Much is made of ‘’the good old days’’. I wrote an article last year, recounting the black and white days of television and how the good times were remembered fondly, while the bad or painful memories were blurred or eliminated. Comparing one era to another objectively, is virtually impossible. Who was a better boxer, Joe Louis or Mike Tyson? It makes for great barroom banter, but not much more. Many people my cheerfully recall being beaten by parents and neighbors for that matter, for relatively minor indiscretions. They proudly proclaim this was the impetus of them becoming god fearing, respectful people. To hear some these people tell it, their childhood was what our great-grandparents may have actually lived through.
Children are so much smarter today. “I call my ten year old granddaughter for help with my computer.” Wonderful, all that is well and good. That is not an intelligence indicator, anymore than, kids not knowing how to change the oil on a car. One real advantage of childhood of years past, is that we were not dumber for the time spent being bored. Today, there is no idle time to imagine, dream or let the mind wander. Just more time spent on a smartphone or computer, which diminishes intelligence, interactive skills, and God knows what else.
“Kids,” are becoming million and billionaires without working a day of their lives. How could they be working? Past generations graded work by the amount of weight lost and perspiration secreted. White collar workers were included among the paid but not working because at the end of the work day they were neither physically exhausted or clothes filthy. I would imagine a foundry worker in days of old whom had without forethought, taken a promotion and no longer came home looking grungy, was embarrassed. No longer creating a cloud of dust, plopping on a bar stool, his former co-workers shunned him. Even his children didn’t seem as excited when he got home. They talked amongst themselves: One tried to brighten the cold reality, the other called it as he saw it. Daughter: “Well, it looks like dad’s on his way up the ladder of success.” Son: “Looks like dad’s a lazy ass who doesn’t have to work anymore.”
Now when you become a bonafide “SUIT,” protocol is adjusted accordingly. A lawyer or banker, while still not in the working class, get their props because no one else is dirty and the suit distinguishes them as elite amongst non-workers. As times and expectations change, so do observations of the working class. The more accomplished one is from a recliner, the better. This not the sign of a slacker if they’re armed with a computer. An author, entrepreneur, perhaps reviewing the New York Stock Exchange, toying with a whim of moving $500,000.00 or so. Or playing solitaire. In ‘the good old days,’ indolence identified a stiff. Today, the person that sleeps fourteen hours a day, may be doing whatever the hell it is they do with computers, for a company 3,000 miles away and taking down a couple hundred grand.