Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Bold Thought For The Day

If the past were so great, we’d still be living in it.

No really, stick with me on this one. What do we have from “the past” that we still use today? Pencils? Yup. Great start. Cars? Yup. Spaghetti Sauce? Yup. Sweet. Legislation through representation? Yup. Stellar.

What do we not have that’s from before? Clay tablets at schools to take notes in (you know, before we monkeys started using paper?). Kings? Not in this country we don’t. Government-approved slavery? Hell no. Massive outbreaks of Polio, Lysteria and, let’s say… Bubonic Plague? Nope. Not anymore kids! The future is now, boy howdy.

The next mouth-breathing panic-monger who tries to convince me that evil-doer X, Y or Z can only save us all by sending the planet back to the “good old days” is just going to get a hearty chuckle from me. Because I know different. Progress marches on. We (especially as a nation) do not tolerate any pesky lingering on antiquities. We’re maybe a touch more nostalgic than other more aggressively forward-marching nations, but by the gods we’re up there. We’re doing it. And as a rule, if the good old days were that great, we’d still be living in ‘em. I’m a chick, after all, and I can vote. I can wear pants to my job in public without scorn or even a sideways glance. I can choose for my own self when to bear children and I can even choose to not bear any at all ever. How many of my ancestors could have said the same?

There must be a very good set of reasons for why we’re not living in the same exact set of social setups and rules as our ancestors. N’est pas? Sure, lots of us forget the past. Lots of us have the luxury of not needing to remember it. Who cares anymore how to assemble leg braces on a few hundred-thousand polio-stricken children? Is anyone even alive anymore who has loaded and fired a government-issue musket in actual war-time combat? Ignorance is fine, I guess. Can’t really get rid of it. But my faith in humanity remains ultimately unshaken. It probably won’t be pretty, and a whole hell of a lot of people (myself included) will be really REALLY pissed off about most of it, but the future is coming. The future is now. The future is bright and filled with promise and hope and discoveries and science.

Like I said: If the whole package of “way back when” was really that great… we’d still be doing it that way.

There must be a very good set of reasons why we’re not.

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