Do We Really Have it So Bad?
It is a common refrain among my peers and in the media that we are stressed out, overworked, underpaid. Our children are also stressed-out what with all the pressures to succeed in and out of school. We over-program our kids. We are ambitious for our children where children in the past just played in a cul-de-sac in this nostalgic suburban paradise that is often painted as a place so much better than today. Today our children can’t go outside without being abducted, molested and fed unorganic fruit. Today I our kids can’t walk to school. In the good old days our parents would just kick us out of the house after breakfast and say come back at dinner time.
Is this true? It’s not true for me. My kids go outside and play without my supervision every single day. They’re six and three. Next year they walk themselves to school. My kids aren’t over programmed and they’re not alone. In fact they’re under programmed but that’s because I am an idle parent. Apart from learning how to swim they don’t know how to do anything else. There’s no karate there’s no ice skating there’s no music class no math class there’s no getting ahead. There’s just being a kid. Hell, when the homework comes I don’t even want them to do that. Because when I look back on my schooldays I got way too worked-up about a grade 4 science project. It never served me to be this worried. I’ve never used my great 4 science.
Life expectancy of women and children are up, There are more women being educated these days, more women in the workforce, religion isn’t burning, stoning, and otherwise obliterating women as much. Child infant death rates are lower. Many Diseases and pandemics have been next to eradicated through vaccination. There’s a lot of progress in the world. It’s a illegal to beat a black man. It’s illegal to beat a gay man. It still happens all the time but at least it’s in the books as being illegal. We’re getting more and more civilized. I don’t believe in the good old days. Was it the good old days in World War I? Was it the good old days in the depression? What about when Stalin starved 50 million of his own people. Was it the good old days in World War II? What about the Cold War? I remember the tail end of that? I remember my grade 4 teacher telling us that World War III was an inevitability. I went home and told my dad that and then my dad called the school and chewed out the teacher. And he was right to you don’t tell a bunch kids that nuclear annihilation is going to happen. What the hell does a gr. four teacher know anyway. Man, a lot of stuff went down in Gr. 4.
Why am I still angry about grade four?
When I was a kid there was no drugs for AIDS or Chicken Pox or Mumps. Okay, not all of those are in the same class I know but…
There was, however, the Vietnam war, an energy crisis and Nixon. Now there’s no American war, lots of cheap oil and Barak Obama and Justy Trudeau!
When I was a kid there was only Saved by the Bell and Urkell. Now I don’t even have to watch commercials let alone pay for TV.
When I was a kid there was fish sticks and Kraft dinner. My kids have never seen a fish stick or the inside of a McDonalds. They don’t even like KD. Last night they ate Kung Poa Pastrami and fried rice from Danny Bowiens cookbook.
Nostalgia for centuries has been looked upon as a disorder like over-eating or washing your hands too much or jerking off in public. Get it together! You have no idea what the past really was. You’re a liar. You make things up. You’re telling stories. Get in the now and know that no one wants to hear about your childhood. No one cares. They had their own. They want to talk about their own, but you won’t let them get a word in edgewise.
Nostalgia is just a way for people to keep complaining. And it doesn’t give this generation, you, me or the next, a hope in hell. Why even try if my grandfather was the greatest. My grandfather was an alcoholic that died of emphazema. That’s how he spent his post-war years. Smoking and drinking himself to death.
In conclusion I think we got it really good. I think we should relax and smell the roses and stop biting our nails off like it’s the end of the world.
This week on the program Dr. Frank Marra. Great guy. Great chat.
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