Saturday, January 5, 2013

Now or then?

I often tell people that I was either born 150 years too early or 150 years too late. I can't address the 150 years too early part of it. Who knows but we'll blow ourselves up 149 years from now or a comet strike will rip the atmosphere off of the planet?

However there are things that are better about today than 150 years ago, and with a glass full rather than a glass empty philosophy, I'll explain:

2012 vs 1863
  • Bandwidth. Yes, the Internet sucks, but let's face it, if you're reading this, you are addicted too.
  • Automobiles. I like my BMW. I also like a horse. But the care and feeding of a horse can be a pain in bad weather or if you're in a hurry.
  • Dental Hygiene. I like electric plaque elimination systems (they don't call them toothbrushes anymore do they?) and dental floss. In 1863 unless you pulled your teeth or had them pulled, they'd rot and kill you. Today, worst case there is dental bonding.
  • Air Travel. When I travel by air, I travel first class, not because I'm an elitist jerk -- I simply prefer to have my ass kissed than to not have it kissed. In 1863, it took a long time to go anywhere. Today, it's the matter of buying a ticket and booking a hotel and rental car on line, having an airport limo pick me up at home and drop me off at the airport. The biggest concern is whether I have enough downloaded books on my Kindle to take me through the flight if I'm bored or or have already seen all of the twenty or so movies offered in First Class.
  • Cell Phones. I hate them - I love them - I hate them - I love them. 
  • Climate Control. Forced air A/C and heating on on demand. I also prefer long hot showers where I don't have to make a fire to enjoy the warm water.
  • Electric lights at the flip of a switch.
  • E-Mail. Better than snail mail, or the pony express.
  • Without prejudice to the Little Red Hen, the idea of sewing, watering, harvesting wheat, then milling it, baking it cutting it and then serving it, I can either drive-through or go to the store to get sandwich fixings. Little Red Hen Process - 3-5 months. My process 5 minutes. And I can have chicken on my sandwich - oops, sorry hen.
  • Firearms. While all of you know that I'm disarmed and helpless, many people do have more advanced firearms firing fixed ammunition which are an improvement on cap and ball available in 1863.
  • Clothing. Levis are Levis 1863 or 2013. Some things can't be improved on.
  • Sex. I think that it was more or less the same in 1863 as it is in 2013. Some like it hot, some don't. (There are a lot of STD's out there in 2013 that hadn't percolated out of the jungle in 1983)
  • Music. You had to listen to it live back then. Now there is i-pad, i-pod, i-phone, i-whatever and noise canceling headphones. The music available in 1863 was limited. I prefer the options and delivery devices in 2013.
There are things about 1863 that appeal to me - but I don't think that I'd want to serve in either side during the War of Northern Aggression/War of the Rebellion/Civil War. More people died of camp illness than died of wounds inflicted by the enemy. I'm not opposed to camping. In fact, I camped for a living (US Military) for a while. However, the fun in camping reaches its limits at some points.

If I had lived in 1863, I think that I would have been the Sundance Kid. I'm better looking than Robert Redford, I'm sure that I could shoot better than the character that he portrayed because I'd also have a scoped rifle (available in 1863), I'd have had the sense NOT to go to Bolivia - and Katherine Ross (who played Etta Place in the Hollywood Production of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) appeals to me. Or in the absence of Katherine Ross, I could have contented myself spending my ill gotten loot on a remote tropical island -- one without cannibals living on it.


Average American said...

In 1863, we had a GREAT President---not so much today.

In 2013 we have bikinis and spandex---not so much back then

It's a toss up.

LL said...

Politics in 1863 depended more on where you lived. Jefferson Davis was the president of 1/2 of the US. Abraham Lincoln was the president of the other half. And out west with the exception of California, nobody cared.

The bikini is one of the greatest inventions of the 20th Century - so I'm definitely with you on that.

Opus #6 said...

Katherine Ross, Robert Redford and Paul Newman were all at their peak in that movie. Sad end, though.

I'm fond of modern day washers and dryers. And the hair dryer was a nice invention, especially for ladies with long hair.

WoFat said...

Yeah, you're right. You look more like Katherine Ross than Robert Redford.

darlin said...

Who doesn't prefer to have their ass kissed? Some of us pheasants just can't afford that luxury.

Personally I like the Little House on the Prairie days, I don't even know which era that was from, but men were men and life was simple. Sure work was hard, survival was only for the fittest, but if ya don't know any better it is what it is. So I'm with Opus, the washer and dryer are a must, but take me back to Little House on the Prairie with these two luxuries, oh and my car, my kitchen aid and my clothing and get me outta here... not literally LL, don't get excited! lol


bill lisleman said...

Always a good reminder of what we take for granted by comparing eras. I don't think going back 150 years to necessary to notice big changes. I find plenty of changes just going back 50 years or so.
Bolivia looks adventurous and romantic in that movie. It probably wasn't. I think the pair would have done better to get into the mining business instead of the robbing business.

LL said...

Opus #6 - I don't know how I've been able to remain at my peak for so long. Maybe I just take it for granted.

In 1863, I think that women just braided their hair to avoid the standard drying difficulties. And washboards with lye soap was just a little tougher of 'delicate fabrics'.

WoFat - I have always considered you as more of a Butch Cassidy type - especially your way of winning a knife fight (rules)...

Darlin - Darlin, you're trouble. 1863 or 2013 --- Trouble Turtle.

Bill - If they'd gone in to exploiting Bolivian miners and run and protected the mine, the government would have stolen from them --- there's always a bigger fish to swallow you.

Azra said...

I think the BEST thing about today? Air Travel. You can literally get on a plan and run away from your problems (and hope they don't follow you). If I had it my way, I'd go back to a time when there weren't any Geographical boundaries as such and no need for Visas or passports etc. A simpler time :)

LL said...
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LL said...

Azra - The time before visas didn't include air travel, sadly.

However I'm with you on getting on an airplane with nothing but credit cards in your pocket and the clothes on your back.

The problem with living in JoBurg is that if you're going anywhere outside of Africa it's a $10K ticket (business class - forget first)

Anonymous said...

I am in complete and total agreement about Katherine Ross. I don't go anywhere anymore I can't get to in my car. Pretty much been everywhere I care to have gone already so I'm good with it. the rat

LL said...

Rat - I'm sorry you're having such pain and so many problems with your health.

Race Bannon said...

I always say I was born in the wrong era...but hot showers are a must! Maybe I wouldn't have known what I was missing?

LL said...

Race - I've always felt that there are comforts that I could do without. And I think that at times in my life, I've done without most of them. But think how an absence of viewing Johnny Quest would have altered your persona...if you'd been born in another era you might have ended up as a sod buster on the prairie that the Indians (Native Americans) rode up and shot arrows into - all for want of training videos.

WoFat said...

If I was born in another era I . . . wait a minute. I WAS born in another era. Drat!

LL said...

Yeah. The sad fact is that I was too.

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