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It ain't what it used to be

by Ron Holdraker
January 2, 2021

“Progress is our most important product.”

That was the advertising claim of the once powerful General Electric company, an American multinational conglomerate. The company lost a bit of its luster over the years, but is still considered in the top 20 overall. Once known for its light bulbs and media ownership, things have drastically changed. Now, I dare you to tell what GE actually does in the modern era.

Remember when General Motors was atop the heap? “What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” was the phrase tossed about.

Yeah, things changed as General Motors filed for bankruptcy, along with the once-powerful U.S. auto industry. Yes, they all have undergone change “As the World Turns”. Gosh, even that iconic TV soap opera crashed and burned as fickle watchers changed.

Twinkies, that all-American snack food that seems never seemed to go bad. - The company behind the cream-filled treat did rot and became the host to equity firms. The distributor - Hostess Brands still survives, but do  iconic Twinkies really taste the same as childhood memories?

Sears, the motivating company for everything American is going kaput, along with K-Mart and former Sibley’s, McCurdy’s and a large handful of other local and national once popular monikers.

Pepsident was the toothpaste of choice, now more considered a novelty item.

Heck, when I was growing up in Irondequoit, there was often a home mail delivery TWO times a day, especially around the holidays. 

This past week, I received a call from a subscriber in  Lyndonville, NY., near Buffalo. The former, retired Post Master told me he received his paper last week on Tuesday. Meanwhile, as the Post Office in Rochester told us, mail is delayed due to the Christmas rush. Most Times subscribers did not receive their copy in the mail until Wednesday, or Thursday. (We mail them on Saturdays!) Some readers complain they receive two weeks of the paper on the same day. The former Postmaster told me that, in the old days, a postal worker moved up the ladder with experience, doing all the jobs required.

Today, he stated, the U.S. Postal Service just hires for any needed plug-in job. The pride in work has often disappeared over the years. That is not the case with our local postal services and old time workers, just the higher ups who think they know better.

We used to respect the government, press, politicians, brand names, bowling, but it seems everything old is, well, too passe...

Meat is bad, along with butter and eggs...no, wait maybe they are not. 

Gambling was sinful, until it made big bucks for big corporations and on the plus side... tax income sources. Don’t worry the government balances gambling with sites and groups for those who become addicted, or have lost everything. Just call...800... 

Hells Bells, we even smoked cigarettes, and thought marijuana movie “Reefer Madness” made sense. Not so much anymore as marijuana is the new wave of things to come, along with another avenue for wealth and taxes.

Judges had discretion as to whether a criminal was better off in jail, or simply released as a potential good guy/girl. Now everybody is considered good and the police and courts are frowned upon.

Elections were cut and dry, but somehow even that changed as democracy and the Constitution come under fire.

Once revered heroes, statues, books and stories have been denounced as some look closer and reveal real, unbridled history. What? George Washington did not chop down the damn cherry tree?

Oh, gosh, then there is that once  fledgling Internet thing. It popped up giving the common man/woman, access to...everything. Good bye/buy...Britannica Encyclopedias and their 99¢ knockoffs at the grocery store every week.

Ahh, yes, the Internet- the father who allowed/bastardized truth. We we’re no longer just curious about “Area 51” and the Twilight Zone. Big Foot and the Lock Ness Monster were scoffed. The real future is betting on conspiracy theories and the quasi, formalized groups promoting them.

That Covid thing is just a myth, along with election results. What, you want truth? You can’t handle the truth. You want proof, we don’t need no stinking facts. Just listen to the ‘rush’ of media pundits and follow their lead.

No folks, things ain’t like it used to be.

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