I don’t know what to believe nowadays. In my seventy six years, I have never been so aware of conflict.
When I was young, life was much freeer. Most people smoked. There were no safety belts in cars. Kids got disciplined, a smack was normal. Sex was something you practised in secret until you got married. Marraige was the norm. A family had a ‘family doctor’. Most women stayed at home and influenced the family over the dinner table. Most people went to Church on a Sunday, or belonged to some kind of religion. Ordinary people washed dishes in the sink, clothes in a twin tub or the bath, kept food in a food safe and sat before a fire in the winter. They read books, wrote letters, talked on a phone, or made calls from a call box, watched TV in shop windows and went to the movies on Saturday where Movietone News told them what was happening in other parts of the world. People sang God Save the Queen at events and after a film.
Bitchiness was called gossip. Homosexual people were called Queers. People talked behind other people’s backs. Some people were very nasty in their own small area.
Certain behaviours were considered bad, whilst other behaviours were good, and thus encouraged.
Masturbation caused insanity. Porn was censored. Abortion was illegal. They were considered harmful.
With all its flaws, life then, was free from over regulation. There were no health and safety laws. Drop side cots painted with lead paint were common. Babies slept on their stomachs and were swaddled. Women were free to bottle feed them. And use pacifiers/dummies. Only rich people sued other people, and you were famous and rich, or a ‘star’, not a celebrity to be envied for most people hardly dreamed of becoming one.
Ordinary people owned less. Consumerism had only just begun. There were less experts, few psychiatrists or psychologists, no life coaches, few scientists, university was for privaledged people. Learning was admired.
On the whole, people were happier we are told.
I can’t remember.
But in my old age, I am conflicted.
Currently, my computers feed me news that alters by the hour. I can watch conspiracy news, biased news, mainstream news, TV news, Youtube News, Bitchute news, Christian news, Asian news, Falun Gong news, Chinese News. I can read any paper from anywhere on my computer or Smart TV.
Legislations pour in about what we can or cannot do, daily.
Scientists, who are just common folk with a university degree, that are two a penny now, disagree whilst using the same science, and conflictingly tell me Covid is a hoax, vaccinations kill, and the government lies, or that Covid is real and we are not doing ‘enough’ to stop it.
My news sources tell me Trump lost, or Trump actually won. That Biden will be President despite the fraud, or that he is ingahoots with the Chinese. He will lockdown on Covid, whilst Trump will not because he got the vaccine for the country instead.
Here in the UK, we have left the EU, but we haven’t. Our children are being taught they can chose their gender. Actually, anyone may. We find Black Lives matter more than White Lives, the climate will kill us so we must not eat meat, use gas, fly, or waste stuff.
And of course, no one may smoke or vape. Or say certain words, or express opinions. Gossiping is called tweeting, but only certain words are allowed otherwise your career is over. Im so grateful I have no career, and am not a ‘celebrity’.
There are many ways that life is more comfortable in this age of plenty. Most people have everything they need, or even dreamed of. But the discontent is vaster. Everyone is fighting for their rights.
In truth, as simply animals, developed gorillas, the scientists say, we have no rights at all. Not even rights as animals. Rights are proclaimed by humans.
And they can be taken away. In this age of conflicts – opinions, scientific, political, religious, cultural – our thought, even privately, is facing the greatest challenge. Our thought can be taken away by censorship and manipulation. By having to be politically correct. So that we even need to suspect the thoughts of others are tainted with hypocracy. None can be trusted.
Our age of innocence has been destroyed. Everything is allowed, yet nothing except the creed of the new critical thought.
There is no preacher on a Sunday, nor one Movietone news. There is no Sunday Paper to peruse from front page to the back page comics for comforting support, there is simply a Tsunami of information containing logs and debris, doubts and fears, criticisms and slanders, that are altering by the minute with every bias of opinion.
I can see why people must have been happier before, in the old days; when they had time to think their own thoughts in the safety of their own homes, when experts were really experts and universities were places of wisdom and newspapers employed real journalists.
And life was slow.