Back In Your Parents' Parents' Day

2 December 2013

Have you ever wished things weren’t so fucking complicated? I’m getting older and it seems everything was simpler and more basic back in someone else’s day. Back in her day, there was no Facebook to look up that guy. Back in his day, there was just one backpacking hostel with a few bunks.

It was real and simple and good back then.

But what would the parents of those people say? Back in her mother’s day, there were no cheap phone calls! Back in his day, there were no backpacks, and flights were prohibitively expensive! That was more real and simpler and better.

But again what would the parents of those parents say? There were only letters and ships! Not as easy, but simpler and better again–thought out letters worth keeping and stories from the sea.

I can’t help but think the parents of the parents of the parents would have something to say about letter and ships. The parents of the parents of the parents of the parents etc., were nomadic tribes, apparently.

Do you still wish things weren’t so fucking complicated? It is difficult to know how far to look back without feeling you have to weave your own clothes and grab a couple of twigs off the ground to brush your teeth. Perhaps one way to choose how far to look back is to consider some innovations and choose where it is comfortable. Stop reading where you think you have enough: Fire, the wheel, trains, antibiotics and vaccinations, the internet.

Since time travel hasn’t been invented (yet?), the funny thing about it all is that you can’t actually choose and that’s probably just as well; far less talked about is the shit that was around at these times too. Personally I think about these things when I feel life is a little complicated and convoluted: Handwashing shit-stained cloths for babies sounds great. Smallpox, tuberculosis (in the western world, anyway), and untreatable cancer sound even better.

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