Some things can’t be stopped. You can’t stop the world from turning. You can’t keep government from meddling in your life. You can’t keep idiots from using their iPhones at inappropriate times and places. You can’t stop crazy evil people from killing innocents. And you can’t stop things from changing. Sometimes you can try to keep things the same, at least for a short while, but ultimately time wins and change happens.
When change occurs things never go back to where they once were. Movies will never have glamorous stars unapologetically espousing love of America, religious moral values and traditional family as they once did; television will never be “clean and wholesome” again; popular music will never be innocent, sweet and melodic again and sloppy, ugly dressing is here to stay.
Change happens all the time, right? You are born an infant and you change into a baby, then a child, then a teenager, then a young adult, then a middle aged adult and finally an old adult. Although plenty of vain people try to keep from changing into an old adult, they really can’t stop it no matter how much they try. Just ask any plastic mask-faced movie star. Change happens for better or worse whether we like it or not.
After we’re born our bodies and minds continue to develop and grow, we are in a constant state of change. At a certain point in time our growth and development stop, but we continue to change. As we get older we begin to deteriorate little by little. We lose brain cells, muscle tone, dexterity, hair, memory and much more. So much more, that I can’t remember what, because…well, I’m old.
As time goes on we lose our hearing and eyesight. Our taste buds change, our appetite lessens, our body morphs into different shapes and takes new forms. Our hands and feet change shape, our nose and ears grow longer, our skin sags and we develop spots and grow moles. We are changing. Changing into those disgusting old people that we used to laugh and make fun of. We all get there one day…if we’re lucky that is. And after we’re dead we change into dust. How’s that for a change?
Then I think of all the changes I’ve seen in my life, really extreme changes. The change in human communicating is but one example. Telephone booths were everywhere up until about 15 or 20 years ago when cell phones started taking over. Telephone booths were great because you could have a conversation with someone without the whole world being in on it, and on the flip side you didn’t have to listen to someone else’s nonsense.
Everyone had landline home phones. Now, they too are disappearing, since almost every living human has a cell phone. If you phoned a person you spoke to them with your very own voice, not in “messaging” or “texting” or “tweeting,” as so many are doing today. Many, especially the younger ones among us, will insist that electronics has improved communicating, but the truth is it really has done the opposite.
In olden times if you called someone, you generally reached a person and actually talked to them. Now it is much harder to speak to someone directly than it once was. What has changed is that if a person doesn’t want to talk to you for whatever reason, they can more easily avoid you. Ask any parent of a teenager.
Many times people don’t call you back because their message boxes are “full” and they are full because they never access them, and they never access them because they never return spoken calls. They only communicate through text or “social media” and they only text to whom they want to communicate with, and they only use social media to post only what they want to post, nothing more.
I don’t know why it is, but when things change it usually isn’t for the better. Besides changing the oil in your car and changing a baby’s diapers, can you name a change that has actually made things better? Most people aren’t as religious as they once were. Is that better? There are more people having babies out of wedlock than there used to be. Is that better? There are less young men graduating from college and supporting families then there were 20 or 30 years ago. Is that better? We’ve stopped teaching patriotic American history in our schools. Better?
There’s a reason why so many people enjoy classical music, classic literature and golden age movies. They never change.
Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.