Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
— The Bible, Ecclesiastes 7:10
Things were always better than they are now. It's in the nature of things.
— The Abbot, Small Gods
If you can remember The Sixties, you weren't really there.
'If you can remember the 1960s, you were there but had to work in a factory or as a postman or something because your daddy didnít own Kent.
Can you remember the days when life was a cabaret?
The water - it was wetter
The food - it tasted better
And everything was cheaper
And people all believe in something rather than nothing
And your neighbours were so trusting
The music had more tune and
Men landed on the moon and
The king was doing his thing and making all the ladies swoon and
The Beatles sang together
We had such lovely weather
I wasn't born but it's so easy to remember
— Infusion, Memory Cheats
History dull? Invention? Don't disturb this groove. The charm, the romance. It's all in the (un)making! Don't think of how infrequently they bathed. Don't grapple, viewer, with any difficulty with the marriage scheme. That Edmund, the soulmate (and first cousin!) of miss peaches and cream might instigate scenes of subjection elsewhere, even upon his own children from his black mistress. O, speak obliquely, if at all, of History and its slaves . . . This is romance. Back to the time when we had it made. Who's, whose, we? Hush now. Don't explain.
— Tisa Bryant, Unexplained Presence, on Patrica Rozema's film of Mansfield Park
The past is not what it was.
I sent Uncle Mac's thumb buster and badge over to the Rangers, put it in their museum. Your daddy ever tell you how Uncle Mac come to his reward? Gunned down on his own porch over in Hudspeth County. Seven or eight of them come up there, all wanting this, wanting that. Uncle Mac went back in the house to get the shotgun, well...they was ahead of him. Shot him in his doorway. Aunt Ella come out, tried to stop the bleeding. Uncle Mac all the while trying to get that shotgun. They just sat there on their horses, watching him die. After a while one of them said something in Indian and they turned, left out. Uncle Mac knew the score, even if Aunt Ella didn't. Shot through the left lung. And that was that, as they say.
What you got ain't nothing new. This country's hard on people. You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity.
— Ellis, No Country for Old Men