Off the Beat with Louis Otero: Everything I Used to Love is Actually Just Garbage

By Louis Otero

Millennials have been called the most nostalgic generation. It’s bizarre because we are so young, but it’s true. We have an awful habit of fetishizing our childhoods. I’m 21. So, I was only alive for the last five years of the 90’s. Still, I always see people my age posting elitist nonsense like “Only 90’s kids’ will remember…” and then go on to name things that usually have nothing to do with the 90’s. Here’s what I remember from that time: Joel Schumacher’s “Batman and Robin”, “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”, and wearing a diaper because I was an infant for most of it.

“Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” wasn’t a 90’s show, it ended in 1990. I loved it then, but watching it now I’m both terrified and confused as to what I actually saw in it. This has been the case with most things I enjoyed as a child. It’s very easy to look back on things with rose-colored glasses and think things have gone to hell since then. If you really go back and take a look at these things, you will quickly realize that we have severely exaggerated the value of most things we enjoyed as children.

Admittedly, I may be alone on liking “Batman and Robin” as a child. It’s widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, but I couldn’t see that when I was a kid. It was a funny, cartoon-y, Batman movie, and it had Uma Thurman in it! Sadly, it’s really as bad as everyone says. It makes absolutely no sense, it’s poorly acted, and for some reason Clooney’s batsuit has nipples on it.

“Super Mario Sunshine” is a completely different story. If you look up reviews for this Gamecube classic, you will see dozens upon dozens of positive comments. Currently, it holds a 92 on Metacritic, which is astronomically high. Through the magic of emulators on my computer, the legality of which is questionable at best, I recently played through the game for the first time in over a decade. To be blunt, it’s garbage. Yes, it’s still a Mario game. So, all the thrills of controlling a small, mustachioed, plumber are still there. However, you spend the entire game fighting with the camera. It’s so bad that half the time you will be looking at a wall instead of Mario because the game just can’t handle tight spaces. The voice acting is so bad that it completely distracts from just how unnecessary it is. Seriously, how did we all think this was okay?

Look, I’m not saying that nostalgia is a bad thing. I just think we all use it as a way to criticize new things, and that makes everything very difficult to enjoy. We build things up in our minds to the point where not even the movie, videogame, show, or whatever in question can live up to the expectations that we set for it.