Friday, January 29, 2010

From What’s Wrong With the World
A curmudgeonly title I wish I’d come up with, partly because it has more staying power than ‘young fogey’ (but ‘YF’ precisely describes a worldview not limited to the young)
  • Twilight of the Mad Men. I’ve long known even while celebrating the period (more) that circa 1959 had the seeds of its own destruction: the rootlessness dating to the ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Reformation’ and the boundless faith in change as progress. But the ’50s worked because at the same time there wasn’t a wholesale repudiation of the past generally. There arguably was though among some of the élite (and social climbers) as ugly abstract art and ultra-modern architecture (now so modern it’s quaint, like ‘The Jetsons’) showed. (Countered by a natural archaising tendency among the upper classes as Paul Fussell’s noted.) The hipsters including the Beats and bebop were fine on the fringe where they belonged; the grownups and Western civilisation were still in charge. The culture did much good and was a lot of fun (something the Fifties gets right about the real ’50s), not going bad until as much as 10 years later for many people. (The snotty hippies/boomers destroying much as well as taking credit for achievements that weren’t theirs. The squares did the dog work for civil rights and made it to the moon, not them.) Or through much of the ’60s most people weren’t hippies.
  • One of the last acceptable prejudices: being anti-elderly. Something for which we can blame the artificial ‘youth culture’ (satirised in Logan’s Run, which I remember as a fairly good sci-fi commentary on the narcissistic ’70s). Jeff Culbreath notes: another worrisome trend among the enlightened.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment