Nike’s self-lacing shoes are our latest self-destructive nostalgia trip

My annoyance is, perhaps, unfair — there are surely a few hundred professional athletes this technology might help one day — but the frustration is honest and has been building for some time. It started about a year ago, during “Back to the Future Day,” a corporate-driven monstrosity designed to whip up excitement about a mediocre sequel to a great film released a quarter century ago. Seeing the success of this, an even phonier holiday dubbed “Alien Day” was foisted on the masses on April 26 — a reference to “LV-426,” the planetoid on which Ridley Scott’s xenomorph was first discovered. One winces in terror while thinking about the multitude of bogus fanboy bait on the horizon: perhaps Elon Musk can invent replicants for us to hunt for a “Blade Runner Day” in 2019?

Our culture is devolving into one that is only interested in gleaning entertainment from past pleasures, in escaping our current predicaments — pop cultural and otherwise — and diving into the past. It calls to mind “The Entertainment” from David Foster Wallace’s opus, “Infinite Jest.” A work of staggering beauty that renders any who view it instantly addicted to its pleasures, The Entertainment is a form of personal, and cultural, suicide: Audiences can’t help but go back to it, viewing it again and again, giving up on everything else life has to offer.