Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Not-So-Good Old Days...

-- The past is calling...and usually what it says is, "Wasn't it great?"

I usually get one or two e-mails a week of the type from well-intentional people that suggest that everything was better in the past. You know what I mean; they say things like, "Remember when you could leave your house unlocked and not worry?," or "Remember when you could leave your keys in the car and not have it stolen?"

Yeah, I do remember...but such flashes to the past are usually selective and far from comprehensive, regarding the past with rose-colored glasses. You never see a nostalgia item that proclaims, "Remember when blacks and gays were regarded as sub-human?," "Remember when we lived in fear that the Russians might bomb us back into the stone age?," "Remember when lots more people died at an earlier age?," or "Remember when religious and sexual bias were operational and institutionalized?" These things, too, were part of the past, but are conveniently excluded from too many flashbacks.

There were many cool, commendable, and noteworthy things about the past, but it was far from golden and returning to it might eliminate some problems but create others. All in all, it's well to remember that the "Good Old Days" weren't all that great...

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