TNC wasn't impressed by Brooks's article on technology allegedly ruining romance:
I read Brooks's column and thought of the 80 and 90 year old slaves interviewed by the WPA. There is a lot in those oral histories that is, as they say, old and true. But there's a lot that's old and false. A constant refrain is the notion that the "moving pictures" were ruining young people, and the next generation wasn't worth anything. To be clear, that would be the same generation that gave us Martin Luther King, and effectively finished the Civil War.
This is a theme residing in the conservative soul--a professed, thinly-reasoned skepticism of the fucked-up now, contrasted against a blind, unquestioning acceptance of the hypermoral past. This is a human idea--most people, like those slaves, believe some point in the past was better. And indeed, in some case the past was demonstrably better. But the writer who would argue such has to prove it. He can't just accept his innate hunch. He has to bumrush and beat down his theories of the world, And should they emerge unbroken, that writer might have something to tell us. It's got to be more than justifying your prejudice. It's got to be more than those meddling kids.
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