Carly Simon kinda summed it up way back in 1971 (before it became the Heinz Ketchup jingle) when she strummed and sang ANTICIPATION:

Stay right here…

…’cause these are the good old days”

 

Ah yes… the GOOD OLD DAYS

During my childhood, Dad frequently spoke warmly of the “Good Old Days“… halcyon times before electricity, before cars, before long-haired hippies.

… but Dad left out the parts about millions displaced and brutally killed during World War 1 and World War 2 and the Depression era… worries and tragedies.

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In my local Okanagan newspaper last week, celebrated Canadian author Jack Whyte wrote about the good old days of advertising when ads were so much more honest way back when…

… but Jack left out the parts about doctors advertising the health benefits of smoking and cartoon camels and singing DDT characters… sorry Jack, but this was honest advertising of a bygone era?

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And today we have Donald Trump mewling through angry pursed lips about making America great again. Seriously Donald?

… but Donald? Donald! Bad boy!

You left out the parts about… and I’m only scratching the surface here… about the good old days when we lived in a world of:

  • slavery and segregation
  • lack of women’s rights and the vote
  • no government pension, medical or welfare payments
  • the 1960 average North American lifespan was 68 (versus about 79-82 today)
  • North American infant mortality was 58 per 1000 in 1933 (6 per 1000 in 2010)
  • hand washing clothes
  • African women with a lifespan 16 years lower in 1960 than today
  • no fridges, freezers or microwave ovens in every home
  • women with no tampons or HRT
  • banks with long lines that closed tight by 4 pm Monday to Friday
  • no air conditioners
  • no seatbelts or airbags in cars
  • no open heart surgery, no diabetes treatment, no effective treatments for depressive and bi-polar disorders, no effective treatments for smallpox, tuberculosis, syphilis, whooping cough, and measles
  • nothing remotely resembling gay, religious, or aboriginal rights

You’re right Donald, I agree that those were the good old days.

But more importantly I say… BULLSHIT Donald!

bullshit

THESE are the good old days!

YOUR good old days were good because, like most of us, you selectively remember the untroubled sunny moments lying out on sandy beaches by the lake or ocean, the mouth-watering taste of Mom’s steaming apple pie, the fresh scent of Dad’s new gas-guzzling car.

These are all the faint, selectively sequestered memories of the wonderful, pleasant things that happened years ago. We all do this, remembering the positive times, the broad smiles, the cute giggles, the glories.

Selectively, most of us push aside memories of cruel bullying that occurred in schools, sexual molestations by creepy uncles, fears of barbaric dental visits, nasty horrible tastes of cod liver oil pushed down our throat by Mom, scary draft cards and eviction notices received in mailboxes.

Of course, good old days are much much easier to re-create and glorify when you’re male, white-skinned, wealthy, straight, or privileged in any way.

But regardless of our plights, all of us are living in the good old days right now because the good old days are a combination of a reality AND a fiction we create in our minds.

Tiny Tim Crachit and Oliver Twist lived in the (fictional) good old days in their better moments.

Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin and Pol Pot and Josef Stalin lived in the good old days.

Helen Keller and Anne Frank and Mother Theresa lived in the good old days.

You and I are living in the good old days today… the same as we were when we were children.

WRONG!

There NEVER were and there NEVER will be good old days.

EVERY day has always been good. EVERY day has always been bad.

Somewhere. For Someone.

YOUR chance, your choice. Every moment in life is a wonder or a catastrophe. Again, your chance, your choice.

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said:

“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”

Good is a concept interpreted by every person individually.

Donald Trump has chosen to find despair and evil all around him despite the factual reality of humanity’s improvement in almost any realm.

Trump has chosen, and more heinously is using, the sad pessimist’s road that says yesterday will always be better than today.

LA-DI-DA Donald.

Never will this world be the Shangri-La, the perfection.

The epitome of heaven for every person on this planet will never exist.

EVERY day has always been good. EVERY day has always been bad.

Somewhere. For Someone.

But the bright optimists in our midst will always believe that sunshowers are a legal reason for skipping school and swaying, dancing in the rain.

I choose optimism.

I choose to believe, to know… that we’re living in the best of times, so I’m gonna dance bare-footed in the streets like no one’s watching…

Stay right here… 

…’cause these are the good old days”

 

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