Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Bad Old Days

I meant to point you guys to this yesterday. There are some people who reminisce and hope to change public policy around to relive the glory days. James Lileks notes:

Progress is a herky-jerky march, and it’s not always clear which way we’re heading. I tend to believe it all could be much, much worse, and I still have faith in the future, mostly because I am loath to abandon Youthful Optimism and settle into gouty disapproval. I do know that things are certainly cooler than ever. Things are just cool. When I first started doing the MYS concerts, I was writing on an iMac, calling up the baby internet on a 640X480 screen; last night I was looking over my script backstage, and I realized that I was introducing an opera about which I knew nothing. So I called up wikipedia on the iPhone, got some details a minute before I was supposed to go on stage, and added them to the remarks. And it felt cool.

Anyway. If there’s one conviction that afflicts the keenest mind as it ages, it’s the belief that Things Were Better Then, and Things Are Horrible Now, usually because no one has learned the lessons of your own generation and insisted on experiencing the world for themselves. (Frank Rich provided a neat example of this a few days ago, when he diagnosed Americans as “clinically depressed” and unable to capture the glories of his demographic, which Took It To the Streets, Man. And blew up a few buildings while they were at it, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking into a farmer’s coop, stealing his chickens, setting fire to the coop and running off with the eggs, all of which you later misplaced because you were high.)

I’m so used to being lectured by sour Boomers I’ve come to think of them all as the Gratingest Generation, but it was nice to see Keillor write about how things were worse, then.
Read the whole thing.

1 comment:

sandy said...

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