Monday, January 17, 2011

A Sad Little Statement Of The Times In Which We Grew Up

Art Deco observes:
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.


  1. Claton, just a quick note I have the same chronic vasomotor rhinitis problem. The thing that has help me the most is a saline rinse. I use NelMed but I am sure there are others. It works two ways first it rinses out all the stuff. And second it changes the salinity of the sinuses making a less hospitable environment for the growth of bacteria.

  2. I have noticed that civility and politeness have increased in day-to-day interactions with people. I hear more "sirs," "pleases," etc. than when I was young. That there appears to be a kind of social peace and acceptance of the current social order means that the turmoil of the 1960s has reached a new equilibrium, and it is a disagreeable one.

  3. Could be that the LEO departments have learned how to cook the books.