Tag: wizard of oz

The Nostalgia Accusation

I don’t know if all of you are aware but nostalgia has become a dirty word for some in discussing media.  Recently I reviewed Fuller House on my youtube channel and the response was positive to my video; however, on a forum I noticed phrases like ‘only idiots drinking the nostalgia koolaid would like this’.  This type of accusation really annoys me.

So let’s talk about nostalgia.  The dictionary defines nostalgia as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations”.  So in other words it’s looking at something from our past and remembering it in a positive, happy way.  I get nostalgia for lots of things.  For example, whenever I drive past my old house in American Fork that I lived in with Camille and Megan I feel very nostalgic.  Whenever I go to BYU I remember all the good times I had there and it causes me to feel good- nostalgia.

Now granted these feelings are by nature stilted.  We remember either the bad or the good in the most vivid colors, and we may magnify those emotions with the passing of time.  So something that was sad becomes devastating.  Something that was happy becomes perfection.  We all do it.  It’s part of being human.

I guess where I get annoyed is the exaggeration brought on by nostalgia is only part of that memory.  I loved going to BYU, and just because I remember it with probably too much nostalgia doesn’t mean it wasn’t a genuinely wonderful time in my life.  I feel like people who say ‘you only like it because of nostalgia’ are throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  Nostalgia is part of the experience but there are really things I liked about it.

Nostalgia being part of an experience is not a reason to devalue said experience. If I love a movie because it reminds me of my Grandpa that doesn’t mean my other reasons for liking it are somehow less valuable because of a personal connection. Am I supposed to separate myself from all my life experience when viewing art and give some kind of robot review?

Recently I saw a critic on youtube eviscerate Star Wars Force Awakens and of course she accused all of us who liked it of being ‘blinded by nostalgia’.  I’m sorry but that is just not true.  Was nostalgia a part?  Probably but it also had a villain who was a true apprentice, it had a female hero who is discovering who she is, it had BB8 who was adorable, it had awesome light saber fights, it had a storm trooper rebelling.  All of that was great!  And yet I feel like this critic would discount everything I just said and accuse me of only being nostalgic.  That irritates me.

Now make no mistake there are definitely things I like for nostalgia purposes that I know are crap.  And you know what I own to that.  I know The Cutting Edge is not a great movie.  I get that, but I watched it with my friends in high school and it brings back good memories.  What’s wrong with that? I don’t expect you to have the same attachment to it and fully admit it isn’t a great movie.  And it’s not like I would give it an A+ just because I love it for nostalgia.  I would probably give it a C+ because that’s what it deserves, even though I love it.

I guess I just feel like the nostalgia accusation is a cheap way to discount what someone says.  I’ve had people claim I was nostalgic about Star Wars, Little Mermaid, Wizard of Oz, The Muppets, the list goes on.   These are all things I genuinely love and can give you reasons. I guess there is a little bit of nostalgia but that’s way down the list of why I enjoy those properties, and yet it is used as a reason to throw away my opinion?  That frustrates me!

I’ve even had people accuse me of nostalgia for things I didn’t like as a child.  I was not interested in fantasy or superheroes at all growing up.  And yet when I enjoy Avengers: Age of Ultron or other films people claim it is nostalgia.  It’s not.  I just liked it!

And I am not immune from the nostalgia accusation.  Just the other day I was talking to someone about the Care Bears movies and they were saying how people they knew LOVED them.  My response was ‘it must just be nostalgia because they aren’t that great’.  And then I stopped myself and realized I was doing the very thing that drives me crazy.  Maybe they have perfectly good reasons liking Care Bears? Or maybe it is nostalgia and what’s wrong with that?

I guess I just feel like nearly every time I’m accused of nostalgia it’s actually not the case.  I like what I like and I try to give as good an explanation as I can.  If nostalgia is part of that experience I will own to it, even celebrate it.  Nostalgia is a powerful thing and if we like something because it reminds us of our life that is great.  I just don’t like being accused of it when it isn’t true.  It makes me seem less objective than others who are ‘untainted by nostalgia’.

What do you guys think?  Can you relate to what I am saying?  What’s your view on nostalgia?  What’s something you enjoy but you know it is mostly for nostalgia sake?

Brave?

You, my friend, are a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate impression that just because you run away from danger you have no courage; you’re confusing courage with wisdom.

The Wizard of Oz

Today I’ve been thinking about what it means to be courageous.  I have been told on several occasions posts I wrote are brave.  Indeed, was just told that this week.

I know what the person meant when they paid me the compliment and I took it as such, but I want to dive a little deeper (as I am want to do on said blog).

I think sometimes I am more unusual than brave.  Also, as our friend The Cowardly Lion learned, wisdom must be coupled with bravery for it to be true courage.  Otherwise it is simply being a daredevil.

I’m not just saying this to be falsely modest but I don’t see myself as being brave on this blog or in my life in general.  For goodness sakes I’m afraid of a little dog, so I certainly have my fears.  However, if you had a best friend get mauled by a dog when you were 7 and had 2 siblings that the mere presence of dander sent them to the hospital than those fears may seem more wise than at first blush.

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Anyway, I don’t see it as being brave.  I see it as sharing my life.  I see each of you my readers as my friends and I haven’t told anything on this blog that I wouldn’t tell a friend.  Perhaps that says something to the type of friend I value than my real courage.  I have little to no interest in fluff friends (unless they come to book club 😉 ) .

Friendship and a strong connection with others is essential to my happiness, which is not always the case with all people.  I can think of many who enjoy friends but feel them to be more superfluous than family.   You can see this perfectly valid relationship expectation in how they lead their life and the type of social networking/writing they do.  A blog from such a person will feel like a bonus, something to brighten a friend or family members day and there is nothing wrong with that.

But that’s just not me.  When I started facebook in 2007 and blogging in 2008, I literally said to myself ‘if I’m going to do this, I’m going all in’.  That’s the way I love.  That’s the way I friendship, and it is certainly the way I write.  To not write that way would actually be much more difficult for me and would not have lasted 7 years. I can guarantee you that.

So what seems brave to someone expecting bonus material is just a natural extension of who I am.  And if it is who I am, it doesn’t really seem brave. I expect nothing less than honesty, forthrightness and thoughtfulness from my friends, myself and my readers.  I see the blog as a conversation between friends (that’s why I used to get frustrated at a lack of comments and I still get so excited when I get a great comment! Thank you!).

Now, have I always been wise when sharing my heart with you?  For the  most part, I think I have.  I have tried very hard to make this about my story and no others.  That can be hard, and I haven’t always succeeded, but I have tried.  I have only taken down one post, and I bitterly regret it, and will never do it again.

The posts that I most often hear are brave (or even brutally honest) are usually about one of three topics- weight, mental illness and being single.  Some may cry out and say ‘keep those things private!’.  I say ‘why?’.  Again, I think I am more unusual than brave.  It has always been common to hear such openness from memoir writers and magazine columnists but the average person couldn’t talk about such things?  Again, I ask why not talk about them?

Most people don’t talk about those three topics because they are either embarrassed, ashamed or fear some kind of ridicule. Such things do not worry me . I’ve faced down bullies once in my life and internet trolls and unkind people hold no fear for me.  Plus, this is my forum and I control who participates in the discussion.

It’s true there may be people who think I look gross in a swimsuit or my opinion on a movie is stupid (honestly the greatest vitriol has been from those posts!) but I can take it.  Unless it’s not on a PG-13 level let’s have a discussion.  If you think my movie reviews are dumb let’s talk about it.  That’s part of the fun of all of this.

Sometimes people have been legitimately mean (usually not published) but those idiots are far outweighed by the incredible support and gratitude I’ve received from sharing my life.  The knowledge that I am adding something special to someone’s life means everything.   I know there are women who have entered open water swims or triathlons because they saw me, someone who looks like them, do it.  That is the greatest.

One of the very first posts I wrote was called The Only Happy Fat Woman in America. In the post, I bemoan the depiction of overweight women on television- something still a problem.  About these weight loss shows I said:

“Maybe these types of examples encourage  some people but it leaves me feeling depressed and angry.  All people have divine worth, fat or not, and just because you lose weight does not mean you will automatically feel better about yourself.  Why do no shows seem to get this?”

Indeed why? And why don’t more blogs, movies, shows, and sadly people get this? I don’t know but hopefully by sharing my story and putting myself out there as a confident woman who is overweight I can be a small voice in a large pool of “self-loathing and despair”.

Not that I don’t have my weak sad moments (even months, a year) but that is all part of sharing my life. Again, I don’t think I’m doing anything different than housands of memoir writers do every year since forever.  Just sharing my life with my friends.

The same is true of mental health.  I am not embarrassed or ashamed that I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic attacks.  I’m proud of all I’ve learned and tired of the stigma attached to genuine medical conditions that should be no more shameful than a cold or stomach flu.

Some people feel ashamed of being a virgin and unmarried at 33.  I’m confused by it and occasionally saddened but not embarrassed so why not talk about it? People (including myself) need to know they aren’t alone in this world.

Maybe someone will read my blog and think ‘someone get’s it’.  I have moments of connection like that all the time and it is what I live for.

So, I don’t know if it is brave to share my life but I am incredibly grateful for it.  The downside to being 33 is moments with my actual friends can be far too infrequent, so my interactions with you, my friends, mean so much.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading!

And as the song goes

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Wizard of Oz

Tonight I had a special experience.  I got to see Wizard of Oz restored in 3D at the IMAX. It is playing through the end of the week so if you get a chance see it!   Its amazing.   They don’t make movies like that any more.  The songs, sets, story, acting, everything is so wonderful.  I have said before on my blog that Over the Rainbow is my favorite song of all time.  I have 13 versions of it on my ipod.  I love Judy Garland and think her life is one of such heartbreak.

https://smilingldsgirl.com/2010/10/26/favorite-songs/

I love the story of finding home, protecting your friends, searching for your dreams, and facing evil.  The lesson Dorothy learns through her entire journey in Oz is pretty great:

“if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”

 

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