Rapid nostalgia occurs as the gap between our current state and our past shrinks as a result of technological acceleration.
We live in a time of incredible innovation and progress, technologically-speaking. In Los Angeles, we are rarely dazzled anymore by the great stretches of asphalt that interrupt our town. We zip past whole populations, hopping from point A to point B in about 40-50 minutes. What we mustn’t forget the implications of progress and change. We can be nostalgic rapidly now, with Los Angeles’ long history of tunnel-visioned erasure. Memories made a year ago can be come sharply nostalgic when a new coffee shop, live-work complex or shiny new piece of infrastructure replaces whatever was there before.
Looking back, and this feeling of longing for the past, is healthy and necessary in appreciating this city in its entirety. Los Angeles can be Hollywood, with false memories and face lifts to its identity, but we can’t forget the people who have flourished here in spite of covenants and narrow-minded ideals. What is Los Angeles’ future? Is it one of inclusion, celebration? Or will the layers of this place be scrubbed away, replaced with newness?
Question this feeling of rapid nostalgia. Appreciate the here and now. Invest in your community, take pride in your contributions. Meet your neighbors. Maybe take a new offramp once in awhile. And above all, savor the Los Angeles you know, right now, for it will not last.