More and more in this tumultuous and divided modern society I find myself looking back at a time when life seemed calmer, more civil, and for a kid magical. Cartoons dominated afternoons and Saturday morning. Movies were incredible and seemed to never stop coming. Comics were beautiful, centered, and easy to follow, let alone to keep up with.
Holiday specials were a treat. The commercials even better. Local department stores still existed, having not succumbed to the big box store’s life extinguishing presence yet. These stores had some of the best Christmas and Halloween commercials. Speaking of Halloween, remember when costumes were just fun? We didn’t have to be lectured to, we were left alone to have a holiday with friends and family.
Superheroes actually taught morality and right from wrong. It wasn’t yet a mournful hardship to have superpowers. They inspired us to be better. They stood for what was right and just, despite societal pressures. They were happier and gave us hope.
As kids we could disappear for whole parts of what seemed like endless days. No parents were turned into the local police for letting us go off with friends or for a bike ride. Exploring, playing, and more were encouraged, if not enforced. Some of the best memories were made without a parent hovering like a paranoid helicopter.
School was a place of learning and discussion, not indoctrination and test prep. Teachers were free to teach and not be shackled to a preapproved curriculum and a politically correct minefield between them and their students. Holidays were celebrated and concerts were free of shallow malcontents.
I miss this time. The last generation to know freedom, real freedom. To have hope in the future. This freedom and hope has not only been robbed from me, but from every adult and heartbreakingly at least two generations of our children.
Most of what they see is the world is broken by too many things to count. Heroes are either villains or barely above them. Fear is more important than freedom. School is a test prep factory and everything that isn’t liberal is archaic and wrong. They know the government is much better at taking care of things than they or their parents are. They learn this beautiful free country is really horrible and oppressive. There’s no limitless future and freedom, real freedom is dangerous.
I miss the 80’s.