Some things just never change. Some people believe that things that stay constant are boring but not me. I like the tried and true. There’s a nice security and comfort in having things that you can rely on to be the same all the time. For instance this year our beloved Dodgers have been constantly winning. Boring? No, wonderful. No Dodger fan in his right mind wants to see that change.
Not that I’m totally opposed to change. Change is a good thing if the change is for the better. Unfortunately much of the time when change occurs, it is not for the better. Many times change will result in things getting worse. Sometimes it won’t make any difference at all, except for the fact that things have changed. And, yes, once in a blue moon change will actually make something better. Then the question becomes, who determines when a change is for the better? Ah, that’s the rub, as Mr. Shakespeare would put it.
The sad fact for stick-in-the-muds like me is, we live in times of change. And it’s not slow, gradual change; it’s fast and extreme. Popular culture, if it is anything at all, is all about change. Science is always coming up with new theories and new discoveries that change our lives. Add to that social media and technological innovation and you’ve got change on steroids. We are all affected by these changes, whether or not we individually engage in them.
Like it or not, change is everywhere around us. The entire universe is in continuous change. The earth is constantly shifting. Forests grow in new cycles. The oceans rise and fall. Weather is always changing (except for Southern California). Of course our bodies change all the time, with each passing year we become older (unless you happen to be a Hollywood actor, then you just become more laminated).
Then there are the things that many believe have been major changes, but really aren’t changes at all. One good example is the current trend in internet shopping. Most think of that as something brand new, but is it? Internet shopping is nothing more than mail order shopping, except instead of ordering from printed catalogues, we view the merchandise online. But it’s still “shop by mail.”
Electric cars new? I don’t think so. In 1828, Ányos Jedlik, a Hungarian who invented an early type of electric motor, created a small model car powered by his new motor. In 1834, Vermont blacksmith Thomas Davenport built a similar vehicle that operated on a short, circular, electrified track. That same year a Dutch professor created a small-scale electrical car, powered by non-rechargeable primary cells. In 1911, the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago released the first gasoline-electric hybrid car. Electric cars became quite popular with well-heeled customers, especially women, in the early 1900s as “city cars.” Sound familiar Prius and Tesla drivers?
As I said, there are good changes and there are bad changes. Here are some examples of good changes: Changing a burned out light bulb with one that works. Changing a baby’s diaper. Changing your underwear every day. Changing your mind before you do something illegal, immoral or hurtful. Changing the oil in your car every 5,000 miles or so. Changing your neighborhood after discovering that the new maximum-security facility for the criminally insane is being built on your block. Changing your White House communications director to anyone whose name isn’t Scaramucci.
Examples of bad changes: Changing male sports announcers in major league baseball with females. Changing a 20 for two fives. Changing a working light bulb with one that has burned out. Changing the original formula of Coca Cola to “new Coke.” Changing your luncheon choice from the turkey sandwich to the garlic and onion sandwich just before your big job interview.
Change. I guess it’s here to stay. Unless things change.
Greg Crosby is a writer and cartoonist and former executive at the Walt Disney Company.