevitably wind up unessential because of the Internet. She says, “The Internet is a curator based medium, it’s also a naturally backward looking medium.” By saying this, she portrays the Internet as a mode of communication for the people as she feels that “Connectivity will replace repetition.” Nostalgia is all over the place, companies have found how incredible it is as a showcasing strategy by making remakes of movies, music, art, fiction or even books. All of this just to lure in the people under the tag of ‘nostalgic revival’.
Rosner uses phrases like “exquisite mediocrity”, “psychospace of reality” to depict the status of Olive Garden. She also says, “These accretions of commercial activity, stripped from geographic or historical identity, are what the French anthropologist Marc Augé talks about as ‘non-places’.”(Rosner pg.5). Rosner portrays non-place as an accidental repetition as we’re going to the same place over and over again and thus have the same experience we have every time.
Rosner portrays the food at Olive Garden as a machine of memory. She shows how the food at Olive Garden is as nostalgic as the non-place itself. She portrays her enduring connection to their food by talking about her inveterate habit of ordering the fettuccine alfredo, a dish which was her favorite at the time but one which she hasn’t had for twenty years now. She talks of how its quality has degraded from the authentic one she had twenty years before. She also talks about the toasted ravioli which her boyfriend made her have and her loving it. The toasted ravioli brought back memories of the time she spent with her boyfriend. She depicts nostalgia through these short anecdotes.
“There is only one Olive Garden, but it has a thousand doors.”, says Rosner. By saying this, she shows the Olive Garden as a machine of memory. She depicts her lingering connection to the décor by showing how any Olive Garden you visit all over the world, you will have the same nostalgic feeling, since all of them look the same, exteriorly and interiorly. Interiorly not only means the inner architecture of the restaurant which is splendid but also the internal emotions of a person who loves going to this restaurant. She says, “What Olive Garden is actually selling is Olive Garden, a room of comfort and familiarity, a place to return over and over.” A person might have gone there with his family in the past and will continue to do so in the future as it becomes a family tradition for them to spend quality time together at a place they now considered as their second home. She says, “It is extraordinarily good at being a non-place.”
Rosner inspires memories through the Olive Garden. She shows how one can get attached to a place for a lifetime. What really happens during the time that passes by while going to the Olive Garden, is more unpredictable than what one can just envision. All things considered, after some time, these mental diaries might be mysteriously gotten to by a sole look at an image, whose outline chooses not to move on.
Each stage in a man’s life, from a baby stage to a teenager stage to an adult stage communicates the significant evolution of individuals and ages. If the event of going through our present is all right, meandering the past is in fact reasonable. Investigating our past is as engaging as setting and masterminding the bits of a jigsaw puzzle. We ought to be cautious in not mixing up the thought of looking back at our past as nostalgia. Nostalgia is the general yearning of the past. It is a piercing and a wonderful encounter. It causes us to recollect that our lives have importance and worth. It encourages us to discover certainty and an inspiration to confront the difficulties of things to come.
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