George Sarant

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Archive for July 2010

THE BEST OF TIMES

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After several decades it is apparent to me now that the best years of our lives occurred early on, in the 1950s. It is still the time period most people prefer, when everyone was happy but the liberals. The liberals hate the 50s and anything associated with it, making their own fantasy nightmare out of it. So we have the Hollywood version- that is today’s dismal Hollywood, not the one that used to have glamour and excitement. In this version film noire continued into the fifties, with heroic lefties being persecuted by ant-communist fanatics. Never mind that most of these people were traitors to their country and that communism was a real existential threat to our way of life. It was not at all clear which side would triumph in that conflict, which was an all-consuming struggle.

It was a time before family life disintegrated and fathers could support their families while mothers were able to stay home and raise the kids if they chose to. Then they were still having kids and the future looked a lot brighter. The foundation of belief in God and country were virtually universally shared. There was a faint echo in the 1980s, when much of the world of today was born; if you look back cell phones, personal computers, etc. that are so much a part of our lives today were around then, albeit in what now looks like a primitive state. But it was already there, and for that matter there really hasn’t been anything new, i.e. in music since then.

There was a time when liberals shared a love for this country. Indeed through WWII they were patriotic. There was once a macho left that would actually fight for something, heading off to the Spanish Civil War or whatever. Through Viet Nam there were strong anti-communist liberals. But then the 60s happened and shattered everything. By “60s” I mean that period that actually ranged from 1965 onward for about a decade. The earlier 60s were still in the 50s milieu. The left totally freaked out, nearly destroyed the country and ultimately brought the right to power, but their poisonous attitudes towards this country, its history, its people, its reality, remain to this day in the media, in education, in Hollywood, and all those institutions that in some way influence people’s perceptions. It is no wonder they have lost legitimacy.

Will we ever know better times again? Will there ever be a common understanding of what this country is about, and how life ought to be? There is yet a long political struggle ahead until the underlying consciousness has changed.

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July 24, 2010 at 1:24 PM

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THE ROLE OF LUCK

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Several days ago a storm hit Bridgeport Connecticut and caused widespread damage. I’m sitting across the Long Island Sound from there but all that happened here, while expecting a storm, was a slight drizzle. Many years ago my grandmother’s family used to own half of downtown Waco Texas. Then one day a tornado came along, or a cyclone as she used to call it, and destroyed a whole block of their property. The other side of the street was totally spared and left standing. You never know where severe storms are going to hit, what is going to be destroyed, and what will be bypassed. It is purely a matter of luck, along with many other things in life.

The older I get the more aware I am of how much of a role luck plays in our lives. The rich and powerful often think they are where they are because of hard work and smarts. But many other people work hard or have smarts, but they are nowhere near the pinnacle of success as we see it in this life. The difference is based on luck, pure and simple. It is often a matter of just being at the right place at the right time, of knowing the right people, along with focused ambition. Of course talent is important, at least when it is exceptional, but innate natural talent that is easily recognizable is relatively rare.

Luck determines which animals are on the outside of the herd and get attacked by predators. Luck determines most of the outcomes in our lives. You may consider yourself lucky or unlucky, but most of us fall somewhere in the middle, neither exceptionally fortunate nor exceptionally unfortunate. Thus you may not win the big lottery, but you also won’t die horribly in some kind of terrorist attack. For must of us the mean is the rule as we muddle our way through life.

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July 11, 2010 at 3:37 PM

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