Why the Past Seems So Great!

Rome: 500 BC

Centurion #1: These new sandals are CRAP. They just don’t make them like they used to.

Centurions #3-6000: Totally! Shit sandals.

Centurian #2: I bought mine from Cato The Silent over by the guy who sells those statues of Aphrodite. I’ve had them 6 years! They cost a bit more, but worth it.

Centurian #1: Oh, hey, I know that guy. His Aphrodites are fucking hot.

Centurian #2: INORITE?

[Stuff happens and Centurian#1 and Centurian#1 are struck down by Zeus for Reasons. They die in a cave. Or something.]

Germany: 1600

German #1: These pants are shit. Look at this. I just bought them and now they have a hole!

German #2: I bought my pants from that that guy on Hellerstrasse. They cost a bit more, but he does great work.

60 years later German #1 and #2 are dead. German#1’s new but ragged pants are given to the rag guy. German#2’s pants are the subject of this conversation:

German Mother: Here are your grandfather’s pants. Go put them on.

German Son: Mom!

German Mom: They’re perfectly fine. There’s nothing wrong with them. Plus the color looks good on you.

German Son: Nobody wears those anymore.

German Mom packs away grandpa’s perfectly fine pants until there’s a grandchild with better manners and more respect.

England 1815


Mr. Smith, Plebian:
Standing at the roadside, cursing at the shattered wheel of his carriage that cost 10 pounds.

The Duke of Highstep: Passes Mr. Smith in his gleaming gold and red lacquer carriage that cost 10,000 pounds.

The Present – A series of Conversations

Commenter #1: Roman sandals were of superior workmanship. They really knew how to make sandals back then! They found the skeleton of a Centurion and his servant in this cave from 500 BC, and there was a perfectly preserved pair of sandals.

Commenter #2: Has anyone said why he made his servant go barefoot?

Commenter #3: German trousers of the 17th century were remarkable for their craftsmanship. This pair right here were found in an attic recently.

Commenter #4: And here we see another fine example of the exquisite workmanship of English carriagemakers. All the Dukes of Highstep since 1815 have driven this carriage to Buckingham Palace every Boxing Day to give their ritual wave to the Queen.

What’s Your Point?

The point is you can’t go around saying that everything in the past was made better than it is now because the stuff that was shitty nobody kept and even if they wanted to, it didn’t last.

Edited to Add: Plus, you know, in the Regency, orange sellers were notorious for boiling oranges so they looked plump and juicy. But, of course, they weren’t. Because they were effing boiled. If you tried that today in the US, you’d end up wondering how your company can pay the fine.

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2 Responses to “Why the Past Seems So Great!”

  1. Poppy says:

    Thank Upton Sinclair or Safeway would totally boil their oranges. It’s bad enough they breed fruit to appear ripe and tasty rather than actually be ripe and tasty.

  2. […] that story of the Etruscan warrior, historical/paranormal romance writer Carolyn Jewel has written a pretty funny post that also warns us against creating assumptions and overly venerating stuff from the past just […]