The Fetish of the Past

Whatever happened to this player?  Oh man, he was so good.

Remember the old days when this yoyo was the best?  Man all these new yoyos have no personality now.  

Sounds familiar?  We all like to live in the past.  But was the past really better?  Let's view this from a different perspective.

You're back in high school.  Your biggest problem was the SAT's and getting good grades, maybe you're scared because you're going to ask Jane Doe to the dance, and she might say no.  You feel like these problems are the biggest burdens you've ever carried.  

You get a 2300 on the SAT, and graduate 3.8.  Jane Doe says yes, and you go out with Jane for a year.  Everything goes well, and you attend UC Berkeley for Undergrad.  


You get a 1800 on the SAT, and graduate 3.4.  Jane Doe says no, and you go to the dance stag.  You attend UC San Diego after spending 2 years in community college.

You end up with a degree from a reputable university anyways, and end up jobless in either situation.

The job market is hard, and now you're worried about the problems that you face due to a lack of money.  You're working at a milk tea store, making just above minimum wage, and you're struggling to pay rent.  Now, your problems aren't getting rejected by a girl, or getting a worse grade, they're keeping a roof above your head, and keeping food on the table.  You reminisce about the old days when the problems seem like nothing to what they are now.

Let's bring this back to yoyo.  In reality, yoyos are way better than they ever were.  Remember back in 2008, when some yoyos actually didn't work unless you added corn starch into it?  They would spin decently, and then you would have to maintain them constantly.  What about yoyo bodies cracking?  That would happen really quickly as well.  Nowadays, we have such great quality control, and manufacturing standards, that this type of situation is not really a common occurrence, but rather, anodization defects and vibe are the most common source of "b grade" returns. 

Back then, many yoyos did not have bearing posts built into the yoyo, but rather used the axle as the bearing post.  This would yield vibe, and would have yoyos be of a lower quality in terms of durability as well.  Now with the more common built in bearing post (Thank you HSPIN) our yoyos are better performing, more consistent, and higher quality than ever.

What about yoyo competitions?  People often complain that yoyo competitions are now boring.  Everything is so formulaic, with everyone doing abs and not having any personality.  X person didn't pass wildcard?  Blame the system.

Let's look into the past.  In 2006 Worlds, Mickey scored 99.2, 20 points ahead of Paul Han.  Why?  There used to be a sport ladder aspect in the freestyles.  Source from 2006 World Yoyo contest rules page:

"Top contestants from compulsories go to the freestyle finals. Please see freestyle rules for the number of contestants that progress to freestyles and for freestyle rules."

By practicing the sport ladder a lot, you would be guaranteed a spot in the finals.  What do you think would limit yoyoing more, literally having people do the same trick with a pass/no pass style grading, or having people do a preliminary freestyle, with elements graded?  I would argue that this current system is much better than previously.

What about noise in yoyo contests?  Actually, a lot of this could be brought down to one person.  Back when this person was first starting to compete, no one would cheer for him.  Because of knowing how this felt, he would make a huge effort to cheer on other players based on skill, not on prestige.  His name is Iori Yamaki.  With him not competing anymore, you can notice a reduction on noise in contests.

What am I trying to say here?  We don't have it bad right now.  It wasn't better in the past.  We've just forgotten about the bad aspects.  Remember the 2007 Yomega controversy?  I know you don't.  The bad memories get masked by the good memories, and with larger issues we deal with now (due to age) we end up having a fetish of the past.  

That's not to say that it's a bad thing, but it's important to remember to cherish the present, and look forward to the future.

We don't have it bad now at all.



Tyler Hsieh