→ Who remembers proper binmen?
Dan Hancox expertly captures the vibe of Facebook’s boomer nostalgia groups, that yearn for a vague and unspecified time period when men were men, health and safety legislation didn’t exist, and you had to ask your parents for permission to leave the table after your tea. On the face of it, they’re quaint and a little absurd, but they reveal quite a lot of what’s rotten in the English collective psyche:
“When we talk about the past, we always reveal something about the present. It is hard to imagine a more intriguing or overlooked body of evidence for assessing recent British social history than these Facebook groups: they have given us something like a more chaotic, 21st-century version of Mass Observation. They may not be ‘representative’ in any quantifiable way, but the sample size is vast, and these memes are a canvas for a whole range of contemporary insecurities and collective memories. History is written by the winners, but anyone can share a post on Facebook.”