A lot of people I know want to go back to the "good ole days",whether it be bringing 90's nickelodeon back, bringing the 60's hippie culture back, or returning to the days where the press reported only facts. People are passionate about a time when life seemed simpler. There are Facebook groups dedicated to each of these ideals. In theory, this is a good thing but the practicality of it may not be.
The human race has a whole host of biases that go into each and every moment of the day. There are judgement biases, media bias, belief bias, social bias, the list goes on and on. One bias in particular is a memory bias called Rosy Retrospective. In this bias, the events of the past are seen favorably, meaning we forget the bad and embrace that which was good.
Recalling a memory accurately is harder to do as time passes, unless you relive that memory frequently. Each time a memory is relived you imprint that memory onto new cells (if I understand the science correctly, I might not... Medical journals go over my head) which are easier to "access" later. If you alter something in this memory and then recall that memory with the same alteration, the original memory will still be harder to recall. When we choose to remember the good and not the bad, we are making the good easier to remember. This is a mechanism of self preservation. If we remembered how hard it was in the past and all you see ahead of you is the same hardship would you continue on?
You can even have rosy retrospective about something you did not live. The best example of this is viewing kindly America's past. We look back at our founding fathers and say "that was a good time". We remember discovering a new land, the signing of the declaration of independence, we remember how we stood up and joined in WWII, we remember the 50's and the simplicity of life that was presented to us in our history books. We forget that to claim the "new land" we forced many people out of the homes, killed entire nations, and brought infectious disease. We often forget that when the founding fathers wrote the declaration of independence we owned slaves. We forget that we didn't join WWII until we were attacked at Pearl harbor and the war had been going on for years before we joined. We forget that in the 50's it was unthinkable for a woman who wanted to be a mom to also work outside the home and divorcees were shunned from "respectable" women.
The issues that we are discussing today are not any different than those in the past. We have come very far but we have a long way to go. Gun laws have been debated in the past and they will continue to be debated as long as they are used to kill and since that is the intention of the gun (whether for humans or animals) the issue of the gun laws will never go away. They may abate for a time but they will not be resolved. The issue of abortion will not go away. Until the entire world believes in one thing there will be abortions, legal or otherwise. Until everyone has a job unemployment, welfare, and any social assistance will be debated. They were debated in the past and they will be debated in the future.
The best that we can hope for is to look to the past honestly and determine where we went wrong and where we should go from there. This means removing the rose colored glasses, taking a cool sip of water, and being honest with ourselves as a collective. Then maybe once and for all we can admit that Clarissa Explains It All had horrible acting and that Ice Ice Baby is on par with Baby Baby Baby (oohh!!).