The Good Ol’ Days vs The Here and Now

Quote of the Day:

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.” –Mark Twain

Ever since Man’s eviction from Paradise, he’s been looking over his shoulder and pining for the old days. Things were always better in olden times to most folks, at least they often seem that way. In one way I think the clichéd sentiment is absolutely true. Who wouldn’t long for their youth, the constant in anyone’s trip down memory lane? In other ways, its less true. For instance the 1950’s are commonly seen by many as flush times for America. Victors in war, champions of commerce, with technological innovations and domestic stability; these were the hallmarks of that decade in popular memory. Less recalled, but all too real, are the civil rights restrictions of women and blacks of the era. Most of us wouldn’t trade our daughter’s right to sit on a jury or our friend’s right to vote in exchange for a Leave it to Beaver neighborhood.

Like a lot of my essays, this one was inspired by a convergence of stimuli upon TB’s roving noggin. I’ve been revisiting the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn and reveling in the (surface) simplicity and innocence of a nineteenth century child’s life on the Mississippi. With Saints fever peaking I went you-tubing for old footage of the Chuck Muncie–Hokie Gajan–Guido Merkens era teams. Finally, and I know this is heresy to some of you, I picked up a throwback Pepsi yesterday. They are running a radical promotion using, of all things, sugar to sweeten the soda. It is dang good too. The point is, I started ruminatin’ on the relative virtues of the good ‘ol days vs the times we live in now. Here’s what I determined.

  • Old school sugar made soda vs new school corn syrup–Advantage old school–no contest
  • Kids today, with the Wii, year-round baseball and the internet vs Kids back in the day, with forts, sports and bikes–too close to call
  • Saints 1980 vs Saints 2009-10–The modern-day version–no contest
  • However NFL 1980 vs NFL 2009-10–Old school without a doubt
  • On television it’s also a mixed result: Young Letterman vs Old Letterman, give me the old school version over the old. I’ll take Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert over Johnny Carson. Give me Entourage over MASH, though if Henry and Trapper had stuck around the entire time I might have a tougher time with this one. I’ll take Hogan’s Heroes over The Office, Battle of the Network Stars over The Bachelor and Richard Dawson’s Family Feud over Deal or No Deal. And definitely Walter Cronkite over Anderson Cooper.  All that said, 150 channels beats the hell out of three to thirteen, even when nothing’s on, so the point goes to the present.
  • Non-steroidal baseball beats monster mash baseball, another point for the good ol’ days.
  • But don’t count out the here and now, because Iphones crush the rotary dial.
  • War on Terror vs Vietnam, Katrina vs Camille, Great Recession vs gas lines and inflation, Watergate vs the Broken Branch–call it a wash.

I don’t know. TB’s good ol’ days were good.  I think its true though, that overall things aren’t so bad nowadays. In fact, for my daughter and her generation, these are the good ‘ol days. I just keep coming back to that constant I mentioned at the top though. It’s the ultimate tiebreaker. We were soldiers once (and pirates, professional athletes, explorers, Duke boys) and young. So if I have to take sides, I’m going with the good ol’ days over the here and now. But when you break it down, it’s a closer contest than you might expect.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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15 Responses to The Good Ol’ Days vs The Here and Now

  1. calicobebeop says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about the past. A highschool chum posted some pictures on facebook and it made me want to cry. That girl barely exists now. On the other hand, this girl isn’t too terribly bad. I try not to look back because, like spilled milk, there’s nothing I can do about it.

    Deep thoughts by calicobebop.

    Oh yeah – Old SNL totally beats new SNL. IMHO.

  2. Jessie Lou says:

    You got that right Calico – the Coneheads and Roseannroseanna Danna or however it might be spelled were great!

    The good ol days were also better because someone else was footing the bill for all the summer trips to Destin, Disney World and Astro World, not to mention the prom dresses and Hi-Jinx dresses and gas for the car.

  3. I totally meant to include that old SNL beats new. Also, as I’m sure you will agree Calico, old Star Wars beats new, though I am not ashamed to admit I like the new too. Except for Jar Jar Binks.

  4. Smilyj says:

    -The good ol point nights out vs whatever the hell kids do these days.
    -Younger kNelms that could perform for 10 seconds instead of older kNelms that only lasts 5 seconds.
    -Todays toilet paper over the old school kind in the 50’s or earlier.
    -The White Knight over whatever pussed up car TB drives nowadays.
    -Sweet now?…..just as good as ever.

  5. Madd Dawg says:

    Yep, those were the days, like when 80% of sEan’s skull was covered by hair vs a mere 50% now, and I’ll take Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons over that garbage that’s on Saturday mornings now.

  6. smilyj says:

    I shave my head on purpose for looks and effect. And 100% is not covered kNelms.

  7. Jessie Lou says:

    I never knew the Smily with hair – I prefer the look he has going on now. As for Knelms it has been so long since I’ve seen you I’m not sure I would recognize you.

  8. Madd Dawg says:

    Brad told me that your skull is not all that you shave in order to please him

  9. Jessie Lou says:


    • Gliguta says:

      i love the fact that fairy girl does swaps too – it’s a great encouragement for cfritang.our temperatures are all over the place here – but we do get relief in between the heat. i’m sorry that you don’t. it makes you wonder though, how did they survive without air conditioners??? we only have one in the lounge room – but it’s enough to keep me sane. if only i had a pool…..keep as cool as you canlx

  10. sweet says:

    I thought there was nothing wrong with that

  11. Fish says:

    Now that’s funny!

  12. Jessie Lou says:

    That all depends on who you are and where you’ve been. Now if that is what makes you happy – certainly there is nothing wrong with it. But as I stop to think about it that might should be the way you swing from here on out – you might have more success switching teams 🙂

  13. sweet says:

    You’re probably right

  14. Jessie Lou says:

    Just make “love the one you’re with” your motto and you’ll be fine. I think I can hear the song now……

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