DNA Lounge and Nostalgia

I have long been fascinated by DNA Lounge in San Francisco, mostly because its genesis and operation are so well-documented online. It likely ranks as the place I know the most about but am least likely to ever visit (for reasons of both geography and demographic).

The place has been going through an existential crisis of late, trying to establish itself on a financial footing that doesn’t require its generous patron-founder. And so they have been casting about for new ideas to bring people in the door:

We’ve also been brainstorming about what other similar pop culture parade we could get in front of. I think the sweet spot might be “I was into it when I was 12, and it’s still popular today, so the ‘sexy costume’ version of it makes me feel all funny inside.”

Nostalgia seems to be the rule of the day. Stranger Things. Fuller House. Gilmore Girls. World-ending grief outpourings as music and film stars of the 1970s and 1980s die. Pinball. Vinyl. Four-colour pens.

Lord knows that I can wallow in it myself, pining for the good old days of Live from the Formosa Tea House and CA*Net.

My wise old friend—nostalgia, yes—Ken Hone once said that as soon as something had a history it was time to jettison it and move on to something new. He was talking about progressive movements, but I think the idea has broader application.

As Oliver will attest, not a day goes by when I don’t make passing reference to “back in the 70s,” either seriously or in jest. Perhaps this should be the year that I stop doing that, stop wearing the sexy costume version of my younger days and looking forward into the abyss.


Oliver Rukavina's picture
Oliver Rukavina on January 30, 2017 - 11:00 Permalink

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