Service of Looking Back

April 9th, 2012

Categories: Fashion, News, Nostalgia, Old Fashioned Things


I’ve covered nostalgia and old fashioned things. Based on recent developments and observations, it’s time to do so again.

News in the News

This headline and subhead in an LA Times story by James Rainey caught my eye: “Scott Pelley helps CBS carve an old-school identity: The anchor has assisted in pushing the network’s ‘Evening News’ toward hard news, especially on foreign affairs and domestic economic distress. That offers promise it can escape the ratings cellar.”

scott-pelleyRainey wrote: “The old-school approach offers at least some promise that the nightly newscast, long mired in third place among the three networks, might finally claw its way out of the cellar. The ‘CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley’ is the only one of the three network nightly news shows to score a small year-to-year increase in three ratings categories for the season that began in September. In one recent week, it finished second – behind NBC but ahead of ABC- among the 25-to-54 age demographic prized by advertisers. That hadn’t happened since 2006.”

What’s Boss [Translation in 1960s Speak: Cool]

It’s back to the ’60s as “Mad Men” returned to TV sets across the nation. The show inspired headlines from White & Warren that touted “shirt dresses” new for spring and a line of 60s period fashions at Banana Republic–you’ll see them all over.

When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

Inspired by an earlier state of mind, one candidate for US President is attracting plenty of votes for antediluvian positions that in this country predate 1775.

Listen to the Conductor, Children!

rr-conductorThere was a time children were told to hush in public so that as adults, they naturally respected other people when out and about. Funny: The railroad is rewarding such comportment now.

Ad man Hank Goldman sent me the link to this news from Metro-North railroad: “Due to popular demand, Metro-North is expanding its ‘Quiet CALMmute’ program to all inbound AM and outbound PM Peak trains on the Hudson, Harlem & New Haven Lines starting Monday, April 2nd.”

In the quiet cars, passengers may not use cell phones; must disable sound features on computers and other electronic devices; must conduct conversations in a subdued voice and use headphones at a volume that cannot be heard by fellow passengers. Good Friday morning over the loudspeaker the conductor advised all passengers to conduct themselves this way in every car!

spring-chickens2Spring Chickens

Jerry Stiller at 85 is starring in Capital One commercials and 91 year old Bob Wolff was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for “Longest Career as a Sports Broadcaster”-73 years!

Is looking back for direction and inspiration a trend?



9 Responses to “Service of Looking Back”

  1. ASK Said:

    The past is always greener on the other side…

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    And I thought I’d heard or read all the good sayings….

  3. Mary P. Said:

    Having lived a long time, and remembering what things were like 50, even 70 years ago, I’m one of those who remembers living in a very different world than the present. Whether it was better or worse depends on many things.

    If you are Jewish and were living in Germany 70 years ago, chances are you are better off now if you live in the US.

    If you are black and were living in Alabama 70 years ago, chances are you are better off today even if you still live in Alabama, but if you were living in the Sudan 70 years ago, and still live there, chances are you were much better off 70 years ago.

    And if you are white and grew up in an affluent Eastern establishment Episcopalian family 70 years ago, the world was your oyster. Now, you are worried about having enough money to pay for your funeral, and there is nobody in Congress who gives a damn about you. You are insignificant, a minor cypher.

    I was intrigued by your comment, “… antediluvian positions that in this country predate 1775.” What positions might those be? And who in this country held them before 1775?

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    With one exception–my crack about antediluvian positions–references to the past were neutral to harmless. I hope I didn’t leave the impression that everything from the past was great!

    As for Congress, its favoritism for the very rich and very poor has no religious or color preference. If you are very rich or very poor, you’re in the catbird seat. If you are a middle class Catholic, Moslem, Jewish, Buddhist, Episcopalian or any other kind of black, white, yellow or whatever colored middle class person, hold on to your hats, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

    I am referring to no taxation without representation….a lost concept in many ways and then in the 1790s, separation of church and state i.e. the First Amendment. I recognize that women, the target of some politicians, and anyone without property weren’t in the founding fathers’ lines of vision. The former are slipping out of focus for some running for office and their supporters.

  5. Nenaghgal Said:

    There is certainly something to be said to looking back to the past – home cooking and baking is certainly seeing a resurrgence – I love that there is a “quiet” zone on metro north – too much technology – we all need a break at times. Although I’m very guilty of being of Facebook, Twitter and emails too much. I love to have computer free weekends and I certainly love home baking and cooking – a great way to spend time with my daughter.

  6. Mary P. Said:

    I’m a little confused.

    What presidential candidate ia advocating that we disenfranchise U.S. citizens, other than children, the insane and felons who don’t have the right to vote anyway, and then tax them? The problem is not “taxation without representation,” rather, as it has been since the founding of the country, that voters prefer to vote for representatives who promise them benefits than for representatives who promise them taxes.

    By the time of the revolution, religious freedom generally existed in the colonies, except to some extent in Virginia. If somebody is suggesting repealing the First Ammendment, it’s news to me.

    As to women’s rights, which as you point out were not an issue at the time of the country’s founding, I am aware that there is some feeling about, particularly amoung men, that those have gone too far. However, I was not aware anybody was actually suggesting taking rights away from women.

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    Looking back to the so called “good old days” is a pastime dating back to Socrates, if not further. History is colorful, but if one can’t or won’t benefit by its lessons, it is decorative but useless.

    In a way, I wish the retro politician mentioned earlier would win the election. As President, many of his notions, if carried out, would not only bring the nation to its knees, but might bring about a much needed revolution which could result in restoring a number of our lost freedoms. That said, I have no intention of supporting a misguided soul, but am comforting myself and dreaming in advance should he, or any of his cronies prevail.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Mary and Lucrezia,

    We don’t have to worry about the politician I had in mind as he has just stepped down. As I don’t knock brands by name, you’ll know who I mean when you read this.


    Nobody is repealing the first amendment, they are trying to erase the division of church and state and as far as women’s rights are concerned, I would have been more accurate to address women’s free choice in personal matters.

    You remember things that happened 70 years ago, Mary, so I take it you are retired. There still are plenty of women doing men’s work at lower wage.

    You must agree that it feels great to see women in key positions be it IBM’s Virginia Rometty, Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Hillary Clinton and countless others. Finally! I don’t know men who think this is going too far. Do you–really?

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I love to bake, although not everything comes out looking as beautiful as the Easter cake your daughter decorated that I saw on Facebook. When I prepare certain things it reminds me of people who have died and makes me feel close to them, if a bit sad.

    And there’s nothing better than a computer/smartphone vacation. Not so hot having to read/delete a zillion emails when back in the saddle but the price you pay.

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