At the risk of sounding like an old coot who walked uphill to school both ways, I must confess, I’m tired of new. Sure, modern technology, progressive thinking, and scientific advancements have enabled our society to do more, but what if I just want to do less in 2013?
Maybe I’m not smart enough (a distinct possibility), or maybe I’m just getting old (an undeniable fact), but I think all the emphasis on new is making life too complicated.
Thanks to technological advances, I can send hundreds of messages simultaneously without so much as licking a stamp or touching pen to paper. But an unfortunate consequence of these advancements is that people today spend countless hours staring into digital screens of all shapes and sizes, checking, organizing, answering, forwarding, and deleting electronic messages.
When I finally got a digital cameral five years ago, I loved being able to snap away without any fear of wasting film, and took countless photographs with my newfangled device. Interestingly, however, I do not have one photo album after 2008. Thanks to modern technology, our family photos are now buried in a massive computer file on an external hard drive.
Television is another gadget that is always changing “for the better.” We finally got cable after watching Armed Forces Network and bad German game shows while stationed overseas for three years. At first we were thrilled to have so many options, and gorged ourselves on sitcoms, movies and reality TV. But eventually, we settled into a television viewing routine: of 999 channels, we now bounce between six shows and football.
Furthermore, progressive trends in thought have enabled us to consider alternative fuel sources, alternative lifestyles, and alternative political policies, but do new ideas always benefit society?
I recently went to a new base department store at the Walter Reed Military Medical Center outside of Washington, DC. As I entered the parking lot, I passed a serviceperson with prosthetic limbs walking beside another in a wheelchair. My heart went out to them.
Then, I noticed that first seven parking spaces in each row closest to the entrances were not labeled “wounded warrior” or “pregnant woman” or “mother and child” or “US Veteran” or “base commander.” No, other than four token handicapped spots at one entrance, the best spaces in each row were reserved for “Energy Efficient Vehicles.” On a base with a huge population of military veterans and hospital patients, our “new” ways of thinking dictate that a 21 year old with the Chevy Volt deserves a more convenient parking spot than the elderly, the infirm, women with children, and decorated military servicepersons. Seriously?
In 2013, instead of moving forward, why can’t we go back a little? Back to a time when things weren’t complicated. Let’s try writing full sentences again, paragraphs if I might be so bold, in cursive (OK, that was going a bit too far), without abbreviations such as “btw,” “idk,” “wtf,” and “lmao.”
Let’s go back to a time before reality television shows followed the morally bankrupt lives of stumbling drunk, foul mouthed, promiscuous New Jersey youths. Why not revive harmless entertainment like The Three Stooges and Hee Haw? Admit it, seeing Gordie Tapp blow raspberries in Archie Campbell’s face or watching Moe poke Curly in the eye was pretty funny, and all without causing irreparable damage to our culture.
I’d love revert to a time before jamming a huge rivet in your ear or showing your thong strap over your jeans was mainstream fashion. Let’s get back to the days when men kept their pants up and women looked sexy in huge undergarments.
Although I’ll never give up modern conveniences like my microwave, and thank the good Lord for boneless skinless chicken breasts, why can’t we get back to the days when families ate dinner together, and there was always a drawer in the kitchen full of aprons because people actually cooked. Let’s stop teaching our kids to value pre-packaged instant gratification, and extol the virtues of hard work, patience, and the comfort of a home cooked meal.
I know, I know, it’s impossible to go back in time. No one is going to forfeit their smartphones, and I highly doubt Hollywood producers are working on a remake of Hee Haw. But instead of blindly moving forward in 2013, desperately grasping for something new, let’s pause, look back, and revive the simple things that worked before.