More on nostalgia

I see I have a tag here for nostalgia but I have rather neglected it, as I am sure far more posts would qualify – all The Shire ones for starters!

illawarra2

shellharbourcottages

Compare those with yesterday’s post. Not sure how old those are, but suspect the 1930s or 1940s…

There are still patches that are little changed since I lived and worked around Dapto and The Gong in the 70s, or for that matter since my Dad was born at Shellharbour 101 years ago. But the area is nowhere the dairy hub it was. The old Dairy Farmers’ Co-op at Albion Park is witness to that.

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View between Albion Park and Dapto, from the train window last Monday afternoon.

God’s Politics has a nice companion post today.

Comparing today with yesterday is a popular yet pointless pastime.

For one thing, we rarely remember yesterday accurately. More to the point, yesterday was so, well, yesterday — different context, different players, different period in our lives, different numbers, different stages in science, commerce, and communications.

Seeking to restore the 1950s — grafting 1950s values, lifestyles, cultural politics, educational, and religious institutions — onto 2012 is nonsense. It sounds appealing, but it is delusional.

That world didn’t disappear because someone stole it and now we need to get it back. It disappeared because the nation doubled in size, white people fled racial integration in city schools, and women entered the workforce en masse. It disappeared because factory jobs proliferated and then vanished, prosperity came and went, schools soared and then soured, the rich demanded far more than their fair share, overseas competitors arose, and medical advances lengthened life spans.

The comparison worth making isn’t between today and yesterday. It is between today and what could be. That comparison is truly distressing, which might explain why we don’t make it….

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