A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Whether you’re 25, 46, 71 or only 15, some days you wake up and just feel old. You look at the world and realize today is not the day to play because the game of life has gotten too damn complicated. You remember a simpler time when things were straightforward and you knew all the rules. A time when the days were long and bright and the nights romantic. I time when – well, you get the idea – a time when it didn’t seem like an endless fight just to be alive. Don’t get me wrong: I have no desire to turn back the clock. The good old days are a myth propagated by grumpy old people who can’t figure out why they aren’t cool anymore. (Maybe it’s cuz they use words like cool?) However, on a bright winter morning when the coffee’s really good and there’s jam for the toast, there’s nothing wrong with being nostalgic.
Here are a few things, from a more elegant age, that I remember.
When people dressed up for important events. Women wore their breasts inside their clothes, and men looked like they’d taken a bath – recently.
The days when you could see the pictures in an art gallery and not the backs of a bunch of cell phones and the half faces of morons taking selfies.
When the lyrics to popular songs didn’t prominently feature body parts, sexual positions, robbery, obscenities, weapons or murder — and you could actually sing them to children.
A time when people didn’t scold each other for the sport of it.
A time when young people had all the questions, not all the answers.
The sweet satisfaction of slamming the phone down in some asshole’s ear.
The days when the relationship between men and women was not adversarial.
Irony, satire and wit.
When you could order coffee without reciting the recipe, and you got to drink it out of a real cup.
A time when ladies and gentlemen acted that way.
Lunches that didn’t come wrapped in paper and look like they’d been run over by a truck.
When gluten wasn’t the scariest thing on the planet.
The days when the “Big O” was an orgasm, not Oprah Winfrey.
A time when you could ride public transportation without being forced to listen to somebody else’s one-sided telephone conversation – 7 or 8 times.
When the truth was not a moveable feast.
A time when Hallowe’en costumes were for kids and adults had better things to do than worry about whether Pocahontas was a Disney princess or cultural appropriation.
A time when cheating in professional sports was retail, not wholesale, and the people who did it weren’t stupid enough to get caught.
The days when you weren’t constantly looking over your shoulder for a politically correct ambush.