It's been a while since I've posted anything, partly because of an irrational avoidance of writing anything at all, but it's been more than a month since I've produced anything at all for my journal. So I picked one of the writer's block suggestions, and really old one too, from like the end of April.
I picked this one not so much for any answer I could give, but for what others have said
. Virtually every answer that picked a time period, betrayed only a romantic conception of the time period, and particularly popular destinations were the late 1960s, the Victorian period, the Middle Ages and a few truly strange picks
Those who picked the 1960s, like this fellow
, seem to have done it out of idealism, looking at the period very favorably, ignoring the terrible burnout that followed in the 1970s. Of course their choice is somewhat understandable as we live in a society run by the baby boomers, who sometimes seem completely incapable of getting over their own youth, and continually transfer this through the media to younger generations.
The Victorian period has been a very popular as of late, and I'm not entirely sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with the goth subculture and the steampunk aesthetic. Most of the time people justified
their pick by appealing to Victorian fashion and the preconception that it was a more polite time, often pointing to how women were treated like precious flowers (no it wasn't patronizing at all, it was just common decency). Also no one seemed interested in living the life of the common person in the working class. Somewhat unsurprisingly, no one wanted to be a Medieval peasant either.
Of course all of this is not really shocking. The public perception of the past has always been riddled with nostalgia, more content to see history as they wish
(the 30s as a time of innocence?) it, rather than how it was. That's the tricky thing about memory, it slowly changes the past on you. However a common theme can be gleaned from these replies, that many, many people desire
a time when life was supposedly more "simple" and more "wholesome", implicitly or explicitly expressing our own age of high modernity as "too fast", often mixed with a fear of the future. Looking at the actual history, I don't think there ever was a time when being a human was any simpler, let alone more moral.
After reading this, I suppose it comes as no surprise which time period I picked - the present day. I don't think the human race has ever had it so good
. People live longer, are better educated and better fed, and there has been sustainable peace for more than 60 years, with no end in the near future. Thanks to the forces of global capitalism, we have seen unprecedented economic and technological growth that is reaching into the poorest places on Earth. Even with pressing problems, like climate change, our future looks very bright.