Forget Fido Dido to long for him

Like many of the Sundays in which the football league – that nice and irrelevant competition of tax evaders without having finished secondary school that entertains the weekends of the hardworking taxpayer – dominates a dozen and a half of the twenty trends on social networks, yesterday a pair of completely unexpected black swans, far from current events and with no other driving force than whim.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
21 February 2024 Wednesday 21:50
13 Reads
Forget Fido Dido to long for him

Like many of the Sundays in which the football league – that nice and irrelevant competition of tax evaders without having finished secondary school that entertains the weekends of the hardworking taxpayer – dominates a dozen and a half of the twenty trends on social networks, yesterday a pair of completely unexpected black swans, far from current events and with no other driving force than whim. One was an “idiot”, God knows why but surely with reason. The other was “Fido Dido,” 7-Up's postmodern mascot, and the only reason he activated so many digital subjects was because his popularity was as intense as it was fleeting.

A Twitter user, César Bustamante (@cesart01), a multimedia technician at the New Technologies Training Center of the University of Cantabria, according to his biography, reproduced a drawing of the famous lanky young man, promising that if you knew his name, you were “ closer to retirement than you think.” A vain promise, because Fido Dido, created in 1985, began to become known after its creators, Joanna Ferrone and Sue Rose, reached an agreement in 1988 with Pepsico to be the image of the aforementioned drink. The campaign caught on, but at the same time its decided eighties appearance made it outdated, so that before the turn of the century it had passed away, in terms of reputation, to a better life.

Aside from the optimistic calculation of the years (if the height of Fido Dido's fame was in the mid-nineties, any millennial will easily identify him, even though he will be no less than a quarter of a century away from retiring), Its sudden disappearance from television spots, fashion clothing and accessories and other leisure products – it even had video games – explains its value as a generational milestone. This question is central, because it explains that the preamble of forgetting is an essential requirement of nostalgia. Nobody misses Coca-Cola or James Bond because they have never gone anywhere.

That forgetting is a precondition for melancholic pain also speaks to the fickle nature of affections, as it means that the requirement of our romanticization requires prior disdain and abandonment. Longing demands upstream an end to frequentation, so that memory – as busy and imaginative in its work of recreational restoration as a team of museum curators – does its work of beautifying and making up that which was always the most prosaic and routine of what we are willing to admit to ourselves.

We are happy to see Fido Dido, like the affections of that time, but we have not missed either one or the others. They only activate a false and sugarcoated memory. But the smile is planted on our faces by the memory of the one we were, the one we loved so much, and not by the friends of that time, who are only the Proustian vehicle to reach him: Fido Dido is not cool, I was cool with his t-shirt.