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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Whose Good Old Days?

http://reflectionsfromthebellcurve.blogspot.com/2011/07/good-old-days-well.html

And another thing that annoys when I hear carping about the good old days etc. - Exactly who were those good old days good for, anyway? Seems to me the good old days were good for people like me - straight white guys without a disability. To wit:

* People like me never needed a constitutional amendment to get the vote or full citizenship or a law to guarantee an unobstructed path to a polling place. Affirmative action? Us white guys have always had our good old boys network to go along with our good old days.
* As recently as the passage of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, even being a straight white guy wouldn't have made the good old days so good if you were in a wheelchair. I recall conversations with good old days people twenty five years ago claiming Government shouldn't be involved in "social engineering" projects like the ADA. Funny how those complaints have diminished as curb cuts help the good old days advocates (and their wives and sisters) better navigate when using a baby carriage.
* Good old days - You mean the celebratory kind, like the day you're permitted to marry someone you've built a life with? Oops, let's keep those good old days for us straight folks, shall we?

And yes, Mabel, some things were better long ago. Families more frequently ate dinner together; there wasn't a television in every public space; there wasn't quite as much business for frivolous ambulance chasers. But on balance, I'll take the here and now. Three years after my initial post questioning much of the good from the often longed for good old days, I'm sticking with these good old days. You?

3 comments:

  1. The only thing I wish for in terms of the good old days is the simplicity of the library, with hard cover books and peace and quiet...and the resulting opportunity to focus. But while I sometimes think I'd like to go back there to calm my multitasking abused mind, I wouldn't want to give up the amazing and instantaneous access to any kind of information I want via the internet. Please don't send me back to the stacks.

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  2. This is a great topic and one I think about often. The mind tends to rewrite history. It fades the blemishes, even deletes whole, unsavory chapters, while magnifying the good stuff. Life, though, is a process of moving forward, not back. We make progress. Things change, and the general direction has been for the better. I believe that as a society we are more enlightened than in the past, and in that way things are better. And, through innovation we have seen vast changes, again more improvements than not. I have also loved watching the arts evolve. New music forms and fusions especially. While I mostly choose to stick with genres that are familiar and comfortable to me, I recognize that things must move forward, and I am glad to see that going on all around.

    The great tragedy is that our ecology is being destroyed at an escalating pace. Mostly, I suppose, this is because of overcrowding. But also because of disregard for preserving the planet. If we would apply our greater enlightenment to restoring the earth, now that would be something.

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    1. Kim and Jim (what a game -rhyming names!); Thanks for your comments. I share your sentiments re the up/down side of instantaneous info via the Internet and how our Earth was certainly less abused in the "...good old days..." It would be great if we could somehow find the balance between technological process and saner living and consuming. Thanks for reading.

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