"The Golden Age Is When You Were 12*"

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*or some other age.

Is this a useful statement at all? Is it a profound truth about the power of nostalgia to influence taste, or a desperate fallback that stops sensible criticism dead? Or, like, what?

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 26 January 2005 19:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think it was slightly useful as originally coined -- "The Golden Age of science fiction is twelve," said at and about a time when science fiction books would sell X units a year regardless of quality and were almost exclusively driven by Big Shiny Ideas. There were no real pressures yet -- and no rewards -- to develop realistic characters or interesting plots. Paperbacks came out fueled by the latest flashy robot, wacky planet, etc.

And for that stuff, sure, you're going to enjoy it a lot more as a kid. Character development? You know next to nothing about people yet. You're to some degree blind to all the things missing from the sf of that time, so all you see is the shiny stuff.

As a general statement about the function of nostalgia, I think -- no matter what age you fill in -- it's countered by the frequency with which people carry around negative things about the past, and the combination of those two phenomena would just be "people make a big deal out of things that have already happened."

Tep (ktepi), Wednesday, 26 January 2005 19:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Thrill of Discovery, C/D?

Huk-L, Wednesday, 26 January 2005 19:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i genuinely think there wd be value to a sequence of parallel archeologies of such "golden ages" in pop culture (in SF, in comix, in kids Tv, in kidlit, in pop, in rock etc etc etc) to examine the underlying geological bedrock of what pop culture grows from: there's a whole tectonic load of unacknoweldged "legislation" goin on here!!

eg in music, the sequential teen phases of "bubblegum guilt" (which takes you out of uncritical wonder for "the wheels on the bus go round and round" into yr first playground fad), followed by "playground guilt" (= as you grow up a bit and shed yr first acquirement of schooltime pals for ppl you actually choose by elective affinity, ie catch some form of "indie"), followed of course by "indie guilt" (as you are struck by what a twat you were aged 17-23 and all the fun things you LOST by going indie), followed by [whatever] and [whatever2] and [whatever3]...

clearly mileage varies in all of these, but the effects of underlying social forces are hard to avoid (even if you have tuffly resisted any and all in their bulk form, the contortions you will have put yrself through to be "not-as-the-rest-of-humanity" = a big fuckoff lump of an effect)

(clearly also a lame crap woman-from-venus-men-from-mars rub version of the above cd easily by peddled eg by types like the Big Brother psychologists)

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 27 January 2005 12:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was 12 in 1991/1992, so uh, no that doesn't really work for me!

Well, maybe it does - I romanticize Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League, Morrison Doom Patrol, and Giffen/Bierbaums Legion Of Superheroes, and I was reading all of that at the age of 12.

Matthew "Flux" Perpetua, Thursday, 27 January 2005 13:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I was 12 in the early 90s as well, and I certainly don't romanticize Spawn/Image/whatever the hell else I was reading then (well, except for an unhealthy nostalgia for Claremonts Xtinction Agenda X-Men arc)!

I liked comics a lot as a kid, you know because they were COMICS, but I didn't have the money or the determination to pester my parents to take me out to the comic store every week (it was pretty far away). So I didn't really starting reading comic books until adulthood, and thus my critical faculties are INVULNERABLE.

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 27 January 2005 14:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I would hit my Golden Age lower than 12. By 12 I at least had a suspicion of a larger apparatus behind things, whereas around 8, comic books just showed up at the grocery store or 7-11, and for all I knew, they were printed in the back room.

Huk-L, Thursday, 27 January 2005 14:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah 12 was arbitrary. But my golden age was 12-14.

I like Mark S' idea for a schema for the 'seven ages of pop-culture man'. I would like it even better if it made us all rich.

Tom (Groke), Saturday, 29 January 2005 10:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...
(How did I miss this thread, when I have been glued to the internet since the beginning of 2005?)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 27 February 2005 17:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

My golden age for pop would probably be late 60s through the 70s (so most of my childhood), though trailing off toward the end of the 70s. (The fact that so much salsa from the 70s sounds good to me only reinforces this love of 70s.) I'm not particularly interested in listening to much of it (not counting all that Latin music I wasn't listening to at the time), but I still think that my idea of what pop music "should" sound like comes from then. (I do have some specialized Golden Age's as well, like the 30s-50s for Egyptian music.)

I don't know, let's say maybe when I was 9 or 10 (75/76ish)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 27 February 2005 18:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wait, how did I end up here? This is not ILM?

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 27 February 2005 18:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(Okay, so maybe I don't read threads as carefully as I should.)

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 27 February 2005 18:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Haha don't worry, it's the kind of thing I used to start on ILM all the time too.

Tom (Groke), Sunday, 27 February 2005 18:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I backtracked and realized I'd followed a link mark s posted on an ILM thread.

RS £aRue (rockist_scientist), Sunday, 27 February 2005 19:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"an ilm thread" = the legendary indie guilt!!

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 27 February 2005 21:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...


Cosmic Slop, Monday, 16 January 2017 21:16 (two years ago) Permalink

The golden age was when we were all reading and making fun of 52 and Final Crisis

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 16 January 2017 22:31 (two years ago) Permalink

I was never making fun of Final Crisis!

Andrew Farrell, Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:29 (two years ago) Permalink

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