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New Sure, we fetishize the past
I do it as much as the next person, I suppose, although way less than the person next to him. There's a frequent meme on the Book of Face: picture of Kids Today staring at their phones, or wearing their trousers too low, or listening to [insert You call that music?? genre here] or anything else that irks the geriatric and adjacent cohort: "I feel sorry for kids today," followed by a rhapsodic, highly colored and highly selective account of the innocent idyll that was the nineteen-fifties, of the wholesome entertainments we enjoyed, our simple, blameless pleasures, the respect we tots showed to our elders and to authority generally, and so forth. I'll bet you a beet that had you raised the subject of youth to an American of my present age back when I was growing up, you'd have got an earful of kids "today" (then): mindless television! The bestial jungle rhythms of so-called rock and roll (You call that music??)! Lascivious dancing! The threat of nuclear war! Not at all like the vanished golden era when they were young in 1900.

So it's a moving target. Possibly I have linked before to Jon Carroll's marvelous short essay "As You Grow Older, which is well worth the few minutes it will require of your attention.

In the longer term, I suppose these cultural devolutions (as they appear from my own incipient geezerhood) are morally neutral. There is much about the fifties I would not care to reprise. As I said in the referenced blog entry:
I'll pause here to make the standard and obligatory stipulation (obligatory, that is, for those of us outside the fevered fantasies of the nascent brownshirt movement that afflicts our public life today) that the era under consideration is not universally remembered as a vanished golden age by sundry classes of then politically, economically, culturally or sexually disenfranchised Americans. You may imagine this disclaimer to be as eloquent and as detailed as you like, and I will sign it.
But I stand by my assertion that a society in which an optimistic middle class was upscale in its cultural aspirations may reasonably be judged healthier from that standpoint than one in which social mobility has all but frozen in place, at least as far as upward movement is concerned, where a justified bitterness and resentment festers, and where fear and ignorance are merchandising tools tirelessly deployed, and high culture despised except insofar as it may be monetized.

No doubt at mid-century there will be middle-aged people looking back at 2016 as a vanished age of comity and prosperity, and I fervently hope that they are phrasing this in terms of "And we didn't lock our doors!" rather than "And we didn't spend the daylight hours cowering in our bunkers, coming out only at night to gather roots and grubs as we dodged the militia patrols."


Edit: linkie fixed; thanx tendered to boxley.
Expand Edited by rcareaga April 23, 2016, 11:11:36 PM EDT
New I fixed your link
It is good but I did not have that perspective as I grew up feral. I am more cunning as I am older but I still see the world from the dirt up even tho I make a healthy living. One thing I have noticed that the banding together has drifted from family,skin color, class status. Outside of the stratified older cities the melding of like minds is less identified by the older demarcation lines. Youngsters are as blindly gullable as they ever were but most of them have a better kindness factor that is beaten out of them as they age. However, that kindness factor is lasting into their early 20's rather than exiting at age 16 or so. Maybe in another generation or so a person in need will be just that, not some undeserving other who needs to be corralled and abused. One can hope.
always look out for number one and don't step in number two
New Well said. :-)
     "Mid-Century Middlebrow" - (rcareaga) - (5)
         Im pretty sure that gaius thought he was at the pinnacle of glory as well - (boxley) - (3)
             Sure, we fetishize the past - (rcareaga) - (2)
                 I fixed your link - (boxley) - (1)
                     Well said. :-) -NT - (Another Scott)
         ignore dupe - (boxley)

Same thing we do every night, Pinky... try to take over the WORLD!
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