A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Okay, old people! STOP IT! Yeah, yeah, yeah! We all know life was a gigantic hot fudge sundae back in the 70s or the 30s or whenever the hell you thought you were cool, but it’s time to give it a rest. Every generation thinks they’re the best: take a listen to ancient Boomers yipping about the 60s as if it were an expensive suburb of Nirvana. (It’s long past time to shoot that myth in the head, BTW.) I’m not saying we shouldn’t be nostalgic for that magical time when we were young, beautiful, full of hormones and immortal (guilty as charged) but could we just shut up about it for five minutes? Here are a few facts old people need to remember before they start shouting their mouths off.
Nobody cares that you can rewind a cassette tape with a pencil.
Yeah, telephones were attached to the wall. Big wow! All that meant is every time you were talking to your friends, your mom, your dad and your dog could hear the entire conversation.
No matter how you spin it, watching a 6-year-old edited movie with a ton of advertising — on a 32 inch television set — is just not as good as watching a first-run HD film on a 60 inch big screen. Especially when you were busting your bladder, waiting for the commercials so you could go pee without missing something.
Water from the garden hose was just water; it wasn’t 30-year-old Chablis.
The major difference between riding a bike with a helmet and riding a bike without one is – uh – I don’t know – brain damage?
The truth is, it was totally crappy to take a pile of pictures at your grandma’s 90th birthday party and find out — three days later — that half of them were out of focus.
The only reason Pong™ was cool is that’s all we had.
Carrying a camera, a Walkman™, a guide book, binoculars, a map, a pen, paper and a pocketful of coins, for pay phones and parking, when you went on vacation, was a total pain in the ass. It’s a wonder everybody over 30 doesn’t walk with a limp.
And speaking of maps. Cruising down the highway at 70 mph while simultaneously trying to find your exit on an uncooperative paper map the size of your dining room table was really kinda stressful. And refolding the damn thing after you were done was even worse.
But the thing old people need to remember most about “the good old days” is:
It actually wasn’t all that much fun getting choked with cigarette smoke — in bars, restaurants, office buildings, on the streets, at the airport, in the park and (and this is true) in doctors’ offices and maternity wards.