I came of age during an era when social relations seemed characterized by entropy. Our mundane life was agreeable enough, but the public life you read about and the common life you experienced in various ways seemed to decay in quality a little more each year, and it was difficult (or at least difficult for me) to acquire a sense of when some sort of equilibrium might be reached, if even a disagreeable one.
In certain respects, the gradual erosion of the quality of life has continued (e.g. the durability of family relations and the set of understandings which buttresses that). In others, there has been good work done on the reconstruction of social norms. I was riffling through the New York State Statistical Yearbook the other day and discovered that the frequency of major crimes in this state has declined by about 65% in the last thirty years. The five boroughs of the City of New York - the sorry-assed Bronx included - have crime rates that would have been characteristic of rural counties when I was in high school.
Monday, January 17, 2011
A Sad Little Statement Of The Times In Which We Grew Up
Art Deco observes: