The Contradictions of Nostalgia

Of everything Netflix has produced or acquired there are two products that really stand out: Stranger Things and Glow. Yet these shows couldn’t be more different. One is about Children (mostly boys) fighting Lovecraftian horrors in a small Midwestern town. The other is about adults (mostly young women) putting on a TV show about wrestling in Los Angeles. The only thing they have in common is 80s pop culture nostalgia.

The appeal of 80s nostalgia is a concept fraught with contradictions. In his seminal Fractured Republic Yuval Levin has forcefully (and I believe correctly)…