Restoring Mayberry?

I find that this blog post touches something within me.
I’ve talked about an interest in traditional societies and whatnot. I have this deep sensation of our society being rootless and replacing what is real and deep and meaningful with celebrities, with money, with Facebook. (Guilty!)

However, the author mentions 1950s America. Which as the Baby Boomers become our elders gets easily idealized as the golden time of their youth. When they had no responsibility and kids could play on their own in small towns or big cities without fear, for the most part.

I don’t see that time as a particularly good time for the majority of people but white straight Christian men. In fact, even now is not a great time for people outside of this group (though some progress has been made).

I still feel like our society is deeply unmoored from something meaningful, but I think our growing movement towards egalitarianism is one of the things that we, as a society, are doing right.

This author isn’t doing it explicitly but these sentiments can easily be twisted into a sentiment of “things were great until we let women out of the kitchen”. Or “until the government forced us to integrate with the coloreds”. Or “until all those Jews came here”. Or foreigners. Or homosexuals. Or whatever out group that people have fought to have society include.

(The author lives in Ireland now, but surely Irish Catholic immigrants were seen by some in 1950s America as a threat. See the John Birch Society, the KKK, all of the hubbub about JFK becoming President a short time later, etc.)

I love that there’s a discussion about the dying of traditions, our lack of meaning in our society, our idolization of money and things, our society’s eroding of morality. (Not necessarily in a Judeo-Christian sense, but in the sense of being good people.)

But if it shifts the blame on a former out-group being included, I’m not on board. If it longs to return to a time when women were treated as less than men, then I have no interest in it.

We can look at the past to find out what we’re missing, study the traditions we’ve lost, figure out where to place our anchors, but let’s not idealize the racism, sexism, bigotry that people fought hard to move past.

That said, I still really enjoyed this piece.

~ by R.M. McGrath on 06/29/2017.

One Response to “Restoring Mayberry?”

  1. This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: