This bit of pop-cultural political posturing from back in 2007 got one of the angriest responses to anything I've ever written, leading to me quickly pulling the post and deciding there and then that I was going to pursue a less GRR GRR-friendly creative path in future ("What are they on about? You like Ugly Betty, for fuck's sake" - Ben Baker). It's sort of worked, though I do still sometimes find my name mentioned in connection with some pointless campaign to bring back 1976-standard ad break lengths while I'm walking into Starbucks listening to the Glee soundtrack. Not everyone's behind your campaigns just because they like old stuff, people. Anyway, here it is again, hopefully appearing to a more positive reception this time around...
Spangles. Bagpuss. Spacehoppers. Slade. Rainbow. That episode of Grange Hill where Tucker did something. All of these things, and so much more more besides, once seemed so nostalgically evocative, even as early as the mid-eighties (when 'nostalgia' supposedly began and ended with Jonathan Ross saying "cor them toy space rockets eh?"), but more recently have become like popular cultural Kryptonite.
On the one hand, there was the endless parade of clip show talking heads who thought that simply 'remembering' such things was enough to provoke a proustian rush of nostalgia for the days of Sam Tyler arguing with the BBC Schools Diamond, and those ringtone-toting Abba-endorsing ha-ha-Zippy-was-on-teh-drugs retrololz jerks who insist on turning everything into an unfunny 'lewd' observational joke, which was enough to make even the most tolerant and good-humoured enthusiast for all things vaguely Phantom Flan-Flinger-tinged start to think that Noddy Holder was becoming ever so slightly tedious a reference point.
But on the other hand, when some of said enthusiasts started to wave a healthily tongue-in-cheek two fingers in the direction of Space Dust and its ilk, some others took the George Best-autographed ball and ran with it, adopting a militant stance that basically dictated that nobody was allowed to show affection for anything from the past unless they had obtained written permission and had refused to watch a South Bank Show on two people that they weren't interested in discussing a subject that they didn't understand but still got angry about it anyway.
And so everything fell into a kind of limbo, with poor old Bungle going undiscussed for fear of sparking off a wave of stupidity in both directions... and it's time that we took them back. Reject those false prophets, and reject those false blokes-with-big-sunglasses-on-office-nights-out - let's put lazy uncritical nostalgia back in centre stage, and indeed 'Denim', where it belongs. Starting today, Out On Blue Six officially launches The Humphrey Cushion 'Remember Supermousse' Campaign For Being Allowed To Talk About Spangles Again - watch this space for further developments, and for celebrity endorsements by the likes of Bawrence, Darren Grimley and TV Andrew Collins!