Chick-fil-A Celebrates my Birthday - Page 2
Having witnessed the correcting typewriter, I was kind of expecting big things to happen. And they have. I’ve lived through the birth (and now death) of the desktop computer and the emergence of the Internet as our new town square. Automobiles have gone from lasting about two years to lasting 10. Clothes, which used to be expensive, are now cheap. And gas, which used to be cheap, is now expensive.
I also came of age during a time of both introspection and birth control pills. There was a lot of sex; a lot of sex. I wouldn’t call it “casual” but it was friendly. And it was liberating. I don’t know anyone who was damaged by it.
I remember saying I’d quit smoking if the price ever got to 50 cents a pack. Of course, by then I was hopelessly addicted, so I ended up quitting quite a few times. I didn’t quit for good until a miracle drug, Chantix, came along. It blocks nicotine receptors. Back in 1973, we wouldn’t have understood the brain well enough to even head in that direction.
A few problems continue to haunt us. We still haven’t figured out how to keep rich guys from using their money to tilt democracy in their favor. If anything, we’ve gone backwards, what with Citizen’s United and all.
The other thing that really hurts my heart is our incomplete progress in ending bigotry and racism. Of course, we’ve made significant progress. But when I was 18, I believed that intolerance would end when the old rednecks died. Instead dumb, uneducated rednecks raised dumb uneducated children, who continue to hold dumb, uneducated views about black people, and Muslims and women and Hispanics and people who love the same gender.
This brings us back, I suppose, to Chick-fil-A. They’re “Christians” they say. So much bigotry and hate these days is endorsed by one religious group or another. And we now have something called “Prosperity Theology” that teaches that God speaks to you through profits.
Still, we’re heading in the right direction. My 19-year-old daughter encounters only a minority of bigots her age (mostly men she says.) My 9-year-old son recently explained to a friend that “gay” is not an effective insult. It was his only experience with gender bigotry.
I wonder what things will be like when they are pushing 60.
Art by Will Clayton