The More Things Change


Who said it and when?:

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government; whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing, indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as thorough and complete as they should be.

Those words are fifty years old. They were spoken by General Douglas MacArthur at West Point back in 1962, but it sounds like some of the same rhetoric we hear today. Some famous Frenchman once said “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” which loosely translates to “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.

Every generation thinks they invented sex. (Nothing grosses out your kids more than the thought of you bumping uglies when you were young except the thought of you bumping uglies now.) Kids always think they are smarter than their parents. But then when they get older they think the next generation is lazy, stupid, rude and immoral. We’re always going to Hell in a bucket.

To really appreciate history you have to be able to see historical figures as real people. But you also have to remember that they didn’t have the benefit of hindsight – unlike us they didn’t know how the story was gonna turn out.

You often hear people today say stupid stuff about the past like “Those were simpler times”. That’s bullshit. The people back then sure didn’t think things were simple. They kept busy trying to survive. We have technology they didn’t have, but that’s really the only real difference between us and them. Hell, for some of us old timers we are them.

So whenever you get the chance, talk to young people about the past. They may act bored and roll their eyes, but someday they’ll be telling their kids “My grandpa/grandma told me . . .

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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26 Responses to The More Things Change

  1. Wish I had talked more to my Nana. The pearls of wisdom she dispensed!
    I have one great nephew I am keeping an eye on- very very smart and showing an interest in the politics of this country. Does his own research and comes to his own conclusions. Conservative in some things, liberal in others. Our kind of guy lol. He has already learned a very important lesson- the msm is entertainment only- there are no journalists. We chit chat back and forth on FB. As long as there are youth with brains, there is some hope left in the world. Alas, he has 18 yrs and change to go before he can run for Preezy.

  2. tommy says:

    You’re exactly right.The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents. Honestly, at this point, they look like super-geniuses to me. I was always a rebel, not just in my teens, but late into my twenties, and maybe the early thirties too. A dumbass who thought that his parents didn’t know crap in this modern age. Oh, how the tables have turned. Lol

  3. tommy says:

    O/T 2012’s Annoying words. The annual Marist poll finds the most irritating words and phrases. 32%- Whatever, 21%- Like, 14%- Youknow. Runners-up included “Twitterverse” and “Gotcha”.

  4. fernschild says:

    Reading this while listening to Melissa Manchester sing “Someone to Watch Over Me” and remembering her appearance on Merv Griffin right after she recorded it. I work with the 90+ crowd, so I hear about the past all the time. Used to work with little kids, and they are a gas because they just blurt, like old folks do, but somehow they have better manners than the in-betweeners. If you want to get the elderly to talk about something in the past, start singing a song from back in their heyday. They won’t judge your voice, and it really stirs up memories.

    • elliesmom says:

      My daughter danced to “Someone to Watch Over Me” with her dad at her wedding. We asked all of the fathers and daughters at the wedding to join them, and there were several of them. Grandfather aged guys with middle-aged daughters, middle-aged dads with teen-aged daughters, and young dads with their little girls. It was the most photographed event at the wedding, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

  5. tommy says:

    Fits right in. ‘China to crack down on adults neglecting parents – Recently, a rich doctor from South China’s Hainan Medical Univ (HMU) was suspended after it became public that he had refused to support his ailing mother. On Friday, China seemed to take a step towards addressing the increasing problem of grown up children neglecting their parents by amending a law, which will now require them to visit their parents often, reports said. If they don’t, the amended law says that the parents will now have the right to sue their sons and daughters. The no. of visits was not specified. In July, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, reviewed an amendment to China’s Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly for the first time. The amendment added an item that asks sons and daughters to go home often to see their aging family members. According to a state run Xinhua report, the govt. needs to do more work in moral education, especially in a graying China where filial piety is disappearing and senior citizens face lots of psychological problems. Local media frequently carries stories mentioning cases of parents being criminally neglected by their adult children’. Atleast there, the MSM does good by carrying these stories. But finally, its the Commie Solution.

    • yttik says:

      LOL! I kind of like that. You should be able to sue your children for neglect.

      What is changing in cultures all over the world is respect and honoring of our elders. We spend far too much time worshiping youth and focusing on young people. All that wisdom and experience is getting tucked away in retirement homes and we’re doing ourselves a disservice by not valuing what older people have to offer.

  6. driguana says:

    You’re right, it wasn’t simpler but it definitely was different. We talked to each other. We liked to work. We loved going to school. TV brought us together and didn’t divide us. News was news and newspapers had news not ads. We danced together not separately. We ate together and actually cooked. The family celebrated…everything. Grandmothers and aunts were mothers. Grandfathers and uncles were fathers. Politics was politics without the reality show veneer. Making ends meet was sometimes quite hard in a family of seven but we did it. Vacations were an adventure that usually included fishing. Yes, growing up in the 50s and 60s different.

    • yttik says:

      Do you think it might be childhood that we romanticize, rather than the times we lived in? Because for many, the 50’s and 60’s were hellish. Blacks, women, had very little rights or opportunities. Our leaders were being assassinated, MLK, JFK, Robert Kennedy. Nixon had to resign in disgrace. There was the Vietnam war. For all the talk of peace and love in the 60’s, people were dying from drugs, suicides. We lost dozens of rock stars way to young. There was the threat of communism and persecution over it here at home. Lucile Ball was even blacklisted. Black students had to have the national guard escort them to school. Kent state was an atrocity. Crime actually peaked in 1958 and has declined ever since.

  7. tommy says:

    ‘New blood test to tell how long you’ll live – Researchers claimed to have developed a new controversial ‘lifespan’ test that can tell how long a person will live by determining the rate of ageing. The blood test estimates how fast someone is aging by measuring the length of microscopic structures at the ends of each chromosome called telomores, which keep each chromosome from falling apart when cells divide, they said. Telomores shorten after each cell division and animal studies have shown that a high % of short telemores in blood cells is associated with a shorter than normal life expectancy, which is why blood tests could provide a guide to ageing and life expectancy. More than 100 Britons have already taken the test to see how fast they are ageing, and which might be used in the future to indicate statistically how long they have got to live. The company behind the test expects it to be used as part of the standard medical check-up’. Don’t know bout you, but I see quite a few future abuses that can be perpetrated using this blood test.

  8. conner43 says:

    driguana, We must be close in age, what you described above, is mostly intact families, a huge difference.
    Our economy would improve almost immediately if we enforced our immigration laws, asap.

  9. conner43 says:

    To above: I recently read that even the Galapagos Islands are having a problem with illegal immigrants, and their very high birth rate..
    Oh for crying out loud, the Galapagos!! Maybe there is no hope.

  10. driguana says:

    this blog has had my head spinning all morning….it’s like we never really figured anything out…never really had any meaningful dialogue about anything….and we are still…spinning…out of control….and, nothing still really is as it seems…

    the one other thing this blog and yttik’s comment above made me think about was my Irish grandmother on my paternal side in Cincinnati….she hated the Kennedy’s with a passion…apparently her family was originally form the same place in Ireland…she would rage about them…what crooks they were and what horrible people they were…and then when I was in college at Ohio University, sister school of Kent State, in the mid-60s, the Kennedy’s were heroes….and I was conflicted…what was I to believe? my grandmother, or the unfolding stories of Camelot?….well, now in hindsight, it turns out she was right about a lot of the Kennedy reality and mythology…took me a while and a lot of digging….

    the real glue for me though was music….I become involved in music at a very early age…around 12…turning 13 in 1959 in Pittsburgh…music took me everywhere and into all kinds of different ethnic situations…all of my life…in the Caribbean, Europe and West Africa as well…I guess, in retrospect, it was the most meaningful kind of “dialogue”….not sure music does that today….where are the Bob Dylans and Bob Marleys when we need them most?

    my 26 year old son married a young French girl from the Besancon/Morteau region of eastern France a year ago…it’s right across the border from Neuchatel, Switzerland where I studied French in ’72….we recently went to hang with the French family for two weeks…it was eerie to be back there…my son the same age now as I was then….and still…“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”…everyone still works in the watch and cheese business….and complains about Germany and socialism…..hmmmmmm…

  11. foxyladi14 says:

    As long as I am breathing I am Hoping. 🙂

  12. John Denney says:

    Economics and politics in a nutshell, according to me, after more than 4 decades of work experience and observation.

    What makes a nation prosper? Prosperous people.
    What makes an individual prosper? My Dad used to tell me, “Make yourself useful!”
    That takes 4 character qualities:

    1) Can-do attitude
    2) Diligence
    3) Continuous learning
    4) Trustworthiness

    They apply to all regardless of age, gender, color, or disability.
    Leaders should exemplify them.
    They can be given to no one, only encouraged, and the opposites discouraged.

    The job of the government (We the People) is to protect each person’s life, liberty, and property. Discussions about how we accomplish that are called “politics”.

  13. smile says:

    Very well said. And so succinctly.

  14. Propertius says:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    Or, to quote the pithier Italian version: “Same shit, different flies.”

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