Opinions and Rants #25: Putt Putt Golf and Why Nostalgia Is a Distinguished Pursuit
I was perusing through some old Putt Putt golf magazines from the 60s through the 80s, and some deep thoughts came over me. Why am I doing this? Why would a Putt Putt Golf magazine from 1972 be interesting? I don’t even like Putt Putt golf. Is there something wrong with me?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized you can learn a lot about the world you live in from a nostalgic item as mundane and odd as a Putt Putt golf magazine. Let me explain.
Nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake has its place: it can be an interesting hobby, or just make you feel good reminiscing. A blog devoted to this kind of nostalgia sounds something like this: “Hey, remember the Bit-o-Honey commercials?” or “Hey, remember when Grady made marijuana brownies on Sanford & Son?”…. they’re fun, but not necessarily edifying. One of the wisest things ever said applies here: “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” In other words, a post reminiscing about miniature golf may not teach you a damn thing, but it has other rewards.
But the biggest value in nostalgia is the world view it brings. Let me ask you a question: who do you think has a better grasp of the Middle Ages – an academic who knows all the names of the royalty and the dates and stats for every battle, or the amateur hobbyist who knows the songs, the fashion and the cultural mindset? If transported back in time, I think the academic would find the Middle Ages a very foreign place, but the amateur would feel right at home.
This is a long way of saying that nostalgia is more than dry facts; it’s mentally placing yourself in another time – which in turn gives you a greater perspective. Those who don’t ever look back are like rats, just living in the here and now. They have no ability to see why things are the way they are, because they can’t trace back the chain of causes. Thus, they have no ability to form opinions on issues, and must either rely on gut reactions or the often equally poor judgment of others.
So, hold your head up high as you take a look at some images from Putt Putt golf magazines from yesteryear. Take in how they dressed, analyze their surroundings, speculate on why Putt Putt was so popular and why its popularity faded, and ponder the gender issues of the day that put pretty ladies posing for readers in something as sexually benign as a Putt Putt golf magazine..... or just sit back and enjoy!
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