Thursday, November 18, 2010

Forward, Into the Past!

Imagine, if you will, going back into the past, to your high school speech class, and giving a speech on life as we know it today. I've had this dream (or nightmare) a number of times now, and I can't imagine how our classmates would have reacted to life in the 21st century.

For starters, some of my classmates in 1964 didn't live to see their 21st birthday. The Vietnam "War" was raging, and at least a few of my fellow classmates succumbed to injuries received there. Many a good, decent person was caught up in this police action (or war, if you will) and paid the ultimate price.

But enough of these depressing thoughts, what would the class of 1966 think after hearing about the future?

So much has changed in the world since then, and describing these changes would leave our former selves in a tizzy!

From the breakup of the Beatles, and the deaths of John and George, the world of music has changed fast.
First Disco reared it's ugly head, and then music died as we know it thanks to the ghetto rap music. The towns we knew turned into war zones, with people moving away in fear. Our culture and values were under assault since our graduation. We were among the minority now, fleeing the crime usually associated with "those areas". We were ground zero in the changing landscape!

Imagine telling classmates that there were no more Plymouths, Pontiacs, Studebakers, or Oldsmobiles in the new car showrooms. Or telling our peers that there would be mandates as to what had to be included in a new car. From 5mph bumpers, to the ignition switch being moved from the dashboard to the steering column, to the plethora of airbags we have to deal with today. Think about trying to convince our friends that someday, cars won't have carburetors, hardtops won't exist, and that the average new car will cost double the price of a brand new home!
Fun will be frowned upon, and we will all drive bland but efficient cars, that in no way make us cool.

Imagine trying to explain air travel in the 21st century! The scans, searches, and pat-downs make it look like we're living in a police state!

But yet, there was an upside to the future....the computer! As circuits and components got smaller and smaller, computer aided devices multiplied. Imagine the looks on those 1964 faces when we whipped out a cell phone to show them that it not only made telephone calls, but took photos and movies as well! What must the young people of 1964 think upon seeing this marvel, and upon hearing that cars, homes, and even toasters now contain computers? It still boggles my mind even to this day!

Yes, we live in some amazing times, where marvels that were unimaginable 40 years ago, are commonplace now. We live longer, better (supposedly) and more productive lives thanks to modern science. To someone from 1964, this must look like Utopia!

On the other hand, in 1964, Sarah Palin hadn't been born yet................

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