I suspect people have a tendency to romanticize the era in which they grew-up, believing it was a better time. For me, that would be the 1970s and, as far as I can tell, there wasn’t much to romanticize about it.
Sure, we ran free through the streets then, and parents weren’t quite so puckered about the safety of their kids. And that was good.
But I don’t think it had much to do with it being a safer time, or a fundamental difference in people. I believe it had more to do with there only being four TV channels (which showed Lost in Space, not reenactments of children being lured from their homes by twitching wart-spangled perverts), no internet, and a lot less paranoia-fueling influences.
I don’t know if it’s true, but I read somewhere that crimes against children were just as common in the ’70s, as they are now. And, as then, random acts against kids by strangers are EXTREMELY rare.
Yet TV news programs lead us to believe children are being snatched-up all willy-nilly, in ever-increasing numbers, and parents today (including myself) keep a much closer watch on their younglings.
But beyond the running rampant through the streets factor, I certainly don’t think of the ’70s as “the good old days.” I think instead of hideous hair, ludicrous fashions, a terrible economy, diarrhea-colored Chevettes, Brut, and the “misery index.”
Sure, punk rock came out of the ’70s, as did the National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live. But those were rebellions, not celebrations. Right?
Whenever I’m confronted with the idea of time-travel (usually while listening to George Noory), I always daydream about going back to the 1940s, for some reason.
The 1940s, post-WWII only… I have little interest in trying to be Sgt. Rock. Shooting two machine guns at the same time is not a good look for a man of size; high-speed love handle/mannary gland vibration is to be avoided, when possible.
No, I think about taking in a Dodgers game at Ebbets Field, having a few beers at a “beer joint” and striking up conversations with the locals of the era, just walking around grocery stores, and spending an afternoon exploring my hometown of Dunbar. Nothing too ambitious, except for the NON-NEGOTIABLE baseball trip to Brooklyn.
It’s always the ’40s for me. Go back further, and I have a feeling it would become increasingly unrecognizable. The post-war years, I think, would be relatable to what I know, but exotic enough to be fascinating.
So, are the 1940s the good old days? Somehow I doubt it. It would probably be a blast for a week or so, then the boredom would start to kick-in. And the lack of conveniences would begin to irritate. Plus, I know for a fact I’d get tired of wearing suits and hats all the time. It seems cool on TV, but that shit would quickly commence to suckin’.
And what about laughter? Would there be any? If one of us went hurtling back in time to, say, 1946, would anyone understand our 2008 sense of humor? I bet not; they’d likely brand us cruel-ass weirdos.
And their idea of gut-busting funny would probably leave us looking like Andrew. Don’t believe me? Just try to listen to an episode of Fibber McGee & Molly sometime. Sweet sainted mother of Walter Bellhaven!
Folks often say they’d like to visit Victorian times, but I can only think of one thing when I see movies set in that era: I bet those people smelled like an open grave.
Yeah, I know it’s not really fair to judge other eras through a modern prism. After all, if I smelled bad too, and lived in a world of enormous pit-funk, it might not be so noticeable. Ya know?
But I’m going to take a controversial stand and declare Right Now as the good old days. We’ve got the best electronics, most people bathe on a regular basis, and our standard of living is so high we practically have to submit to a series of intense therapy sessions if gmail goes down.
So I hoist a chalice of the golden elixir to the good old days!
What’s your favorite fantasy time-travel destination? And what do you think would start getting on your nerves, once the novelty wore off? You know, realistically speaking.
I’ll be back on Monday, if not sooner. My job is burning me all the way down, and this update was like passing a stone. I need to log some Netflix time, my friends.
But I’ll see ya soon.