Randy Krehbiel: As more things change, more don't
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Monday, February 25, 2013
2/25/13 at 5:32 AM
At some point I realized it wasn't so much my age that rattled me as it was the ages of all the people around me. Parents in their 80s. High school classmates in their 50s.
Barbara Eden and Sophia Loren in their 70s.
Life's reference points fade. Disappear. Goodbye, Columbus. And take Willie Wiredhand, paisley, the '67 Cardinals and V-8 engines with you.
Some do not.
Probably, it's more that all things change, just some change slowly, like continental drift and chicken fried steak.
So I started this mental exercise I call what's changed and what hasn't. It helps remind me that Richard Nixon is no longer president and that both 1984 and 2001 have come and gone.
Some things that have changed:
Food. Do you know how hard it is to get a meat, two vegetables and a salad in this town? OK, maybe not that hard. But it does take driving past an awful lot of Mexican restaurants, Chinese buffets and pizza ovens, not to mention hoity-toity joints with artichokes on the menu. Entire television networks are devoted to food.
It used to be a big treat to eat Chinese. We'd go to Oklahoma City for tractor parts or something and eat at a little place on North Penn where you got chicken chow mein or sweet and sour pork with rye bread. Our idea of Mexican was Casa Bonita.
Now every Oklahoma town with two traffic lights has a Chinese restaurant and a taco stand, and the gas station sells half-way decent pizza.
Media. Television used to be three network affiliates and OETA. Radio was AM, Top 40 and ball games. Everybody watched the same 5 o'clock news, read the same newspapers, followed the same TV shows. Now we have iPods and DVRs and Netflix and the Internet. We have so many television channels some carry nothing but ads and some carry no ads at all.
Sports. As a kid, I played football and basketball and baseball. Period. Taking a tennis racket to school was a good way to get beat up. Only doctors played golf. Soccer was a strange, vaguely sinister game played in faraway lands by people who just didn't know any better.
It's not just the sports themselves that have changed. The athletes are bigger, stronger, faster and more full of themselves. And so are the coaches.
Some things that haven't changed, at least not much.
Complaining. The country's still going to pot. The young people of today are still wild, unmannered and don't know the meaning of hard work or the value of a dollar. Government employees are still lazy, service is still lousy and nothing is made the way it used to be.
Conspiracies. A cabal of internationalists, one-worlders, foreigners and non-Christians is still taking over the country. The Zionists/Freemasons/Trilateral Commission/Skull and Bones/Illuminati/Bilderbergs/aliens from other countries/aliens from outer space are still out there.
And they're still going to have to pry our guns from our cold, dead hands.
People. Didn't expect that one, did you?
If people today are more venal, more shallow, more violent and more uncivilized than formerly, I haven't noticed it. One thing that has changed is that it's harder to keep secrets. Someone abuses a child or a spouse or double deals in business, word gets out.
But on the whole, people haven't changed that much. Most try to do the best they can with what they have.
A few are lying, cheating, stealing SOBs.
The taco stands, kids soccer leagues, gay marriage and the election of a president with the unmistakably subversive-sounding name Barack Obama suggests the extent of our growing diversity and diffusion, even here in the geographic and philosophically conservative core of the country.
Paradoxically, that very diffusion in some ways creates more isolation. Everyone has his own playlist, his own favorite channels, his own version of what's going on in the world around.
I could go on - the designated hitter, contemporary "music," why Pluto is no longer a planet - but don't worry, I won't.
Just please, don't get me started.
Original Print Headline: As more things change, more don't