Francis remembers too much:
The number of times I’ve had the following exchange:
FWP: You know, in 1960 you could buy a gallon of gas for three dimes…and you still can today.
Miscellaneous Other Person: Huh? Giddouddahere!
FWP: No, seriously, you can — if they’re silver dimes.
MOP: C’mon, that can’t be right. (walks away)
…has grown beyond my ability to remember.
Except for oldsters like myself, my conversational partners simply reject the information. It’s recorded in many places, including government compilations such as the Historical Statistics of the United States. But most persons under the age of sixty are unwilling to accept it.
Few persons under that age are willing to believe that in those days:
- Pop stars performed fully clothed.
- Parents spanked their disobedient children.
- A pound of ground beef cost less than a dollar.
- A rifle as a Christmas present was nothing to stir controversy.
- Savings banks paid 3% on deposits and charged 6% on mortgages.
- Divorce and “single motherhood” were considered marks of personal failure.
- The Sunday morning talking-head shows were gentlemanly affairs with no shouting.
- The most vexing public problem in America, according to the airwaves, was littering.
- Murderers were more likely than not to serve their full sentences…and many were executed.
- A walk along the Bronx’s Grand Concourse at ten P.M. was almost perfectly safe — for a ten-year-old.
- Advertising of all sorts — including ads for liquor and cigarettes — routinely included the prices of the things advertised.
- Network TV stations aired “public service” pitches stating that “The family that prays together stays together,” and encouraging Americans to “Go to the church of your choice.”
I remember it all. All of it is verifiably true. (Oh, and there was no “knockout game,” either.) But for how much longer?
Why, for as long as they allow it, of course.
I remember the Charles Chips trucks myself, and most of the rest of it. Best chips I ever had, too. Of course, they were cooked in fat made from rendering Palestinian children, you know. And now:
The government-run schools have slighted actual history so completely that the typical high-school graduate when asked what founding American document includes “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs,” answers “the Declaration of Independence.” He’s read more about Harriet Tubman than about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson combined. He thinks the “party of slavery” was the Republican Party…and that Abraham Lincoln was a Democrat. He isn’t aware that is the U.S. fought Japan in World War II…or who won.
Given all that, how could anyone expect young Mr. John Q. Public to believe that gasoline ever cost $0.30 per gallon — or that there was so much of it available that gas station chains had to run giveaway programs and strange, raffle-like contests to compete with one another?
Our political class is perfectly happy with that.
I remember another thing: that communism, totalitarianism, fascism, socialism, whichever term of art for Leftist dictatorship you prefer, used to be considered the deadliest imaginable enemy, and vigorously resisting it was not only considered a grim necessity, but the duty of a free people…even by as recent a Democrat president as Saint JFK (funny how completely that part was glossed over in the recent MSM Jubilee of Praise). The Progressivist Tyranny Party–both Demican and Republicrat wings–have dragged us a long way, baby. In exactly the wrong direction–but not by their dim, sickly lights.