Back in the 1950’s, 60’s, life was simpler, more innocent than today. People were generally happier with less. Women were delighted with a Vacuum cleaner for Christmas, and they were grateful! Women took great pride in cleaning their homes, ensured they ‘powdered their noses’ and changed their clothing just before Hubby got home, where he was greeted with a smile, clean house, perfectly polished wife, and an all round, healthy, home cooked dinner with happy, well behaved kids. Children’s hair was neatly cut, clothing perfectly tucked into their cupboards and all toys were packed away before bath and bedtime. Everything was orderly and innocent, and the feeling of HAPPY pulsated through people’s veins.
Roll on the ’60’s! Liberation! it’s all Rock n’ Roll, free sex, Peace, Anti-war, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds! Vacuum Cleaner? What’s THAT? Woodstock, Dylan, Cohen and who could forget the FAB Janis Joplin? People were less inhibited. The word ‘terrorism’ didn’t exist, unless a teenager pulled a prank on an elderly person, in which case, he’d be called a ‘terror’, but that was IT. The Vietnam war caused untold misery and destruction ( to the men who were either conscripted or who volunteered not knowing any better, not to mention the poor Vietnamese!) and so the Peace lovers protested – peacefully, sometimes with humour.
Police protected themselves with shields from angry mobs, who were sincerely only on a campaign for Peace, with their head-bands on, placards in hand, calling for an end to the war in Vietnam. Posing no threat to anyone.
The world was more fun, less invasive on one’s privacy, innocence was the mind-set of most, as they wondered around festivals naked, smoked pot, danced the nights away to the vibes of Bob Dylan, for it was luuurve all the way…..’MAKE LOVE – NOT WAR’ was the slogan and motto!
Children pulled innocent pranks on each other, sometimes had a fight in the playground where no one interfered, and when the fight was over, they shook hands and often went on to become friends. It went no further….. Parents weren’t held to ransom over smacking their Children when it was needed, so as to teach them right from wrong.
Then….roll on fast forward to 2000 and onward and here we have….
A 1960’s school teacher called Mary. She gives her young student Jimmy, an innocent cuddle when he falls and scrapes his knee ending up in tears. He feels better, gets up and carries on playing.
A 2015 school teacher called Mary. She gives her young student Jimmy, an innocent cuddle when he falls and scrapes his knee. Instantly the police are called in. She’s arrested for Child Molestation, Jimmy is taken for counselling and he’s then put on Ritalin.
A 1960’s school child doesn’t do his homework and is given detention. After school, he sits his one hour detention, writing the same words on a piece of paper 100 times ‘I will do my homework’…’I will do my homework’…and then he hands his piece of paper to the attending teacher, who smiles at him as he happily goes and jumps on his bicycle to go home. When his Father gets home and hears the news of this, he is slightly angry , and gives him a spanking. The child learns that there are consequences to his actions, and never forgets to do his homework again. He goes on to Harvard and Graduates Cum Laude.
A 2015 school child doesn’t do his homework, and is given detention to which he fails to attend. When asked by his teacher why he didn’t attend detention, he glares at her and yells – ‘you can’t tell me what to do!’ He then catches a ride with some friends in their beat up old car, smokes a spliff on the way home and then skulks to his bedroom. When his Father gets home and hears of this, he is slightly angry and gives him a light smack on the head. The Child then calls ‘Child-line’. The FBI are called, Father is arrested for ‘aggravated assault on a minor’, Social Services are called in. They put the Child in a Foster Home. He goes on to mowing lawns and stealing for a living.
In 1960, this cute advertisement encouraging Children to play outside, is popular and seen with innocent eyes by the public. Encouraging kids to play on the beach albeit with only the bottom of her costume on.
In 2000 and onward, this advertisement is seen as Pedophilia, ‘filth’. Furthermore, should an artist be commissioned to draw an innocent picture of a half-naked newborn lying on his/her Daddy’s chest for his/her Parents, the artist is instantly jailed for 25 years for ‘Pedophilia’, and their baby is taken away due to them being seen as ‘unfit’ Parents.
Paranoia and Fear is now the order of the day. Disciplining Children is absolutely not allowed in any form or fashion. If Children fight in the playgrounds, Social Services are called, the kids are sent for counselling, their Parents are told to attend ‘Child care Classes’, and the kids are put on Ritalin. It is after all, a ‘mental illness’ to have a fight with someone these days isn’t it? Even if you are only a Child.
There is not only one illegal war being waged upon a foreign Country by the Super Powers, but many, upon innocent people in the name of greed, money and power. The media are fed the appropriate stories to publish, so as to appease the public, (who never question their validity) but then react with instant hatred for possibly really good people. Fear and hatred for strangers is now born.
Protesters get beaten half to death by Police, no matter that they are unarmed. Should anyone dare take just their tops off at a festival, alarms go off, Police are immediately called in, the people are arrested for ‘indecent exposure’ and jailed. If they don’t have the money for bail, well, that’s just too bad. They do the time!
The horror grows more evil with every passing day, every passing minute. Mothers fear for their Daughters as Fathers are overworked and underpaid. Children don’t play in the playgrounds anymore as TV games and TV shows keep them inside glued to a screen. As ‘friends’ on cyberspace take over in place of personal visits to one another, the days of tea and cake are all but gone. Children scream at their Parents, Divorce rates are through the roof, mistresses are common, even seen as ‘the norm’. Decent Parenting is not allowed, hence teenage pregnancies and street drugs are rife, leaving Grandma to raise the unwanted ones. The not so lucky bury their offspring from accidental overdoses.
Drugs are taken in copious amounts to numb the pain, mental illness is on the rise, addiction to anything and everything is seen as normal as human Beings try to cope in a broken world. Values have long since been buried, Morals unheard of, and innocence?
( oh, I remember reading about what that word means in the dictionary once).
How I long for a simple Vacuum Cleaner for Christmas!
*written by Deborah Mann*