History is great isn’t it? I look at old photos, read first-hand accounts, and watch grainy footage to get a sense of what the world was like before I was born. Sometimes I think ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be alive then?’ But then I remember the days – only twenty years ago – of hanging around the phone, waiting for gig promoters to call me back. Or being stood up, waiting in hope that she’s just running a bit late. No, screw that. The past is for suckers. Everyone knows the future is where it’s at. Well, maybe not everyone.
I like a bit of nostalgia now and then. Sure, there were times when life was simpler, but if you’re a grown-up with responsibilities, you’ll probably know yourself that the old days were great because you were free, with added buckets of free time. When we were young, running a country was the furthest thing from our minds. That’s for old people. (Mostly old white men.) But we’re older now, and life seems to have changed lightning-fast. Now we’re the oldies, and it’s up to us to run the place.
I doubt I’m alone in this: the older you get, the more redundant you begin to feel. So wouldn’t it be great to go back to simpler times? When life was easy? And simple? And easy? And Simple? Back to when we didn’t have a care in the world.
Tradition and nostalgia – like running old episodes of The Antiques Roadshow, they don’t require much brain power. Tired of life’s breakneck changes? Get things back to the way they used to be. You too can “take back control.” You too can refuse to accept the challenge of heading into new territory. You too can be assured of a place in the past.
Life has to move on. You don’t throw the train into reverse. You get off and cross platforms. You wanna live in the past? Go ahead and reminisce, but it would be a shame if you thought you had the right to take everyone else with you. They say the past is a foreign country – they do things differently there. Well the future is an undiscovered land, filled with opportunity.
So there you go. I’m older now, and I’ve joined a political party because it’s my time to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring future generations don’t have to put up with the fear, mistrust, and bear-baiting we have to put up with. Who knows – maybe one day I’ll be Minister of Getting Tea For The Meetings, but I know one thing for sure: I ain’t gonna drag young people back to an old-people fiction-fantasy. Nuh uh. Stay young at heart, baby. Now where’s my Aspirin?