Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The good ol' days

The 1960's were truly a golden age in the United States. Summers lasted forever, the weather was perfect every day, and I had the run of the block. At Vick's dime store, penny candy still cost a penny and a Snickers bar would set me back a nickel (a hefty 33% of my weekly allowance, but a worthy splurge on occasion).

Of course, I didn't know that I was born just after my Dad had suffered two years of unemployment, or that my comfortable little block was the last white bastion in an increasingly black neighborhood. I had heard mention of some unpronounceable substance that could make people do crazy things like walk out into the street and try to stop traffic, but I never saw any drugs. I never heard a word about the RFK and MLK assassinations in 1968; I was six.

John Oliver nails the wingnuts on their incessant lament on the loss of the America the once knew. When was this golden age? Over and over again, "When I was a kid ...."

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Cranberry Necklace said...

Yup, I was 6 when JFK was running for president. I still see it as a golden time, even if my Republican parents didn't vote for him. JFK drove (in a convertible) right down the street in front of my elementary school. Mom even said she saw him and Jackie Kennedy at Euclid Beach, a by-gone Cleveland amusement park. I think I remember seeing Eisenhower on the front lawn of my Evanston, Illinois cousins' neighbors' home. That was when my uncle was a millionaire - with a brand new Cadillac, a maid and chauffeur living over the garage, a mansion with a swimming pool,2 staircases, color TV, lots of cousins, and room to put up the 8 of us as well. Such privileges are not mine today. So those must have been the good old days!

Heather said...

That was really spot-on (and hilarious). Hopefully I won't be getting into any more political discussions with my dad, but I hope to be able to trot this argument out if I ever really need to -- glorification of everything that happened pre-1964 (and the accompanying social attitudes) was a major feature of the weird religious subculture I grew up in, but it takes a lot of selective amnesia to maintain it. Helps if you were a kid then. Reading Stephanie Coontz's "The Way We Never Were" at age 23 or so really helped open my eyes to the badness of the good old days!