Re: Sentimental Journey
..."So, could it be said that sentimentality (the derided type) would be an aspiration to or representation of another time, agenda, lifestyle, etc.?" the answer seems to be that sentimentality is never necessarily the type of aspiration you describe, however, a sentimental reenactment is very likely an "aspiration to or representation of another time, agenda, lifestyle, etc." And here the "game" of degrees of separation becomes compounded. While pondering all this I took it to an extreme and came up with the idea of "The Stretch-Mark Paintings" where it is very probably just as possible to get at the truth by really working at stretching it, which demonstrates that opposite extremes lead to different but equally effect outcomes.
Now, thinking of the position of "ersatz", it could be said that where oral history is still memory/reenactment, written history is the substitute for oral history. Written history is, and has been for several millennia now, the primary modus operandi of (maintaining) culture, therefore (contemporary) culture already works mostly within the realm of a substitution.
I am a substitute, therefore I am?