|Well, maybe not THIS long ago...|
For all the so-called advancements in technology and all, I'm surely not the only one of my generation or older who feels that we've not progressed in our standard of living, as an American society, but have quite considerably regressed in many ways.
Here are just a few of the subtle downgrades in our quality-of-life we've come to endure in recent times, in my humble opinion...
Parking lot and gas station lighting: Used to be good ol' sodium arc and metal halide lights flooded these wide areas with a bright, safe illumination keeping the scary night at bay. Now with low-level LEDs and induction lighting you can barely see a thing! I always feel there are nefarious people taking advantage of the deeper, darker shadows. But, in the name of cost-savings and "going green", the bright lights of our 20th century past are surely becoming the murkey havens for crime and malfeasance like our gas-lit 19th century. Welcome back Jack the Ripper!
Switched digital video: Like I was ranting about in the previous post, cable providers are getting mighty neglectful of doing just that...PROVIDING a quality service. Since it costs them more to flood cable nodes with all channels a subscriber should have access to, they've devised a way to rig the system to allocate signal for any given channel on an ad hoc "on demand" basis. And, since it's a way to cut corners and probably cook the books in some way, they pay cable distributors less, bill the customer the same and only allow the most popular channels access to the broadband at any given time. Sorry Granny, I know you want to watch "Murder She Wrote" on TVLand...well you live in an area where they're isn't enough old fogies like you watching it so your screwed! Hey Black Girl, you want to check out "Mo' Nique" on BET but you live in Pocatelo, Idaho...guess what, you're screwed! Hey closeted Gay Guy attending Robert Welch University, ready for an afternoon marathon of "RuPaul's Drag Race" on LOGO...you're screwed! Talk about red lining!
Cellphones: Another of my recent rants involved these supposed vital tools of our modern lifestyles. Not for me. I see it as a degradation of the very thing it was designed for: communication. Once upon a time, you could potentially hope to meet new friends or maybe even that "special soul-mate" while shopping for melons in your local grocery. Not anymore. Everyone's mesmerised by their freakin' cellphones. They have invisible tethers binding them and the people they already know, encompassing them all in a mysterious bubble shield that allows no interlopers. Another restriction on "happenstance" communication is the fact that cellphones are, usually, in the possession of the owner only. No chance chats with the roommate of your friend you wanted to get to know better.
Red Light Cameras: Oh but they can cut down on auto accidents and serve as a cost-effective deterrent freeing up law enforcement from mundane lurking duties and allowing them to go after the real bad guys. Huh? Oh Sweetie, what world do you live in? Poor thing. No, my dear, those cameras are not only for the obvious: to escalate the gross dollar amount of traffic ticket revenue by automation. They're there as a more sinister revenue generator for city and state coffers (and politico's pockets, of course)...data mining. Many companies would pay dearly for information about a person's whereabouts any time of day and wherever they went. What stores do they shop at? What billboards do they pass by? What kind of cars do they drive? What kind of clothes do they wear? Yes Darlin', it's Big Brother to the corporate database's rescue! "To Protect and Serve?"...sure, for these guys.
Oh I got lots more to gripe about, believe you me. I may have to make this a series. Meanwhile I'll just sit in my little room and reminisce about my bygone civilization that slipped away quietly in the name of "progress".