Say, Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away?

I was just thinking – well, on and off, actually, for several days – about things people used to do and say.
And don’t anymore.
When’s the last time you heard the term “Red China”? That used to be short for the People’s Republic, back before it started supplying Walmart. “Nationalist China” sounded important, but it was really just a little island we wanted to be China.
There are no more “Soviets.” When we call them Russians, we are now correct, at least in reference to that which is capitalized in Moscow. As far as the “former Soviet republics” are concerned, we know a few of them, but it’s easy to bullshit by naming a few real ones – Kazakhstan, Chechnya, Uzbekistan – and then making shit up.
I’ll tell you where the real hot spot is: Kurdikreznya. That dictator? Molokhrushkev? He’s crazy, man.
Not that Asian politics is that hot a topic at the hardware store.
Feminine beauty is seldom described in terms of measurements now. Say that she’s “38-24-36” and people wonder how you got her PIN number.
Nothing’s been “in living color” since the TV show.
Just because Elvis Presley died in 1977, why did backup singers snapping their fingers and going “bop, bop, bop, bop-bop!” have to die with him? Or the Ray Charles Singers handling “I can’t stop lovvvvvving you” before Ray sings “it’s … useless to saaaaayyyy”? It’s just like everything else: replace people with high-tech. I miss people sometimes.
We need broadcasters who, like Walter Cronkite, put their reading glasses on from time to time. When Uncle Walter yanked off those glasses and stared into our living rooms, we paid attention. Now I just worry that Scott Pelley is going to start weeping.
On the other hand, time did provide some replacements.
In sportscasting self-importance, we have Stephen A. Smith as a successor to Howard Cosell.
We lost James Stewart, but eventually Tom Hanks came along.
The John Birch Society wished it could have been the Tea Party.
Joe Pyne begat Morton Downey Jr., who begat Rush Limbaugh. The evil power grew.
Ron Paul begat Rand Paul. Literally. Or maybe, by strict definition, it was Mrs. Paul, a talented woman who also begat a frozen-fish empire.
Nicknames have suffered more than poor people in recent years. What I wouldn’t give for a Doomsday Defense, or the Hitless Wonders, or the Whiz Kids. Now the ballplayer’s name is Pedroia, so they call him “Pedey” because it’s a way of having to avoid saying (or spelling) Pedroia.
LeBron. It’s already his name!
I like listening to ballgames on the radio. No telling how much I’d like it if they’d give the score more than once an hour. Half the time, they don’t even give the score when they go to break. Is this just self-absorbed ignorance, or is there some marketing whiz telling Mr. Play by Play that the ratings are going to sag if listeners realize how badly the team’s asses are getting beaten?
It’s enough to make a man a conspiracy theorist.


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