Playing pogs with our political candidates

Nikki Jagerman

Every nostalgic conversation I’ve ever had has been exactly the same. Every reference, every television show, and every musical group or major pop culture event. Nostalgia is based on the desire to go back and relive all of those memories, and this is why I hate nostalgia. Let’s pretend that I really could go back, would I really spend my time watching “Clarissa Explains It All” or pig-tailing my hair like Baby Spice? No. I could have been inventing the Internet or opening large chains of coffee houses.

Being nostalgic reminds me how completely cookie-cutter my life is. Oh, you played Pogs? Yeah, so did everyone else. However, I doubt you had the Power Rangers “It’s Morphing Time” pog that guaranteed a win. Analyzing childhood pop culture is mindless and therefore the premise for a couple of VH1 series. Every commentator has some witty memory of a product, song, movie, or event, which are all remarkably alike. The importance of pop culture may be (but probably isn’t) the reason why so few young people remember the importance of politics. Remember during the Clinton presidency when the nation deficit became a surplus? No? You might have been more concerned with George Michael’s bathroom incident or creating your own bomb shelters in case of the Y2K Bug. Your memory of the Clinton Administration might be (and probably is) focused on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which is a bummer for America.

Come February 5th, California is going to vote for a Presidential Primary and on November 4th, voters will be electing the next president. However, there is a concerning amount of people unconcerned with the election, or at least that is how it seems. Britney Spears’ post-partum issues evidently outweigh the social issues presented by the candidates. Healthcare isn’t discussed as a policy issue; healthcare is discussed in the context of the relationship between Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy and Meredith.

Not everything has to be political, but politics is something that should be discussed among peers. Last year when I took a student poll for the Lariat about politics, a disheartening amount of students said that they didn’t know anything and weren’t concerned with it.

As much as I dislike Facebook, it does bring more of its young users’ attention to the election. It’s a step to get people talking about it and eventually acting on it. Remember how sick it was when you took an election year seriously and maybe your candidate won and everything was right in the world? That could be you being nostalgic. Make it happen.

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