Changing Times

This is actually from an e-mail joke thing that’s made the rounds in inboxes across the country.   It’s focus is how times have changed in the 50 year expanse between 1959 and 2009.   This is a fairly encapsulated  review of all those changes… in society, education, activism…the works.   It’s been a very active 50 years.  Change is afoot and not just because of His Highness Obama.     We change, we adapt for survival.   What worked in 1959 won’t work now and vic-versa.

This was sent to me in early 2008.   It was funny, but the enigmatic  brain trust at the world renown Laurie Industries assured me that we could make it funnier.

We did.   Enjoy!!


Scenario : Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with a loaded shotgun in his truck’s gun rack.

  • 1959 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. They compare and contrast, then laugh uproariously about a recent hunting trip involving deer and beer.  Guns go back into their respective vehicles.
  • 2009 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or shotgun again.
  • Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
  • Six parents sue.
  • Three don’t even have children enrolled in that school


Scenario: Peter and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

  • 1959 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Peter and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
  • 2009 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Peter and Mark. Both are charged with assault, both are expelled even, though Peter started it.
  • Mark tries to cope with what happens; he then makes every attempt to “settle down and fly right”.
  • Eventually gets “the calling” his Senior year in high school.
  • Graduates from HS; Goes to seminary, becomes a priest, then amid nasty rumors, becomes a  “Youth Pastor” who within a brief, seven year span, the Diocese moves from parish to parish.
  • A lot..


Scenario: Jeffrey fidgets; can’t be still in class. Ends up disrupting other students.

  • 1959 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
  • 2009 – Jeffrey is sent to the school counselor and after three minute evaluation, is given note to give to his single parent mother who works three jobs to make ends meet after her child’s father skipped town one night, six years ago. Mother is also an alcoholic and severely addicted to Benzodiazepam. She sobers up enough to send Jeffrey to the free clinic who in turn, is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie.
  • Another “confirmed” case of ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
  • New funds are used to purchase additional Mexican flags to place above “Old Glory” on flagpole in order to make children of illegal immigrants, which now comprise 65-percent of school’s student population, feel more “at home”.
  • Sean Penn holds a press conference on the matter.
  • Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins sympathize with Jeffrey’s mother. They decide to give her all the profits from their last two movies.
  • She’s awarded a check for $635.92

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

  • 1959 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
  • 2009 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care, is sexually abused by older, foster brother. He turns to drugs and alcohol and the wrong element in school. Eventually, joins a gang The Bloods and Platelets. Knocks over a Crate and Barrel (this is a gang in an upper Middle Class neighborhood, you understand)
  • Gets caught, trying to sell stolen booty at a yard sale
  • Sent up to serve seven years.
  • Prison psychologist, Dr. Robert Turnbull tells Billy’s sister that she also remembers being abused and their dad goes to prison.
  • Mother also meets with Billy’s psychiatrist
  • She ends up having a torrid, two year long affair with him.
  • So does Billy’s dad.

Scenario: Danny gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school .

  • 1959 – Danny shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
  • 2009 – Police called, Danny is expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
  • Stale poppy seed bun is found in bakery bag in back seat. Tests performed on poppy seeds indicated a false positive for morphine and heroin. Danny is deemed an “addict” by an angry, bitter Social Worker suffering from three as of yet undiagnosed STDs.
  • The High School Junior is forced to spend 36 days in state supported rehab.
  • Danny exits the facility addicted to cigarettes, coffee and group therapy


Scenario : Pedro fails high school English.

  • 1959 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college
  • 2009 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation s racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English
  • Keith Olbermann writes, produces and anchors an extremely slanted and bombastic 42 eight part series, “Pedro: One More Example of George W. Bush’s Epic Failure as President” to be aired on MSNBC in prime time

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

  • 1959 – Ants die.
  • 2009 – BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s immediate family is placed a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
  • The New York Times declares him, “Jihad Jonnny”.
  • The Dixie Chicks perform in London and tell crowd of 900 in the Royal Albert Hall they’re embarrassed that Dick Cheney survived last heart attack, caused by his obvious responsibility for “Jihad Johnny’s” horrible life experience.
  • As a result, Alec Baldwin threatens to move to Europe.
  • Alarmed by this news, the E.U. submits a formal protest to The Hague
  • Baldwin moves to Salina, Kansas instead
  • Angry, but confused residents of Salina, Kansas file a formal protest with Al Haig


Scenario: Mikey falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He’s found crying by his teacher, Mary.

  • 1959 – She hugs him to comfort him. He feels better, pain is quelled, self-esteem reinstated, he continues playing. Goes on to become very successful lawyer
  • 2009 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.
  • She faces three years in the Statesville Prison.
  • Is convicted; serves her time.
  • Becomes a lesbian.
  • Mikey undergoes five years of intense psychotherapy
  • He also becomes a lesbian.



  1. If you want to get involved with disturbed children in the foster care system, read Invisible Kids first. ( The heartbreaking stories and the interventions Holly Schlaack recounts will give private citizens the impetus they need to volunteer as a CASA or to go for advance training. Professionals who are involved with kids will realize many of their own experiences in the positions Holly describes. Her creative, positive, hopeful 12 testimonials will devote professionals and private citizens practical encouragement to heighten their own work and join in to help these little kids who have seen firsthand the worst of the adults they had a right to rely upon.

And now, you may opine your ass off...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s