Saturday 21 October 2017

Even the clock at Clerys stands still for no man

As well as shock at the sudden closure of Clerys, there has been a wave of nostalgia, but, says Brendan O'Connor, nostalgia doesn't pay the rent

AN ICON FOR GENERATIONS: Clerys and its famous clock. But iconic brands need relevance and kids don’t care much for legacy any more. Photo: Gerry Mooney
AN ICON FOR GENERATIONS: Clerys and its famous clock. But iconic brands need relevance and kids don’t care much for legacy any more. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

The first reaction to the closure of Clerys was obviously shock at the suddenness of it and concern for the potentially hundreds of jobs lost. There has also been, of course, a predictable wave of nostalgia for Clerys.

The flipside of the fact that we are hurtling into the future so quickly is an increasing nostalgia for the past we are disrupting and creatively destroying.

Sometimes you wonder if nostalgia will overtake porn and cats as the main purpose of the internet. The more we become connected, the less real intimacy we seem to feel, so we love to indulge in warm, fuzzy feelings about summers past, TFI Friday, crisp sandwiches and whatever childhood throwback you're having yourself. And Clerys was one of those institutions that evokes memories of a simpler time. There was no Tinder when people met under the clock at Clerys. Buns were strictly iced and sticky back then, pastries never Danish.

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