I know I’m a serious wet blanket sometimes. Probably more than sometimes. Probably alottatimes. And I know that today I’m in a particularly vulnerable mood. And I know that because of two things.
1) A friend of mine is telling others that they won’t get Christmas cards from her unless they “ask” for it. In a tongue in cheek, fashion, I’m hoping. But still – send ‘em or don’t, you know? Do we really need our friends to beg us for the pleasure of a hand written note once a year? I dunno. Like I said – it irked me in a new sort of way.
2) Another friend of mine posted about how great the eighties were, with nods to the sixties and seventies; ‘cause how kids could be kids and play in the street and get scabbed up and not have to have helicopter moms and stuff. Largely, there is a bit of nostalgia there, but there’s also a boat-load of misleading bullshit there too.
I don’t really want to deal with number one today. I have been reminded that sometimes the garden of friendship needs weeding and from time to time the paths of friends just go different ways. It’s not bad, it’s just life. The only reason I’m having trouble with this one is that she’s a trusted friend from long long ago and one of the few people I’ve chosen to keep in my life from my earliest days. Yet, as time goes by, I can see that we’re just not a good match anymore. She's a great person, a magnificent mother. We're just, in different places now.
The second point, well, that’s a big one. The whole “we drank from hoses and didn’t hear about kids with allergies” song is getting old. Yes, I drank from hoses. And yes, my brother was nearly always at death’s door for some reason or another. A lot of kids were. A lot of kids are. Same proportion then as now, frankly. The difference? Nowadays, kids like my brother don’t have to be considered “different” or “broken” and they can go to birthday parties with an epi pen instead of a free ride to the City Central Emergency Room. Those posters that scream “you’re too wound up! We were fine! Hell Yeah!” ring false. Those good old days were fun for those of us that lived. But a lot of us didn’t. A lot of kids died. Or worse.
Those were the days though, right? Back when you could play in the streets until the streetlights came on. Back when your mom would say "play outside now" and not want to see you for the next six hours. Back when your best way to spend the weekend was in the empty lot behind the Johansen's place, playing stick ball or driving your bike up the ramshackle ramps that took all morning to build.
Those were the days, eh? Back when you could have sex with one of your parishioners kids and nobody would say boo. Back when you didn’t have to justify to anyone, much less your neighbors, at what age you decided to have sex with your own kids. Back in those days, you could rape a pretty girl for absolutely no good reason and not a soul would say a goddam word about it. Nobody cared. Everyone was too busy running around drinking from hoses and sharing sips of soda behind the seven eleven. Everyone was too busy making fun of that lardass kid from a block over, and trying to get a look at that Harper kid from the old victorian house where they didn't let him go outside at all, ever. You never heard about a kid with diabetes. You never knew a single, solitary soul in your small town who had an allergy. Everyone smoked. Nobody had "sensitivities" like the pansy-ass kids of today, right? But listen, a lot of those kids with bloodsugar problems, and allergies, and light sensitivities, they didn’t make it, see. They died. You know why you don't hear them calling you out on your bullshit? THEY ARE DEAD.
The kids who died, you see…. They died. Like dead-died forever. You know? Like, they were kids just like us and then their hearts stopped beating and their parents put them in little coffins and buried them in the ground because they were dead. Forever. Because we didn’t have what it took back then to keep them alive.
Moreover, molestation victims and rape victims swallowed up their abuser’s insults and sallied forth with their lives. It was their fault after all, they were stupid for getting into those situations and slutty for talking about it and besides now if someone wanted to fuck someone they knew who to go to now. The perps, if accused, would simply smirk and insult the victim’s already soured reputation. “She wanted it”. “She liked it.” “I only beat the shit out of her because she was being a bitch.”
God bless the eighties. Let’s go back to that. Let’s go back to the sixties. Fuck the sixties. Let's hit up the fifties and the forties. Where any dumb bitch knew her place and stayed in the kitchen making roasts and on the weekends getting good and pregnant if she knew what was good for her. Let’s go back to the days when if you didn’t want to sit next to someone who didn’t look like you, you could not only tell them to move, but you could put them in jail for so much as looking at your wife. Let’s go back further to those gorgeous good old days when if you didn’t want to run your farm yourself, you could just buy up a pack or three of fresh-faced young colored folk to do the work for you. Fuck ‘em, right? Don’t gotta’ pay ‘em shit when you own someone. Tired of having to ask for sex with your wife? Fuck her until she likes it again. If she doesn’t give in after a beating or two, just have sex with your neighbor’s pre-teen daughter. She’s got a mouth on her but you can teach her what that mouth is good for.
Who needs modern times with medicine and human rights and equal pay for equal work? What kind of self righteous whore wants to wear pants to her workplace outside the home anyway? If somebody’s moron kid can’t learn math like the rest of the kids in class, we should just put him in an institution where nobody has to look at him for the rest of his life. Blind kids too. And those irritating deaf kids too. They sound fucked up and they make us feel bad. Put 'em away. If somebody’s idiot offspring can’t be bothered to walk on his own, then let him rot in a prison for the broken and the feeble and the criminally insane.
Ahh those were the days, eh? After all, we survived ‘em without being drowned, electrocuted, poisoned or raped. We got through it without being locked away in someone’s basement, or beaten and left for dead someplace deep in the woods. We survived just fine without all this goddam nonsense about safety helmets, vaccinations, special needs, and politically correct language.
Those were the days. You’re goddam right they were.
And if they were so great, why the hell did our parents work so hard to get us out of them?
If the past was so stop-the-presses great, it would still be the present.