8.1.19

IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD QUESTION TO ASK.

Mary Schmich of Chicago's Tribune, "What are we teaching children now that we’ll look back on as ignorance?"

Unfortunately, it comes at the end of a column slagging on the American High, or, as I sometimes call it these days, the Second Era of American Greatness.
The America of my childhood was a great land in many ways, but it was full of bigotry and bunk.

When I think back on all the crazy things taught to children of my generation, by adults who were poorly taught themselves, I marvel that a country steeped in so much ignorance has advanced as much as it has.

The ignorance hasn’t vanished. There remain people raised in the America of my childhood who cling to the ridiculous things we were taught.
I've heard variations on this complaint, sometimes in shorter form, and sometimes in longer form, and it tends to reduce to "Let's slag on everything that was present then, because there were a few things wrong," rather than "Let us identify opportunities to make that union more perfect and to secure the blessings of liberty to more of us and all of their posterity."  It's a mind-set in which the staged comity of "Ozzie and Harriet" becomes an excuse to nuke the nuclear family.  "In that world — the world of 'Ozzie and Harriet,' 'Leave it to Beaver' and 'Father Knows Best' — almost all the people on TV were white, except Amos ’n’ Andy, two black sitcom characters who lived in Harlem."

When you deconstruct something, you might want to think carefully about what you put in its place, particularly when what you put in its place doesn't work so well.  "There is already too much nostalgia in our society for a past that had virtues but also had terrible vices."

That's National Review's David French, noting the absence of gentlemen in modern life, which is probably more important than the absence of recent optimistic Christmas songs.

Apparently, though, hailing the opportunities to expand the bounty and the good cheer aren't as important as noting that the "peach" crayon (which, if I recall correctly, was only in the deluxe 64 color package, always viewed around our house as an extravagance) used to be the "flesh" crayon, and therefore the entire era was tainted.

I suppose we should be grateful we're not teaching our children that diet pills and liposuction cure bulimia.

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