Whenever we find ourselves in the midst of a changing regime, and a collapsing civilization, we at TTM turn to a trusted adviser and valued friend from our university days. Facing a future where everything – including future itself – is uncertain, it is comforting to have a wizened voice from the past to whom we can turn for a bit of perspective and good cheer on this, the doorstep of the Apocalypse.
R. Jay Robinson
Have you seen CNN lately? The world’s gone mad, I tell you, just mad. And I’ve had a splendid view of it from high atop this Northeastern ivory tower.
Let me tell you about some of the tripped out shenanigans I’ve seen from this perch. First you got “Tricky Dicky” Nixon taking us off the gold standard. Fiat currency my hindquarters. That’s why we have this inflation debacle. You know what a pack of cigarettes used to cost when I was a kid? 35 cents. 35 CENTS!!! And they weren’t none of this filtered crap either. It was like sucking on the exhaust pipe of a tanker, it was.
They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. No siree. What with this “FDA” and “Surgeon General” nonsense and all. When I was 10, my neighbor Johnny Jenks and I would sit every Friday at the watering hole and smoke 5 packs, just shooting the breeze. Then we’d spend all day Saturday puking. I tell ya – that was America. Freedom doesn’t come that unfiltered these days.
But listen to you. You kids think you got it so hard. Middle-East conflict? Pssssh. I had more conflict in junior high. We had the whole world erupt in war. TWICE. Yeah, top that you pansies. And you ever had a gun pointed at your head? FOR 42 YEARS? Welcome to the shuddering paranoia of the Cold War. Every conversation being tapped and every friend being a Commie sympathizer.
And AIDS? Sure, it’s bad, but you heard of something called “smallpox” or “polio”? I hear the keyboard clicking as you look it up in Wikipod or Myface or Spacebook or whatever you got. Let me save you time: it was a terrifying nightmare, that’s what it was. Yeah, try looking up “Debilitating Pandemonium.” That’s probably what it’s under. The fear was as tangible as the asbestos poisoning we were all inhaling.
And what is this “moral degradation” I keep hearing freshmen talk about? You want to go back when America had morals? When exactly was that, son? Right between the slave trade and when women couldn’t vote? Yeah, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? You kids and your inhibiting complementarian gender roles. In my day women weren’t anywhere near the kitchen; they were at rallies burning more clothes than they were wearing. We’ve been lucky just to calm them down enough to work in boardrooms.
So the next time you say the world’s “crunked up,” you remember this, Johnny-come-lately: that “crunk-juice” is the remaining backwashed drops from my pre-Prohibition childhood. You know why we had the Prohibition? We were drinking so much that America was becoming dependent on foreign reserves!
Sound familiar? Yeah. $100/barrel for oil? Try $800/barrel for scotch! Someone had to cut the spigot. You ever had to go through chemical withdrawal, son? You go crazy and lose all sense of control. But hey, welcome to the anarchical depravity that I like to call 1954.