Riffs: 8/11/12, A More Innocent Time

After a certain age, people start to think about the past as “a simpler and more innocent time.” I used to think that way too about the 1940s.  I was a little boy surrounded by a loving and extended family that buffered me from the real world. Later I learned the truth: That for most of the world, the 1940s meant war, suffering, death, and devastation on a scale never seen before in human history.

I guess if going back in time produced innocence, Sodom & Gomorrah must have looked like Disneyland.

I thought about this again recently when I saw Las Vegas casino owner, Steve Wynn, interviewed on a news program. Mr. Wynn is the city’s largest and longest surviving casino owner, and the reporter commented that Mr. Wynn went back in Las Vegas history to a “simpler and more innocent time.” I immediately thought of Las Vegas being built and run by the likes of Bugsy Siegel and the mob, and chuckled at the naivete of the question. I wondered how Mr. Wynn would reply.

Mr. Wynn thought briefly, and then said: “It may have been a simpler time, but there was never an innocent time.”

Thanks, Mr. Wynn. No revisionist history for you and me.

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