The Past Wasn’t More Innocent, You Were

Waldman axes nostalgia:

I’m not the first person to say this … but when you’re a child the world is simple and innocent. Your parents take care of feeding and clothing and housing you, and if you’re lucky the biggest problem you have is what you’re going to get for your birthday. But your world only looked like the the world because children are naive. That’s part of what makes childhood wonderful, but once you grow up you should come to an understanding of what it was and what it wasn’t. You can use your memory of the emotions that characterized your childhood to create good art, or crappy art (although I haven’t seen the show, from the reviews I gather The Goldbergs is the latter).

That isn’t to say cultures don’t change, and American culture changes faster than most. But any time you’re tempted to say something like “The world was a more innocent place when I was a kid,” try to remember that that’s kind of like believing as an adult that your dog really did go to live on a farm upstate.

Update from a reader:

The Daily Show absolutely checkmated this idea a few years ago.