Nostalgia (118)

Nostalgia: Howard Shepherd and Dave Shepherd are on location in one of the important places ofJack Sprat Cafe, Chapel Hill, NC their young adulthood, where they talk about nostalgia.

Thanks to Maureen B. for a PayPal donation. Dave makes a couple of corrections. Thanks to Jack Sprat Café on E. Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for providing space for the Word Nerds’ remote studio. (2:08)

Nostalgia of place: We have returned to Chapel Hill, NC, where we both attended university; the meaning of the word “nostalgia” and related concepts; history vs. nostalgia. (4:08)

Music bumper from “Back in the Days” by Teej (10:08)

Some of our Chapel Hill memories; nostalgia as an emotional phenomenon. Can you go home again (with apologies to Thomas Wolfe)? Nostalgia and technology (11:56)

Song: “The Good Old Days” by The Lodger (29:46)

Rude Word of the Week: “sappy” (33:07)

Music bumper from “Natural Man” by Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials. (36:14)

The dark side of nostalgia: wishing for good old days that were not so good (36:42)

Music courtesy of The Podsafe Music Network and the Ioda Promonet

Theme music by Kick the Cat

time: 44:49

size: 41.1 Mb

rating: PG (One of our definitions of our Rude Word gets slightly crude at one point.)

Life Is SweetThe Lodger
“The Good Old Days” (mp3)
from “Life Is Sweet”

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“Back In The Days” (mp3)
from “Schenectady”
(Afrazmusic Corp)

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7 thoughts on “Nostalgia (118)”

  1. Something I find fascinating about nostalgia in general, and about the content of this episode specifically, is to allow a certain sentimentality from people who would otherwise not display it. This sentimentality is still controlled (so as to not be sappy, cloying, overbearing, artificial, etc.) but it’s still allowed, in context. For someone coming from a context which allows relatively high levels of sentimentality in many contexts, it’s pretty striking. Especially in terms of gender.
    One noticeable thing in Anglo-Saxon contexts, to this French-speaker, is that men especially are expected to only show certain emotions. A man’s tears may come from patriotism or joy, not from a romantic relationship. Even without bringing tears to a man’s eyes, nostalgia fits this specific spot where a certain time spent delving into emotional matters can be reserved. Something similar could be said of sporting events and it’s strangely fitting that the episode was recorded on one such occasion. Displaying sad or joyous feelings about the results of a basketball game is manly. Displaying similar feelings about a friend’s (or tv character’s) troubled relationships isn’t taken to be so virile.
    (Québécois are often described as «hommes roses» or “pink men,” partly because of an expectation that we lay bare our emotional selves. We also have a tendency to be somewhat submissive to women. This is not to say that feminism is over: we’re still fighting for equal rights. But many of us are perceived as the antithesis to machismo.)
    Going back to nostalgia specifically… During my dissertation research among hunters in Mali, I’ve noticed the power of nostalgia over these strong and powerful men. To a large extent, Malian hunters are the very prototype of machismo. They’re also perceived as dangerous and nearly cold-blooded. But, during ceremonies, tears may come to their eyes because of nostalgia.

    Powerful stuff.

  2. I remember the Four Corners – the offense, anyway – very well. And while Dean Smith is revered, or reviled, for it, other ACC teams could work it: in a ’68 ACC semifinal, Duke led N.C. State 4-2 at halftime, though the Wolfpack surged in the second half to come away with a 12-10 win. (They then lost to the Tar Heels in the final, 87-50.) I actually listened to that game on the radio in South Carolina; I would love to find an aircheck, just to recall all the filler material that came down the line.

  3. Oh my goodness, CGHill. I wonder whether that game (which did NOT involve UNC) is the one I remember. That score is awfully familiar, and the teams involved are the two I mentioned on this show. 1968 would have been around the correct time.

    I do recall the on-air commentary becoming quite “creative” sometime in the second half.

    The score of 4-2 at the half rings an awfully loud bell.

    See, memory is a funny thing, and can mess around with your nostalgia. Here’s an excellent case in point.

  4. Great show! My only comment is about Howard’s reference to “white trash.” It made me think of the word redneck, which might also have been used in the same context. To me, the term white trash has a somewhat negative context associated with it, i.e., low life. While redneck can have a negative context, I know people who embrace it to describe hardworking “common folk,” e.g., farmers.

    Might I suggest you use one or both of those terms as the rude word of the week sometime.

  5. Robert, you probably reacted to that term the same way I did when Howard said it. He wasn’t using it casually, of course. He meant to refer to a kind of “European-American untouchable caste.”

    That term in particular makes me cringe whenever I hear it. It’s not as strong as the “N-word” for me, but it has the same kind of deeply insulting put-down power.

    “Redneck” does seem to be embraced in certain circles (as, for example, in country music) in a way that “white trash” never is.

    I quite agree, a discussion of these two would be a very good candidate for a Rude Word of the Week segment.

  6. How fitting for the Shepherd boys to head back to Chapel Hill for a bout of nostalgia just prior to the Tar Heels’ run-up to the men’s national hoops championship. Holy tamoley, those big fellers sure can play b-ball!

    Thanks for prompting some trips down my own memory lane! As observed above, memory seems colored more by feelings than facts. And thanks to Alexandre for the cross-cultural look at those emotions–very interesting stuff.

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