You wanna know something that agitates me, mildly? Oh, this one doesn’t rise to the level of people who back into parking spaces, or who stand in line at Burger King for five solid minutes, then have no idea what they want when it’s their time to order.
No, this is only a mild irritation… but it’s legitimate, I believe. It bothers me when people say “in times like these,” or “in these trying times,” and stuff like that.
Yeah, I know the economy is sucking eggs right now (believe me, I know), but that doesn’t have much to do with it. People have been saying these things all my life, regardless of the economic situation. Every year I’ve been alive folks have been saying “in times like these.”
They also speak of “a simpler time.” I think people just want to believe their situation, this one going on right now, is the most difficult and challenging in all of human history. It’s never been harder, they’re convinced, except maybe during the Depression or a few of the major wars. But even so… those were such simpler times.
Am I wrong?
Yeah, but if I stop and think about it, I’m not so sure previous decades were simpler at all. In fact, a few of them were pretty damned complicated.
Yeah, I know we used to run free in the 1970s, without a care in the world. But there was just as much crazy-ass crime back then, as today. Maybe more. We just didn’t know about it.
We didn’t have TV “news” shows in the old days, making parents paranoid and convinced every child will be kidnapped and murdered the moment they set foot off their front porch. So yeah, simpler in a way. But maybe we’re creating our own ridiculous complications?
In any case, I don’t have the time or energy to do any hardcore research, or anything. But I’m going to list some previous decades below, and a few complicating aspects of each (off the top of my head), that we don’t really have to deal with today.
1980s The AIDS epidemic, runaway crime rates, Knot’s Landing.
1970s The “misery index,” inflation, high interest rates, the humiliating Iran hostage crisis, ludicrous California singer/songwriter facial hair.
1960s Young people being drafted and sent to Vietnam, racial tension, social unrest, assassinations, escalation of the Cold War, hippies with an aversion to society’s stifling addiction to soap and deodorant.
1950s “Duck and cover” being taught to schoolkids as a way to survive a nuclear attack, Communist paranoia, bomb shelters, the Korean “conflict,” people saying stupid shit all the time, like, “What’s buzzin, cousin?”
1940s Men off fighting World War II, food rationing, Pearl Harbor, Normandy, everyone wearing suits and dress hats, even at baseball games.
1930s The Great Depression, rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, the Dust Bowl, kids passing the time by chasing a hoop with a stick.
These lists were rattled off very quickly (as I’m sure is obvious), and I need your help in completing them. Please use the comments section below to remind us of the many complications of previous decades.
Or, if you don’t agree with my premise, tell us about that, as well.
And I’ll see you again tomorrow.
Have a great day, my friends.