After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Monday, September 22, 2014

We All Were Young Once - Well Maybe

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: September 22, 2014
I have to laugh sometimes - well a lot, especially at how many people conveniently forget what they did when they were younger, before the age of social media and a 24/7 on demand world.
The Dark Ages

Back in the Dark Ages of the 60's and 70's, we didn't have social media, no one carried around smart phones and cameras/video gear was not nearly as invisible/pervasive, to capture all of those "wonderful" moments that happened back then.

The news wasn't on 24 hours a day, hell the 3 to 4 (it depended on how our antenna was turned) TV stations up heah turned off at midnight, during the week and a little later on the weekend.

And yes, we did stupid, crazy shit, just like young people still do today.
Gotta love the shirt and cool aviator glasses - right

I have a feeling that many people, who today are the supposed pillars of their communities, you know those who often express so much public outrage and disgust about how stupid people are acting "today" - also do not want to be "reminded" of the skeletons in their closets or have photos/videos of them "having fun" from back in the day - published.

I know I was there doing some the stuff right there with more than a few of them - I just do not have a convenient memory.

I remember pranks gone bad, lying, promiscuity, premarital/extra marital stuff, getting drunk - passing out, smoking, questionable judgment, illegal stuff, drag racing, fights, underage drinking, streaking (yeah running naked) and all the other stuff that many of us did when we were younger.

You know, that kind of stuff that people in their teens and 20's today, are still doing and are now being castigated for, by the old farts, who now "know better" or worse being arrested for stuff, we used to get away with today's laws to protect us from ourselves.

No double-standards there.

House Party early 60s

Plausible Deniability

In the past, it always came down to saying - "I never did that stuff" and no one could say one way or the other, unless they were there or there was a photo showing who was there AND what was going on. Even if there was, it was fairly easy to get rid of the evidence.

You know - "Plausible Deniability", to hell with what really happened.

No, I am not advocating turning a "blind eye" for people to break laws, allow child abuse, domestic abuse, discrimination or many of the other things that did and still do happen (all you gotta do is walk down many streets, turn on the TV or read the news, to know that they still happen all too regularly) or even returning to "the way things used to be". 

Which were not as great as the idealized versions of unreality many would have us believe.

I believe that while our society has made progress in many areas, we still have a ways to go in others, but I wonder if sometimes in our efforts to get everything "just the way it should be", did we/have we got it right or did we just become too intolerant of what people do, especially the younger generations.

Particularly, those who are not in "lock-step" with the moral values that most or maybe more likely a very vocal minority - may have.

Those who are not breaking any laws, just social mores and are challenging "the way it has always been done" or simply rebelling against the "norm" or the standards they do not agree with?

Are those bad things or do they just make us old farts uncomfortable because we don't do them anymore - after all we need to "act our age"?

This was way before I was born, but I wonder how outraged these pillars of the community were by the younger generations and how much they did that was just as bad or worse when they were younger.
We made mistakes

We sure did, most (not all) of us learned from them, eventually became smarter about life and were able to recover from those things, without screwing up our life too badly.

In today's world of social media, 24/7 news cycles, everyone seemingly carrying technology that can quickly and quietly record what is going on, will today's younger people be given the some of the same opportunities to move on from their youthful mistakes?

Unfortunately, I don't think so, that kind of shit isn't just hidden away in a photo album, you can keep locked up or better yet thrown out and forgotten about.

It is too juicy for that to happen and possibly worth more than a few bucks to the right people.


Today, it seems that all of our lives are open books due to the electronic devices that almost everyone has with them and/or the levels of government, corporate and private surveillance that are out there (which social media is a part), that can video, photo or record almost every action - good or bad.

Then once it is saved to some data farm or published to a social media site, it is someplace - forever. Always available to "someone", if they want it bad enough, even if you attempt to delete it.

Are kids today any different

Does growing up in the digital age mean that those who are in their teens or 20's are any different from what we were when we were that age.

No not really (they just have different experiences, expectations and all this technology) - I have a feeling if you could time travel in either direction, that they would fit in pretty quickly to what was going on around them back in the day and we would quickly fit in today quite nicely, with similarly aged people.

There haven't been any major changes in the evolutionary process over the last 30-40 years, no matter how many technological advances have been made.

Mom and Dad - 1956

I seem to remember that our parents and grandparents yelled at us (or in my case my grandparents and great-grandparents - my parents had me at 16 and 15, so they were part of the problem - right), about how screwed up we were, but now many of "us" or my generation are doing it to their kids or grandkids.

Some things never change.

Not Perfect

Hell No! 

I am not and never was perfect. I definitely wasn't an angel, but I also would like to think that eventually I turned out okay. Luckily, I lived through my mistakes, without them becoming everyone's business or headlines with photos and videos to follow - a very different world.

I wouldn't want to be young again in today's world, but at least I can look back and be honest about the stuff I really did and a lot of it ain't that much different from what many of today's young people are doing.

Except they are doing it a lot more publicly and in ways, we could not have dreamed of back in the dark ages.

People really haven't changed all that much, but with our present technology, what is considered nobody else's business (personal privacy) certainly has changed - a lot.

Personally, I am glad that social media and all this technology wasn't around when I was younger and that my lapses in judgment and stooopid moments were not caught as a permanent record for the world to enjoy and/or talk about "ad nauseam".
The reality is that

Society and even laws have changed, to more strictly enforce what are socially acceptable behaviors, in today's world compared to the way it was when I was growing up.


unfortunately or maybe fortunately young people haven't changed or evolved at the same pace, too many of them still like sex, go out - get drunk, do stupid shit, drive too damn fast, experiment with who they are and don't think about consequences of what they are doing - just like many of us old farts did back in the day.

Imagine that!

As long as what they are doing is not hurting others or breaking the laws society has decided are needed to be enforced (not just because they are on the books), why is there such outrage about young people doing dumb shit or not doing things the way we "know" they should?

Aren't many of them simply pushing back against - the established social norms, which is if you look closely and honestly, is also what many of us did as well. At least until we were assimilated and became valued members of that society, who purposely forgot or are trying to minimize their life before assimilation.

Unfortunately, society today has far less tolerance for transgressions of the social norm and now we usually have images or videos to go along with what happened to show who and how someone screwed up.

For good or ill, that is becoming the social norm.

Are we becoming the Borg...or worse?

What you think?

I think I need to go color outside the lines for a while ;-) .

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