Monday, June 07, 2010

Results may vary

Sometimes it doesn't pay to get out of bed. Sometimes, it pays to stay in bed. Just think, you too can be your own boss of your self-generating web site that auto ships your products to your customers! You too can receive checks in the thousands every single Friday!! Just pay $2.95* (*recurring billing is $49.95 a month after 14 days) and you'll have access to all the tools you need, plus 24/7 customer support that even builds your website for you! Get your own check just like I did!

Oh please. If it actually worked like that -- if the "results [didn't] vary" -- then no one would go to work at the ole nine-to-five.

Sometimes I wish I had a time machine. I'd like to know what the world was like pre-McDonald's. How did society deal with the grind of patience, before the drive-thru, before fast-food, when families cooked meals from scratch instead of out of boxes and cans, when instant gratification wasn't so instant. When microwaves weren't kitchen staples.

Our living history gets older every day. People who remember the Great Depression, remember WWII, remember JFK and MLK and the civil rights' movement of the 60's... remember McCarthyism and the Cold War and the Bay of Pigs... they're all getting older and that history is slipping away from the oral tradition into the pigeon hole of written tradition. Myself, I have no grandparents left to tell me stories; I lost them all before I was old enough to appreciate them. And it seems that we're so consumed by the pop culture of the moment that by and large, those stories aren't getting told like they once were. Perhaps I'm jaded in this opinion, but that's to be expected** (**see blog title).

I think it would be incredibly interesting and poignant if a grandparent somewhere created a series of you tube postings telling stories. Stories about outhouses and the use of a JC Penney catalog in the mid-twentieth-century Midwest. Stories about growing cotton and what "fair to middlin'" really means. Stories about how their family got through the Great Depression. Of course, results would vary, but then, that's the point! To record for history more than the text books ever will, to talk about things that were never interesting enough to get written about in newspapers, to give that slice of life that means something when front-porch sitting and drinking tea. To pass on life lessons in the oral tradition.

Nostalgia is in many ways the greatest history we have, with 20/20 vision and wisdom and romanticism that nothing else can touch or replicate. The real color of life is in the details, and the details are often opinionated. No reporter can ever accurately give us the color of life, as they're trying too hard to be objective to the point of monochromatic grey. No flavor, no color. "Just the facts, ma'am." No, I want the color, the flavor, the aromas, the sights, the feel of history. I want what only our eldest generation can give to the rest of us, and moreover, I want it to be desired by us all. Cue the coca-cola jingle "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony...."

1 comment:

Molly M. said...

I would also love a YouTube series on the stories of the Depression! You may like a book called Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. It is a very good read! It made me feel totally useless as a woman. Anyway, I recommend it.