12 years ago we wrote about the ignorance of the then-young generation regarding the US’s and other Western societies doing amazing things in the last 150 years: conquering infant mortality, curing terrible diseases, extending life spans unbelievably, and creating great wealth through technologies unimagined only shortly before.
Now we see that the ease created for the young, abetted importantly by their mentors in academia and the media, has resulted a serious state of ignorance about such progress. The decline of the two parent family has added to this ignorance. Thus this state of affairs: we newbies are great, and everything before is bad, when the last century has been the greatest invention period in human history.
Such dissociations from reality often get shattered only by traumas, but that’s sub-optimal to say the least. In olden days, perhaps fixing youthful ignorance could be cured by heavy doses of the Bible and Shakespeare, but they’re not on the diversity reading list at the moment. We recommend another first step — watching movies.
TCM has the beautiful The Best Years of Our Lives on as we write. (We’ve endorsed a TCM list before, but it seems more urgent these days, since things have gotten ever nuttier.) It might be useful for parents to do a compare and contrast with their children: we’ll watch your films if you watch ours, with a discussion after each film.
So what’s on your Top Ten list of films? Ours might include the film above, plus Gone With the Wind, Gold Diggers of 1933, the Godfather, Casablanca and the Maltese Falcon, Modern Times, maybe Singing in the Rain, Metropolis, among others.
We might also include some nuclear tipped films such as Failsafe, Dr. Strangelove, and Goldfinger. (When asked why just these movies, our reply is that we searched for movies from the 20 previous millennia, but they had not been invented yet.)
The recent American generations know nothing about an America that knew lots of farmers and soldiers, and that empowers some peril. China and others have a lot of people who have come up the hard way, with millions of 1st and second generations of farmers and soldiers, who are not into microaggressions, self-blaming and the like.
The upside of our proposal is that maybe the kids will learn something. The downside is you have to watch the movies they like. Ouch!