The Curse of Repeating Ourselves

Does anyone below the age of 18 even use these anymore?

Let’s turn back the hands of time….to a simpler existence…

The 1990’s for me was a period of time before the constraints of real world responsibilities. It was during this era that I believe that the media I consumed completely shaped my life.

  • My love of science fiction fueled my imagination for far away places and the infinite possibilities out there.
  • I played with action figures a lot (Gundams were my favorite), making up scenarios and battles for my toys to engage in.
  • Novels and comic books adorned my bookshelves, the number seemed endless because I used allowance money to continue buying new ones.
  • I was lucky enough to have an older brother who let me watch and play his video games when I could, igniting my love for platformers like Mario and roleplaying games like Final Fantasy.
  • Television shows like the Twilight ZoneTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesPokemon, and many more captivated me, giving me examples of interesting episodic content to hopefully pull inspiration from later.

Years later and a few of those bullet points haven’t deviated too far from where I started off as a youth….albeit things are harder to fit in due to a growing schedule. On the topic of things coming back around, this week made me think about nostalgia and just how much the things that we loved sometimes have a tendency to come back around if we wait long enough.

If you know what this is, you can imagine how giddy I was.

The link listed above will take you to an independent project I stumbled upon by the OC Jazz Collective, a group I previously had not heard of. They created an all jazz remix  based on the Chrono Trigger soundtrack (the soundtrack to one of my favorite games of all time); and I encourage everyone, even those who have no idea what Chrono Trigger is, to download and listen to the free project. It’s very well done.

Not to deviate too far from my original point (it’s easy to do when Chrono Trigger is involved) but how rad is it that other fans of something that came out over twenty years ago, saw fit to revisit it and introduce it to an entirely new generation of people who could learn to appreciate it? Even with their own slight remix on it, I like the idea of sometimes revisiting older things.

That’s the world we live in today. As a kid who grew up on reading my brother’s old Silver Surfer comic books, how insane is it to live in a world where Marvel comic book properties are a yearly occurrence? Usually more often than that now with Netflix and primetime television thrown into the mix; and those are just two big things that I can think up off the top of my head. What about other things like fashion we used to wear? Vernacular we used to speak?

The things we used to think of in the past with such lovely nostalgia have come back full circle to a new audience that never heard of it…but usually led by those who remember it with such fondness, usually started with a conversation like this:

First Guy: “Hey! You remember that thing back from so many years ago?”

Second Guy: “Of course! I loved that thing!”

First Guy: “Me too! It was so cool! Hey, aren’t you in a position of power and influence?”

Second Guy: “You know it!”

First Guy: “Why not try to bring it back? I’m sure there’s an audience out there for it. Who knows it’ll probably be profitable.”

Second Guy: “Sounds like a plan! Good thinking.”

*The two high-five in mid-air*

But as much as I love it, I’m getting tired of it…

Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to go to the movies with my friends who know NOTHING about comic books and be the one to break down certain complex aspects to the world that wasn’t covered in our 120 minute cinematic experience. It’s dope to see my younger cousins mentioning a show based on something I watched over ten years ago. I may even call it endearing to see my nephew playing with toys that were popular back when I was a kid.

But all these attempts at trying to get ‘that moment’ back aren’t real.

I shouldn’t have to say that but I do. For those who are thirty and above (typically the ones who end up being able to control the output of content), the days of blissful adolescence are over and we need to stop looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses because we’re slowly digging ourselves into a deeper ditch of creative slump. One that gets higher by the day and harder to pull ourselves out of. People aren’t chasing new stories that no one has ever seen before to push creativity forward. They’re searching for something that has an existing group of consumers in order to guarantee a massive profit. This is especially true for mainstream media. But also a bit indicative of the independent market as well. Creatives who want to be just as successful as the big wigs but lack the demonstrative influence and network of connections. Sometimes their hope is to emulate what’s currently popular and add a twist to it, hoping to catch the eye of someone who can provide monetary aide.

Is it too much to ask for us to take risks?

What do I know right? Still unpublished and trying to figure this thing out like everyone else. But what I do know is the satisfaction you feel when someone critiques your work (whether written, drawn, programmed, etc) and they like it because it’s YOUR IDEA. Something you stand by because it was birthed somewhere deep within that imagination factory you call a brain! There’s nothing like seeing something you believe in prosper. But we won’t proliferate any of that by staying safe.

There needs to be a balance. Is it interesting that a new Blair Witch movie is coming out? For those who don’t recognize its significance absolutely! But what about crafting your own horror movie script and attempting to film something with your own personal take? If we’re going to push the envelope, it means stepping out into unfamiliar territory.

Until next time.

Author: Mr. Nifty

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