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by SixFigureStart | March 26, 2009

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There’s something musty in the air. Many of us are finding ourselves sifting through flea markets, queuing up old movies, and eagerly listening to Granny’s tales of days gone by. We’re yearning for simpler times, picking up values cast aside, and coveting objects thrown away. Sometimes we’re putting on our rose-colored glasses and pretending that everything was better in the Land of Long-Ago. Call it retro porn – the urge to romanticize and fetishize the past during hard times.

The marketing world is already hip to the fact that consumers crave the security and comfort of their childhoods during the Recession. Merchandisers are tapping into the nostalgia trend in the form of re-hashed products and montages of their old advertising campaigns. Campbell’s soup, anyone?

The Internet, brimming with porn of all kinds, offers plenty of ways for surfers to indulge their retro-porn fantasies, from trolling eBay to downloading musical blasts from the past. The new Website OnceUponAWin (“A Visual Collection of Epic Wins from the Past”) invites you to submit nostalgic pictures or videos (anything pre-2000 qualifies) which users vote on. The site is full of commentary by Gen Xers waxing poetic about Captain Kangaroo and Flash Gordon.

Aficianados of Steampunk reach further into the past for their inspiration. The name of a curious movement in design, literature, technology, and fashion refers to a time when machines were powered by steam. The movement has been around for a while (since H.G. Wells, some argue), but has recently moved from fringe to front-and-center. The New York Times covered Steampunk last May, and soon after, articles on Steampunk fashion and style began to circulate widely. With its make-it-yourself ethos and Victorian aesthetic, Steampunk appeals to a recession-stricken consumers weary of the buy-and-discard, plastic vibe of the boom years. Steampunks can turn a Mac computer into something that looks like a Victorian music box, complete with brass fittings, claw feet, and leather details.

Now that’s something we wouldn’t mind having in our home office.

--Posted by Lynn Parramore, RecessionWire.com

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