Sunday, January 23, 2011
No apologies; I just couldn't resist.
Over at Raise the Hammer, an article on return on investment in West Harbour with that as the stadium site veered off when one of the consistently more annoying wags made a comment I just had to take off on.
"Our city fathers made a lot of mistakes over the yrs. One of them being the water front along the bay. It should have never been developed into the industrial nightmare we see today."
My comment was grabbed onto by one of the more cogent of RTHers, and that so got me going that I replied.
I've dealt with this stuff before. Here. I've commented on it since then, recently even. This idea that people looking back seem to place a modern template over the circumstances at the time-frame they're examining. Hold it up to our standards, with all the advantages of hindsight that sometimes more than a century's worth of lessons learned has provided.
So now, in this instance, we've got people looking at the 'mistakes' made by our 'city fathers' over the years as well as captains of industry...and hey; let's throw in the workers who found gainful employment as a result of all these 'mistakes'. All 'should have known better' and can be held accountable for the indisputable environmental and social ills brought about by everything perpetrated way back then.
To me this twaddle isn't just misguided, it's wholly self-indulgent. The very notion of going back and second-guessing an entire society based on what we've learned is worse than what trolls produce...because trolls are asinine beyond measure, and for the most part, these guilt-based revisionists are very intelligent. So the annoyance they leave in their wake is of a particular kind; they should know better.
Look; it's not like I can't identify aspects of our past that can be easily labeled as 'Questionable' or 'Ill-advised' or 'Societally Irresponsible'. But were I to indulge myself and go off on something I wish had turned out differently, I'd focus on the Automobile-Petroleum-Rubber Complex. One wherein instead of our entire friggin' culture predicated on driving and all its concomitant villanies, it's primarily predicated on what was already in place before Henry Ford and his ilk commandeered the economy: rail. Suck on that for a while.
Or how about this: instead of Thomas Edison holding sway, Nicholas Tesla ruled the day.
Or: no American Revolution. Instead of a badly-directed British Empire, George III had a far more benevolent approach to colonizing North America...and instead of two nations, we currently have one.
Or how about instead of finding a continent of vulnerable 'savages', the French, the English, the Germans, the Spanish and the Dutch found a people who were not going to simply roll over and give up.
Or if these are too far-fetched, what if we'd never had Reagan, Thatcher, Mulroney, Harris...and Bush, Jr? (Twice.)
Oh, hell; throw in Harper.
OK, OK; now I'm getting obstreperously indulgent.