Golden Age Thinking and The Internet . . .

“Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present…. the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s lining in” – Midnight in Paris, dr. Woody Allen, 2011.

Everyone has one. Your own personal golden age in history that you would rather live in than the present. My own golden age for example is La Belle Epoque Paris. The Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, Art Nouveau, the cinematography of Auguste and Louis Lumiere, and the joie de vivre. Using La Belle Epoque Paris as an example we can see just how the internet can effect golden age thinking.

The internet as a whole is a collection of the good and the bad, just like a persons golden age. One quick google search and I can see the liberal attitude towards homosexuality in the Belle Epoque, the growth of art forms, and the emergence of scientific breakthroughs such as pasteurisation and a vaccine for rabies.

On the other hand another with an other google search I can see the negative aspects of my golden age. The rampant anti-semeticism, racism, poor health, the colonisation of Africa, and the belief for a war with Germany arose out of the xenophobia after the loss of the Alsace region in the Franco-Prussian war.

The internet greatly affects a person’s attitude towards their own golden age. Google allows me to see the dark under current of one of the most breathtaking era’s in Parisian history. To an extent it’s curing my golden age syndrome. I no longer wish to live in this period (maybe just travel with a time machine) but that doesn’t mean the internet ruined it for me.

Thanks to the internet I can have the Belle Epoque period right on my computer. I can enter the grande cabaret Spotify and listen to the magical compositions, alternatively I can visit the spectacular Google Images art gallery and view the works of Matisse and Lautrec. When finished with them I can book a ticket to the great cinema Youtube and watch the Lumiere brothers “La sortie des Usines a Lyon”.

At the end of the day the internet can have both a negative and positive impact on golden age thinking. You mightn’t want to live there anymore but you can still experience all the magic from the confinements of your home.


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