To Those Who Celebrate “The Good Old Days”, and all the conservatives and traditionalists: here’s your time capsule, feel free.

For those who think the world’s just fine as it is, and hearken back to “the good old days”, you’re advocating the world that brought us to this point. Which represents:

Corporal punishment of children; institutionalized segregation; institutional corruption; women and ‘blacks’ forbidden to vote; schoolyard bullying as rite of passage; the “color line;” drunken driving as the only recourse for getting home; police corruption; “spare the rod, spoil the child;” the “one-drop rule;” intra-family violence of innumerable kinds as an accepted part of life; religious clergy passing down sexual torture to generations of men who not only are forbidden to discuss it, but quite often likely to transmit it; women not allowed to play sports or pursue the sciences; men not allowed to show or cultivate sensitivity; women being traded as property, which is more like ‘traditional marriage’ than a lot what the ‘religious right’ will ever tell you; ALL KINDS of people being traded as property under numerous other guises; clothesline tackles and playing with multiple concussions in football; fighting as an integral part of hockey culture; nepotism; caste societies in all their forms; torture as an instrument of foreign policy; “golden parachutes” in finance; germ warfare; “man up;” “MK ULTRA” (no, seriously, google it); the Millgram Experiments and the Stanford Prison Experiment; cigarette companies deliberately spreading addiction to slow and painful deaths; police riots; draft riots; “race” riots; entrenched poverty; enormous gaps between rich and poor; “omerta” (google that one, too); “the thin blue line;” glass ceilings; the glorification of suffering in silence; did I mention bullying, segregation, institutional violence + corruption and the glorification of meanness?

So then, to those who brought us, and hearken back to, the good old days, I say: thanks for nothing, and if a time machine’s finally invented, feel free to jump on in and see how you like a world where your odds of full citizenship are practically nil–and even if you’re lucky enough to be a citizen in full standing, you get to be born into a world where violence, cruelty and unfairness are collectively unspoken about–and the wish for greater kindness and gentleness is mocked. You hearken back to a past that has poisoned us all, and whose influence we’re all crawling out from under. Which it takes force of will, or good luck, or a combination thereof, not to continue to unconsciously replicate in all the little things we do. Most of today’s problems can be traced to problems handed down to us from the past–or are just reallocations of pre-existing problems, only someone else has to suffer from them now (to which I say, payback’s a bit-h–yes, another lovely expression handed down to us from our glorious past. See, I’m a product of it, too.)

Yeah, thanks for all that. Nice world you gave us. Once they invent time travel, you can line up for the old world.



About Paul West

Paul West offers thoughtful analysis of on-field and off-field sports topics via PDub's sports Hub, and for years was a core staff writer for Through The Fence Baseball. A recurrent guest on Fox Sports Radio New Mexico, Paul is available for radio and other media appearances. To follow Paul on @firstcausenyc on Twitter, visit View all posts by Paul West

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