When I hear the phrase oldies but goodies, I always think about music. I remember dancing to the funky sounds of Kool and the Gang, The Temptations, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic (P-Funk) from the 1970s. I chuckle when I reflect on wearing platform shoes, bell-bottom jeans, and sporting my Soul Train and Don Cornelius style afro. Of course, my polyester leisure suit was a staple for Sunday morning church services. But here’s a new twist to the phrase oldie but goodie and what it means to me.
Check it out.
Sherry suspected that the man she was dating for six months was married. So she asked him. He said, “I’m married, but my wife doesn’t understand me like you do and I’m only staying for the kids.” Sherry dumped him. There was the time Uncle John had too much to drink and caused an argument at a family get-together. The next day he apologized and said, “I was drunk and didn’t know what I was doing.” He was banned from attending any future family gatherings. And then there was the time the police stopped Al for speeding and driving erratically. When they spotted a handgun on the floor of the car, he said, “It isn’t mine and I don’t know how it got there.” He spent the next five years in state prison on a weapons charge. However, my favorite oldie but goodie is when people make it a point to tell me, “Glenn, I’m not a racist! Some of my best friends and co-workers are Black people!” I cringe and shudder when, weeks or months later, I see them at an event wearing a MAGA hat and shirt. Or, even better, they resemble some of the hillbilly rioters that stormed the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6th.
It continues to amaze me that old and tired excuses continue to permeate our society. There isn’t much of a melody or toe-tapping incentive in the feeble excuses we use to get ourselves out of trouble. Yet, we are all are guilty of spewing them at times or believing them. It’s akin to another oldie but goodie–seeing and hearing what you want and turning a blind eye and deaf ear to everything else.
For example, I continue to argue with people, mainly ex-co-workers, former classmates, and other poor souls still stuck in a 1970’s brain fart. They believe the beleaguered ex-president is not a narcissist or an avowed bigot! “President Trump did exactly what I hired (voted) him to do and I’ll always support him,” one classmate told me. Another said, “He said he’s not a racist and I totally and completely believe him!”
To that end, I continue to meet people who are so fearful of being alone as they grow older that they selectively believe what they want to. i.e. (My wife/husband doesn’t understand me like you do.) Granted, many people think it makes life easier when you close your eyes to the obvious and revel in a fantasy reality of how you want things to be. Add to the mix people who are so self-absorbed and mired only in things that affect them. They are oblivious to ongoing systemic racism, police brutality, immigration,
wealth disparities, and redlining. Those things don’t directly affect their privileged status, so why should they care about any of it? Ah, another oldie but goodie that folks embrace–“Ignore it and it’ll go away.”
At any rate, while the country continues to rebound collectively and in some cases stumble and sputter forward on several fronts, I’ll continue to enjoy oldies but goodies—the music and not the excuses, and so should you.