April 01, 2010

Living in the last half of the 20th century

The one thing about living half a century in the 20th was to see the quickness of change that technology brought and how the public discourse has changed. I was reading this post at The Strange Death of Liberal America, "Can Right and Left be friends?" which made me think about a childhood friend, an adult neighbor, who had many discussions with my dad about politics. He was a Republican and my dad, a Democrat. The  conversations never got toxic, didn't create the animus that seem to be so prevalent today. I also thought about a college friend who didn't seem to be so rigid, as to get angry when he was challenged, but forty years later had seem to have gotten ultra sensitive to any criticism. Then as one thought leads to another, I thought back to my childhood when there was not such a bridge between the Black Republican and Democrat. When Edward Brooke was a senator, we were all proud.

The generation gap was created during this time, which I never understood. Sometimes I think it was a media intervention. I could not fathom why there was so much controversy over the music. Rock seem to me to have the same roots as swing. When I said I had an  adult friend, it didn't go beyond the boundaries of adult and child, but I could talk to this person about most things. I remember another neighbor who would give  me cookies or something to drink and sit on the porch and chat with me. At five I was treated with respect as if I had been twenty. As an adolescent I rebelled against my parents, but not to a point where there was a riff. I think when I grew up the expectation was that you would become an adult when you graduated from high school, so you were expected to be more responsible at an earlier age; no long transition into adulthood.

The advent of PC language, the increased sensitivity of groups, the idiocy of group think, the expansion of addictions, the constant talk without substance, seem to be inventions of the last half of the 20th century. I can't say I would have liked to have lived in other times, but I would  have liked the civility of my childhood to have lasted a little longer.

4 comments:

M. Rigmaiden said...

Hathor I saw one of the comments you left at FN's blog about particle physics. You are exceedingly interesting to me. I also need to say that I've observed your posts throughout the years and should have blogrolled you before. Cheers:)

Hathor said...

M. Rigmaiden,

Thanks for visiting, although you are visiting at a time that I am not bloging with any regularity.

I no longer keep up with what is happening in Physics any more, except for an occasional look a NOVA.

M. Rigmaiden said...

Hey, it's all good, I like going through your archives. You are interesting. Best wishes in your offline affairs. NOVA is interesting:)

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