There is more to life than buttery sandwiches packed with sexy pork products and enough Sriracha to make a Thailand hog badger blush. Indeed, more to life than burying one's head in a bucket of fried chicken in order to escape the deadly girth of everything awful in the world.Yes, so much more than food. What a gut-wrenching realization.
I've been writing and reporting for various community-based weekly newspapers for about five years, though at times it feels like I've spent at least twice as many years moping around this ink-stained existence. In that time, I've written for two newspapers in Queens and, currently, one based on Long Island. It's a thankless job dotted with fleeting flecks of accomplishment and even less in the way of gratitude. Now as an editor with plenty of small-time experience, the job has grown moss and I'm able to operate on autopilot for the most part.
Nothing stands out anymore. All the complaints are the same. From Maspeth to Malverne, there is not an interesting soul left in this human cesspool. But at times, the readers find a way to participant with a Letter to the Editor. This is where something strikes their fancy, and a reader just has to get his or her word into the local paper, so that all the other insufferable mutants can share in their pointless rage. Here is one I recently received:
While perusing the new summer fare that is being offered up in the name of entertainment, I was prompted to reflect on just one word, "morals." Where have they gone? I seem to recall growing up in the 50s with a solid sense of right from wrong. Oh sure, there were others who weren't totally in step with my Catholic school values but nonetheless, we all had some sort of standards that we lived by. I now observe the obvious void of decency in the every influential media. Being of a seasoned age I shouldn't overreact to what is being hailed as a "must see" flick or limited television series. Shocked, hardly, disgusted and disappointed most definitely. The "anything goes" mentality is flagrant. There was a time when major networks suggested that "adult themed" programs were being viewed after 9pm. Not anymore. Flashbacks to days when family television culminated in a life lesson to embrace, most certainly has gone by the wayside. To glorify nudity and pervasive language in today's society is considered the "norm," culture and refinement, a quality of the past. It is difficult not to be offended and assaulted while four-letter words are being bellowed from one's den. I don't want to "get with the times" if that means compromising my values and throwing my solid upbringing to the curb. I plan on hanging tightly on to my memories when creed and standards were meaningful, decent and something to be proud of.
That is a lucid, well-thought out letter compared to the syphilitic scrawl I usually uncover in my inbox. Unfortunately, it is also a misguided toast to a bygone time spied with rose-colored glasses and an infuriating condemnation of any generation that didn't grow up in those idyllic 1950s.
Oh yes, what a peaceful time. Such a wholesome era to have come to age. What trash. I am tired of shitty parents and shittier human beings of a certain age beating the dead dick of 1950s America. It was not paradise. All it did was fuel the delusional fuckwits who would eventually become the failed flower children of the 1960s, the mal-adjusted young adults of the 1970s, and the careless, childhood-destroying parents of the 1980s. Now, they live in a world of moral high grounds, detesting anyone with the balls to remind them of the damage they wreaked on their defenseless offspring.
Let's take a quick peek at everything that made the 1950s so darned wholesome and by-golly swell: polio, the Korean War, the Cold War, Jim Crow Laws, McCarthyism, J. Edgar Hoover, domestic violence, everyday sexism, a lack of civil rights, demonization of "homos," banal television, archaic medical practices. criminalized sexual expression, duck and cover, girdles, lame bathing suits and food additives (mmmm, nitrates).
Anyone born in or around the 1950s can't wait to tell you just how much better life was back then. They tell you about affordable movie and milk prices, but will conveniently leave out that story about dad beating the shit out of mom because she overcooked the roast. And women born in the 50s, I'm sure they can't wait to tell you about the time dad told her through a cloud of cigarette smoke that "no daughter of mine is gonna go to college."
The older generation of today, face it: The world is better today than it was in the 1950s. We have options you never dreamed of. And you're jealous. We don't have to get married. And you're jealous. We can go to college if we want to (and accumulate insane student loan debt) and you're jealous. We are free to be the freaky sexual beings that we are, and you're jealous. "Black music" isn't needlessly covered by white artists to protect us from the "colored folk," and you're jealous.
Well, I say enjoy your jealousy. Enjoy it like an unfiltered cigarette steeped in brown gravy. Inhale the bitter smoke and blow it out your tightly wound ass.
Goodnight and good luck,
The Cultured Pig