Childhood and young adulthood are allegedly the “best years of one’s life,” but I’m far more successful now. However, the party can’t go on forever. Eventually I’ll no longer be able to deny I’m over the hill. This is a great opportunity to wax nostalgic about the good old days and how everything’s terrible now. Let the immodest boasting begin.
1. Kids were active
For a couple of years, I walked to school uphill, often in the snow. The cold, soggy rubber boots usually left rashes on my legs. I would’ve considered global warming a big improvement! Although the way back was actually downhill (I won’t lie), that wasn’t quite a picnic. A group of older kids hid out nearby and got their jollies by chasing the younger ones. On a positive note, walking uphill and running for my life on the return trip was a decent daily aerobic routine.
Children were otherwise pretty active back then. In fact, boys were all hyperactive, but only one kid I knew got doped up for it. (Besides him, I was the next most hyper, basically a little monster.) It’s not like nowadays, with half the school on Ritalin—or even stronger stuff—to make them stop acting like kids.
My next elementary school had a huge, brand new jungle gym—I remember the truck pouring the sand! It’s gone now, probably because of lawyers. (So is the long drop tire swing in the park nearby, probably for the same reason.) Also, I got a bike, often riding miles a day. I wiped out hard many times, but only once got hit by a car.
Later, I played football a couple of years, though I wasn’t exactly the best. Still, one of my dumbest mistakes was not trying out for the high school team, the ticket to the “in” crowd. Although the coaches were just a smidge abrasive (it comes with the territory), they would’ve taught me how to lift early on, which would’ve been well worth it. Nowadays, youth athletics just ain’t what it used to be, and there are reasons.
2. We weren’t couch potatoes
Video games didn’t mean parking on your ass for hours. Hanging out at the mall’s arcade was nearly a social event. You usually stood, blowing a quarter for a single go. (That was half the price of a loaf of bread back then!) One of my friends got Pong, the first home game console ever. I thought it was pretty neat at first, but electronic table tennis ain’t addictive, fortunately! Nowadays, folks might play Warcrack eight hours at a stretch. One of my managers actually did that at work for nearly a year.
If you actually had thirteen channels of crap to choose (paraphrasing Pink Floyd), then you were one of the “lucky few” with that newfangled cable TV. By golly, I put my wicked little science-nerd brain to work figuring out how to pirate it! Nowadays, most folks reckon their 500-channel subscription is a biological necessity, like clean drinking water. (It’s still crap.) When I was a young’un, we actually had to get up off the dadgum sofa to change the channel too!
3. Politics was better
Boy howdy, they don’t make politicians like they used to! In the 1860s, there was a lawyer as President, and they called him “honest Abe”. In the 1990s, we got another lawyer President, and Slick Willie argued about what the meaning of “is” is. FDR did his damnedest to provoke them Japs, but leastaways he let them pull the job, unlike this newfangled false flag stuff.
Tricky Dick told a few fish stories, but The Lightworker told the truth only when the teleprompter operator goofed. When Gerald Ford ran for President, the joke was that he couldn’t walk in a straight line while chewing gum. When Hillary ran for President, she couldn’t walk straight even without the gum.
Theodore Roosevelt had a pair of nuts the size of cannonballs, and he was a liberal for his time. Today, he’d be drinking buddies with Pat Buchanan. Times change, or so they say. Back then, liberals actually cared about helping the disadvantaged. Nowadays, they care about keeping them agitated, They’ll promise the moon, but never make things better. And speaking of Buchanan, fellers like him were what folks meant by conservative. Now, he’s supposedly an extremist, while neutered “mainstream conservatives” are merely a controlled opposition.
4. Even Communism was better
Commies used to be pretty dang scary! Occasionally they even had some sensible moments. Khrushchev was an improvement, and could’ve gone on the right track, but didn’t play his cards right. Brezhnev was an asshole dictator, but had his lucid moments sometimes. Gorby was too decent; you had to be an asshole dictator to keep that job. Fidel Castro knew that stogies are for smoking. Bill Clinton thinks seegars are for something entirely different.
By the time I got to college, Communism was headed straight down the crapper. There were more campus pinkos than Vegas had compulsive gamblers. However, one Viet Cong feller coulda whupped a dozen of them coffee shop radicalinskis without breaking a sweat! Comrade Lenin would’ve wept bitter tears had he lived to see them, or especially today’s gaggle of limp noodles.
Nowadays, commies are fruitcakes wearing masks, sometimes with very peculiar eating habits. They only attack when they outnumber their opponents. Still, they often get schooled about picking fights with the wrong people, or even get wedgies.
Hell, even cultural Marxism was a dadgum sight better. Sure, we had sneaky media propaganda telling us what to think, just like today. Still, nobody was trying their damnedest to convince us men get pregnant, ancient Britain was multiracial, gay parents are better; none of that kind of bullcorn.
5. Men and women got along better
Ladies generally acted decent. There were exceptions, but nobody pretended that being snotty is “empowerment”. Nowadays, it’s harder to find ladylike gals; and they sure don’t stay single for long. There were some nutty women’s libbers back then, but we laughed at ’em. Nowadays, those harpies are running amok.
Flirting on the job was normal, not illegal. If you kept it reasonably tasteful (that means no fertilizing potted plants the wrong dadgum way, etc.), no problems. That’s how many couples got together, in fact. Starting a conversation in public was being friendly, not “street harassment“. That’s how it was done, since we didn’t have that newfangled “swipe right” stuff that ain’t what it’s cracked up to be anyhow.
Best of all, back in the 1970s, a dinner date got you places, if you get what I mean. If a gal didn’t like someone, generally she simply wouldn’t go out with him. I came of age too late for that to be helpful to me, unfortunately. Nowadays, a dinner date is more likely to be basically a job interview, and she might simply be wasting his time and money.
Despite all this boasting, my own generation is in a fallen condition compared to our grandparents. The Greatest Generation wasn’t perfect, but there’s much that they got right. What will the future hold? Hopefully Generation Z will rebel against Millennial snowflakes and become fine, outstanding folks.