I’m in Love With The Modern World
People often idealize the past. In my childhood, the 1950s were always held up as the paragon of When Things Were Perfect. Sure, the 1950s had a lot of things on this list, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to have lived back then. Hanging out with a lot of SCA people and others who are into historical re-enactment has made me aware every time someone says “OH YEAH, well in the 12th/19th/WHATEVER CENTURY, WOMEN/MINORITIES/MEN/CHILDREN/WOMBATS could do _______!” Maybe so, but I enjoy living right here and now for the following reasons…
2. women’s rights, both on paper and [more than in past eras at least] in cultural practice.
3. air conditioning
4. central heating
6. ability to get sushi in the grocery store
7. the fact that I know ceviche exists and I can find places to acquire it (this is also kind of a class-based thing, I know)
8. the internet (for all its faults; it’s still awesomely mind-blowing to have the world’s repository of knowledge at your fingertips)
9. refrigeration (it’s been around for a while, but still, in the history of humans, that’s just the blink of an eye)– seriously. Think about it– what was life like before refrigeration? We spend probably 0% of our time thinking about how to preserve food to make it last. Now we can be fat and happy and devote all those brain cells to looking at stupid pictures of cats on the internet!
10. freedom from religion. no really, the next time someone complains that Christmas is too omnipresent/there’s a War on Christmas, just think about the Spanish Inquisition.
11. anesthesia — maybe I should just make a separate category for “modern medicine” (yes, I’ve been watching all these BBC medical dramas that take place in the Victorian/Edwardian eras)