The Best Of Times...Gone! The Worst Of Times, Now

As I grew up in America, every year life got better; not so today!  In addition to being an entertaining film, Woody Allen's masterpiece Midnight In Paris conveys a clear message.  You cannot go back, and every person has his or her idea of the best and worst of times.  Since it is impossible to go back, we should attempt to remember, and remembering who we are and what we stand for is not something we admire anymore in America.  It is the worst of times that Americans are presently experiencing and I believe the root cause is based on how we have evolved as a people!  I for one do not blame government, "for we have met the enemy and it is us."  On a brisk evening in March of 1912, from the stage of a packed Carnegie Hall, former President Theodore Roosevelt closed his speech with these scolding words:

We, here in America, hold in our hands the hope of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours, if in our eyes the light of high moral resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men!

The capacity crowd rose to a standing ovation!  Today, there would be silent disdain for those words.

We are making a mockery of our freedoms and seem determined to forget that those freedoms are regulated by laws.  The responsibilities and traditions that are spiritually and morally attached to being a free and good citizen are eroding at such a rapid rate it boggles the mind.  If TR, who roamed the midnight streets as a police commissioner, were to do that today, he would be rendered completely speechless.  Speechless -- for him, that would be epic!  He would see tattooed, pierced people everywhere, unshaven ill-groomed young men on every corner.  He would see obese people with posteriors so huge they can barely fit through doorways.  He would encounter large groups of illegal people who have been given permission to stomp and spit on the flag of our country.  He would never understand the national disease we call political correctness, and finally, the character trait he hated the most, materialism, so rampant that the demon greed, with no intention of letting go, has taken over our hearts, souls, and minds.  It has even touched one of the most storied sports teams in the history of our country.  The bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Dodgers is based solely on pure greed and the Dodgers' demise stands as a beacon for exactly how destructive excessive greed wreaks havoc and chaos.

There are those who honestly believe that this new "progressive way" is good.  Teddy would quickly understand that Progressive does not mean what it meant in his time.  Progressive today means so-called diversity.  It is all a form of social rebellion that from time to time is necessary, so some pundits say.  The Progressives today believe in socializing the country by crushing down  the American independent spirit and destroying self-reliance.  Above all, they seem determined to snuff out every tradition and belief that has made America the envy of the world.

This "new way" of thinking has crept into every aspect of our culture and we are becoming comfortable in accepting it and we seem powerless to stop what will eventually lead to our demise!

We accept and admire television shows like Survivor and Big Brother -- the person who lies and manipulates the best wins!  This concept has become part of  the American mindset, and it is prevalent in every walk of society, not just television.  And it gets worse and the standards get lower with every new TV season.  The Jersey Shore has done more harm to Italian-Americans than any scripted Mob show has ever done, and Italian-Americans do very little to end this horrible degrading of Italian-American culture.

We turn wrongdoers into overnight millionaires by buying their books or giving them talk shows.  Our nation's prosecutors are inept and cannot get convictions of obvious killers.  It is astounding to learn that there are scores of people in this country who do not even know which of our national documents actually govern us.  Thousands do not have a clue who are Founders were and do not care.  Technology has run amuck, causing more harm than good!  Bookstores and book publishing are on the brink of extinction; newspapers get thinner every day.  I want to sit under a tree and read a real book, not my Kindle.  Thousands of lives have been destroyed by identity theft with no real solutions on the horizon to this very serious nightmare.  The one encouraging aspect that allows us any positive hope is the giant strides being made in medical science.

It is vital to me as an ordinary citizen that I avoid the bitterness that often comes with age.  However, when you have seen the best of times and have lived long enough to remember a kinder and gentler nation, even with all its flaws, it was simpler and the living was easy.  It is hard to accept the present status -- to begin to fully understand that all the good and decent things this country stood for are forever gone and will not return in whatever time you have remaining.

We are the only nation on this planet that has made it a top priority to correct all the flaws and injustices, and to do everything deemed necessary to live up to the reasons we came into being in the first place.  No, you cannot go back but it is better than looking ahead and that is a very difficult truth to accept because there was a time when it was pure joy to look ahead!  They call these times rebellion and progressive thinking; I call these times a prelude to death, a dismantling of the greatest human experiment that mankind has ever undertaken!  It took more than 600 years for the Roman Empire to self-destruct, but we are on the verge in only 235. 

Joseph Di Sante is a former TV executive and a veteran actor with numerous credits in stage, film, and television.  He is an established writer who has written numerous articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications.  He is an award-winning script-writer.  He resides in Burbank, California.      

As I grew up in America, every year life got better; not so today!  In addition to being an entertaining film, Woody Allen's masterpiece Midnight In Paris conveys a clear message.  You cannot go back, and every person has his or her idea of the best and worst of times.  Since it is impossible to go back, we should attempt to remember, and remembering who we are and what we stand for is not something we admire anymore in America.  It is the worst of times that Americans are presently experiencing and I believe the root cause is based on how we have evolved as a people!  I for one do not blame government, "for we have met the enemy and it is us."  On a brisk evening in March of 1912, from the stage of a packed Carnegie Hall, former President Theodore Roosevelt closed his speech with these scolding words:

We, here in America, hold in our hands the hope of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours, if in our eyes the light of high moral resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men!

The capacity crowd rose to a standing ovation!  Today, there would be silent disdain for those words.

We are making a mockery of our freedoms and seem determined to forget that those freedoms are regulated by laws.  The responsibilities and traditions that are spiritually and morally attached to being a free and good citizen are eroding at such a rapid rate it boggles the mind.  If TR, who roamed the midnight streets as a police commissioner, were to do that today, he would be rendered completely speechless.  Speechless -- for him, that would be epic!  He would see tattooed, pierced people everywhere, unshaven ill-groomed young men on every corner.  He would see obese people with posteriors so huge they can barely fit through doorways.  He would encounter large groups of illegal people who have been given permission to stomp and spit on the flag of our country.  He would never understand the national disease we call political correctness, and finally, the character trait he hated the most, materialism, so rampant that the demon greed, with no intention of letting go, has taken over our hearts, souls, and minds.  It has even touched one of the most storied sports teams in the history of our country.  The bankruptcy of the Los Angeles Dodgers is based solely on pure greed and the Dodgers' demise stands as a beacon for exactly how destructive excessive greed wreaks havoc and chaos.

There are those who honestly believe that this new "progressive way" is good.  Teddy would quickly understand that Progressive does not mean what it meant in his time.  Progressive today means so-called diversity.  It is all a form of social rebellion that from time to time is necessary, so some pundits say.  The Progressives today believe in socializing the country by crushing down  the American independent spirit and destroying self-reliance.  Above all, they seem determined to snuff out every tradition and belief that has made America the envy of the world.

This "new way" of thinking has crept into every aspect of our culture and we are becoming comfortable in accepting it and we seem powerless to stop what will eventually lead to our demise!

We accept and admire television shows like Survivor and Big Brother -- the person who lies and manipulates the best wins!  This concept has become part of  the American mindset, and it is prevalent in every walk of society, not just television.  And it gets worse and the standards get lower with every new TV season.  The Jersey Shore has done more harm to Italian-Americans than any scripted Mob show has ever done, and Italian-Americans do very little to end this horrible degrading of Italian-American culture.

We turn wrongdoers into overnight millionaires by buying their books or giving them talk shows.  Our nation's prosecutors are inept and cannot get convictions of obvious killers.  It is astounding to learn that there are scores of people in this country who do not even know which of our national documents actually govern us.  Thousands do not have a clue who are Founders were and do not care.  Technology has run amuck, causing more harm than good!  Bookstores and book publishing are on the brink of extinction; newspapers get thinner every day.  I want to sit under a tree and read a real book, not my Kindle.  Thousands of lives have been destroyed by identity theft with no real solutions on the horizon to this very serious nightmare.  The one encouraging aspect that allows us any positive hope is the giant strides being made in medical science.

It is vital to me as an ordinary citizen that I avoid the bitterness that often comes with age.  However, when you have seen the best of times and have lived long enough to remember a kinder and gentler nation, even with all its flaws, it was simpler and the living was easy.  It is hard to accept the present status -- to begin to fully understand that all the good and decent things this country stood for are forever gone and will not return in whatever time you have remaining.

We are the only nation on this planet that has made it a top priority to correct all the flaws and injustices, and to do everything deemed necessary to live up to the reasons we came into being in the first place.  No, you cannot go back but it is better than looking ahead and that is a very difficult truth to accept because there was a time when it was pure joy to look ahead!  They call these times rebellion and progressive thinking; I call these times a prelude to death, a dismantling of the greatest human experiment that mankind has ever undertaken!  It took more than 600 years for the Roman Empire to self-destruct, but we are on the verge in only 235. 

Joseph Di Sante is a former TV executive and a veteran actor with numerous credits in stage, film, and television.  He is an established writer who has written numerous articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications.  He is an award-winning script-writer.  He resides in Burbank, California.