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Sunday, February 18, 2007 

The 'good old days' Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

Why is it that so many older right wingers have this obsession that things were SO MUCH BETTER in some long ago far away era? Michael Coren, (resident right wing columnist with the Toronto Sun) goes off on one of those nostalgia jags in this weeks column.

"North American society is slipping into the abyss as the years go by. Yet if any of us point to the past and argue that just half a century ago the world was more civilized, gentle, kind and moral we are dismissed --at best -- as nostalgic cranks. Facts, however, are more significant than abuse.

A few examples: Those much-despised 1950s were, we are told, oppressive, confining and prudish."

Coren then goes on about how much better things were in the 50's & 60's. Teen suicide was down, kids respected the principal and shot spit balls. Nowadays the kids shoot the principal. Blah blah blah .... 'gone to hell in a handbag' ... blah blah blah. Typical Coren crap.

What Michael doesn't talk about here is that in the 1950's in Canada, a 14 year old boy could still be sentenced to execution by hanging. First nations people in Canada were not allowed the vote and their children were still being violated in Residential Schools. Women required a male escort to enter a licenced facility where alcohol was served. 'Bad girls' who got pregnant had to go searching for 'health services' in back alleys. Domestic violence was silently occurring without any discussion or tools of intervention.

Right wing thinkers are notorious for articulating some fantasy time in our past, where EVERYTHING was wonderful and all we need to do is get back to that past and by golly, things will be good again! Nonsense.

Every era has its challenges and its prides. We work with today. Guys like Coren, who want to return to some better era, are simply old men who are out of touch and out to lunch, and are better left in their rocking chairs in the old folks home reminiscing about 'the good old days'.

Michael Coren

Photo - cast of 1950's TV Hit, 'Leave it to Beaver'

Progressive Bloggers

In some respects, things were better then. Here in the US we were constantly told how evil communism was, because of the things they practiced, like spying on their own citizens, wars of aggression, and torture. Today these things are the stock and trade of the Bush regime.

Coren, along with most people approaching middle age today, isn't old enough to remember either the 50s or 60s.

He's idealizing a mythology, and then wrapping himself in the cloak of "moral righteousness".

What a fatuous ass.

And the good aspects of that time such as a greater sense of community, a wealth of high-paying jobs, less crime etc? Coren does not mention the real reason why these no longer exist - his beloved corporate capitalists and their community-destroying suburbs, shopping malls, social service cut backs, the lack of good paying jobs, the trashing of the unions etc and etc

What he really means is that everything was better for white males like him who were able to do pretty much whatever they wanted.

The Chinese couldn't vote until 1960 either. And a women who dated out of her race could be jailed as 'encouragable'.

Idiots like Coren look back on that time with such fondness because they were not alive during the time in question and simply believe the myth. Jane Jacobs pointed to this 'cultural amnesia' as one of the signs that society was heading for a dark age. Coren thinks looking back like this shows the way to the solution when in fact he and his ilk are part of the problem.

Have you been reading my drafts or are we just having another case of great minds thinking alike?

Started a post about "the good old days" last night but was too tired, wasn't coming together very logically.

Couldn't agree with you more about those days, I wasn't around in the 50's but I was born in the 60's and things were not so sh##-hot then either. Anyone wanting to turn back the clock is either insane or retarded.

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