Whine of the Week: Childhood Nostalgia
CHARLIE DOWELL hates your mistaken love of childhood.
One of the great things about being in Cambridge, is the number of free dinners you can get during your time there.
Last Friday I was lucky enough to enjoy a multicourse dinner, accompanied by a superb red: Clos Sainte Anne, Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2000.
The flavour was solid. It was a red wine rock that you could build a fantastic meat course upon.
Red wine, in fact all wines, really are adult pleasures enjoyed by a trained palate that has outgrown a childish desire for sweet and salty tastes. Leaving childhood behind and moving into a more reasoned and sophisticated existence, is one of the best things that has happened to you all.
Why then do so many of us try to recreate or hold on to aspects of our crappy formative years?
Let me say this, childhood is shit. Yes you may have had no real responsibilities and any work you had was really fucking easy, but it was in truth, a terrible time.
Firstly children are generally cruel little fuckers. Their underdeveloped emotions mean they hit each other, steal things, have tantrums and generally are selfish to the point of psychopathy. Why would you want to go back to a time where little Harold Shipmans are wandering around, fucking with your head and generally making you unhappy?
Secondly children’s things are simple and quite frankly really, terribly, bone gnawingly dull. This was made apparent to me when I had some misplaced nostalgia for the CBBC show Raven.
I youtubed the programme and was struck by how deeply, deeply boring and predictable the show was: kids swam in a lake, failed to solve simple puzzles and had petty arguments with each other, this was great fucking television.
Mundane characters, predictable plot lines and unfunny jokes are par for the cause in children’s TV and film. Rewatch the Lion King or Finding Nemo and I’ll bet ten minutes in, you’d rather spend two hours flicking yourself in the cornea or staring at the pattern of grains on your wooden desk than carrying on to the end.
I don’t understand why so many of my friends enjoy children’s films and TV when there are so many fantastic, subtle and complex shows aimed at an adult audience.
A similar argument can be said for children’s food, games, books, songs, jokes and conversation. The simplicity of them is excruciating.
My idea of hell would be having to attend a children’s party where I am force fed party rings and cocktail sausages, whilst having my Pokémon cards stolen during a game of musical chairs, with the Little Mermaid being played on TV in the background alongside the soundtrack to Hercules, whilst a clown made balloon animals and my Mum and Dad patronised me by saying to other parents, “Well Charlie is very bright for his age, but he still wets the bed”.
Why try to relive any aspect of this dystopia? Just because you lived through it a fairly long time ago, doesn’t mean it was any good.
Savour the joy of being young and an adult. When you are on your deathbed, I am sure these will be the years you wish you could go back to.
Get drunk, don’t drink fizzy pop. Have sex, don’t go to a theme park. Read a great novel, don’t watch cartoons.
The best ideas and art that humanity has constructed are generally subtle, sophisticated and were created by and for adults. Don’t go back on years of progression by thoughtlessly wishing you were a kid again.
Don’t put on that Disney VHS you have back home at Christmas. Go to the pub and get boozy with your mates over conversation and carols.
Anyway, another glass of red wine or a eyewateringly strong cup of coffee, will give you the adult kick you need to burst from your mistaken amniotic sac and never turn around to the gooey mess that is childhood.