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* Despite being a comedy, ''Film/UpTheChastityBelt'' plays the environmental aspects of chivalric romances remarkably straight, with no one ever beingbesmirched by their physicals exertions, whether it is in sodden England or the scorching heat of the Holy Land. TheDungAges is only invoked when needed for a particular joke.

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* Despite being a comedy, ''Film/UpTheChastityBelt'' plays the environmental aspects of chivalric romances remarkably straight, with no one ever beingbesmirched being besmirched by their physicals physical exertions, whether it is in sodden England or the scorching heat of the Holy Land. TheDungAges is only invoked when needed for a particular joke.

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* Despite being a comedy, ''Film/UpTheChastityBelt'' plays the environmental aspects of chivalric romances remarkably straight, with no one ever beingbesmirched by their physicals exertions, whether it is in sodden England or the scorching heat of the Holy Land. TheDungAges is only invoked when needed for a particular joke.


* The glories of AncientGrome (and other pre-medieval societies) continue to hold in thrall the imaginations of a loose coalition of many ivory-tower types (tending to be the same ones who bemoan the discontinuation of Latin courses in secondary schools and even in colleges and decry [[LowestCommonDenominator the "dumbing-down" of modern culture]]), anti-Christians, and [[NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe sentimental nostalgists]] disgusted by such modern phenomena as obnoxiously beeping technology everywhere, multiculturalism[[note]]The Roman Empire was nothing if not incredibly diverse. It contained a higher percentage of people that spoke no Latin than the US today contains people that speak no English and Roman York had a higher percentage of black people than York does today[[/note]] and PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad. To hear these people talk, you'd think the Roman Empire was an ideal time for [[GoldenMeanFallacy "normal, civilized"]] people like the American middle class likes to think itself to be, with law and order courtesy of a huge standing army defending the populace from [[{{Demonization}} those murderous barbarians]], [[SceneryPorn beautiful architecture]], peaceful villas and orchards, fun-filled festivals, everyone bathing regularly unlike those [[TheDungAges filthy medieval bumpkins]] (or, for that matter, [[NewAgeRetroHippie New Age Retro Hippies]] and [[AllBikersAreHellsAngels redneck bikers]] today), folks being polite and knowing their place, and an erudite citizenry debating everything from politics to art in elevated language while wearing sexy togas, without any [[MoralGuardians cretinous Christian morality]] stifling anyone's creativity or spoiling their fun. OriginalPositionFallacy aside, there is a lot wrong with this view. It certainly doesn't help that countless plays, movies, and television shows have [[TheThemeParkVersion idealized the ancient Romans]] and other civilizations, leaving out most of the bad stuff like (in the case of the Roman Empire) widespread socioeconomic inequality (for one thing, a shockingly large number of people were on welfare, and ''not'' the "glamorous" nanny-state welfare we imagine today), an unstable parliamentary monarchical system with [[TheCaligula frequently psychopathic emperors]], an arrogant imperialist mindset that left Romans both bigoted and fatally complacent -- and the fact that [[WickedCultured while Romans were snobs, they were hardly civilized]], indulging in pornography, unusually cruel public humiliations and executions (reaching their nadir in crucifixion, of course, although the "triumph" parades were likewise degrading spectacles), and sadistic entertainments (gladiator fights to the death, slaughtering of wild animals) that made today's "Ultimate Fighting" look tame. Also, that technology ''has'' extended lifespans and made basic existence more comfortable, despite its annoyances and erosion of traditional ways. Even worse, there is the fact that these were ''slave'' societies -- in some cases, slaves made up the majority.

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* The glories of AncientGrome (and other pre-medieval societies) continue to hold in thrall the imaginations of a loose coalition of many ivory-tower types (tending to be the same ones who bemoan the discontinuation of Latin courses in secondary schools and even in colleges and decry [[LowestCommonDenominator the "dumbing-down" of modern culture]]), anti-Christians, and [[NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe sentimental nostalgists]] disgusted by such modern phenomena as obnoxiously beeping technology everywhere, multiculturalism[[note]]The Roman Empire was nothing if not incredibly diverse. It contained a higher percentage of people that spoke no Latin than the US today contains people that speak no English and Roman York had a higher percentage of black people than York does today[[/note]] and PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad. To hear these people talk, you'd think the Roman Empire was an ideal time for [[GoldenMeanFallacy "normal, civilized"]] people like the American middle class likes to think itself to be, with law and order courtesy of a huge standing army defending the populace from [[{{Demonization}} those murderous barbarians]], [[SceneryPorn beautiful architecture]], peaceful villas and orchards, fun-filled festivals, everyone bathing regularly unlike those [[TheDungAges filthy medieval bumpkins]] (or, for that matter, [[NewAgeRetroHippie New Age Retro Hippies]] and [[AllBikersAreHellsAngels redneck bikers]] today), folks being polite and knowing their place, and an erudite citizenry debating everything from politics to art in elevated language while wearing sexy togas, without any [[MoralGuardians cretinous Christian morality]] stifling anyone's creativity or spoiling their fun. OriginalPositionFallacy aside, there is a lot wrong with this view. It certainly doesn't help that countless plays, movies, and television shows have [[TheThemeParkVersion idealized the ancient Romans]] and other civilizations, leaving out most of the bad stuff like (in the case of the Roman Empire) widespread socioeconomic inequality (for one thing, a shockingly large number of people were on welfare, and ''not'' the "glamorous" nanny-state welfare we imagine today), an unstable parliamentary monarchical system with [[TheCaligula frequently psychopathic emperors]], an arrogant imperialist mindset that left Romans both bigoted and fatally complacent -- and the fact that [[WickedCultured while Romans were snobs, civilized, they were hardly civilized]], also cruel]], indulging in pornography, unusually cruel public humiliations and executions (reaching their nadir in crucifixion, of course, although the "triumph" parades were likewise degrading spectacles), and sadistic entertainments (gladiator fights to the death, slaughtering of wild animals) that made today's "Ultimate Fighting" look tame. Also, that technology ''has'' extended lifespans and made basic existence more comfortable, despite its annoyances and erosion of traditional ways. Even worse, there is the fact that these were ''slave'' societies -- in some cases, slaves made up the majority.



* UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance is often portrayed as too clean, when in reality hygiene had a marked decline in that era due to it being seen as unchristian to bathe (as in "in a bathtub") since it was an activity embraced by non-Christian societies like the Ottoman Empire, and also due to public baths being blamed for having spread ThePlague, which was blamed on people "pridefully" wanting to be clean. Taking what we call a sponge bath, with a basin and washcloth, wasn't nearly as frowned upon, and can be just as effective. Washing your ''clothes'', however, was more difficult. Modern men and women have very little idea just what women had to go through before the invention of the washing machine and dryer.

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* UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance is often portrayed as too clean, when in reality hygiene had a marked decline in that era due to it being seen as unchristian to bathe (as in "in a bathtub") since it was an activity embraced by non-Christian societies like the Ottoman Empire, and also due to public baths being blamed for having spread ThePlague, ThePlague (due to the water rarely being changed), which was blamed on people "pridefully" wanting to be clean. Taking what we call a sponge bath, with a basin and washcloth, wasn't nearly as frowned upon, and can be just as effective. Washing your ''clothes'', however, was more difficult. Modern men and women have very little idea just what women had to go through before the invention of the washing machine and dryer.


* ''{{Series/Merlin2008}}'': Camelot is awfully cosmopolitan and clean for the Middle Ages, though the former is potentially justified by the setting being loosely (what with the castles in particular, very loosely) post-Roman Britain, which was actually very cosmopolitan - graves of highly ranked people of North African origin, for instance, have been discovered in Britain, and a number of Roman legions (which recruited from all over the vast Empire) were garrisoned in Britain for hundreds of years, meaning that the cosmopolitanism isn't entirely surprising. The cleanliness, on the other hand, is.

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* ''{{Series/Merlin2008}}'': Camelot is awfully cosmopolitan and clean for the Middle Ages, though the former is potentially justified by the setting being loosely (what with the castles in particular, very loosely) post-Roman Britain, which was actually very cosmopolitan - graves of highly ranked highly-ranked people of North African origin, for instance, have been discovered in Britain, and a number of Roman legions (which recruited from all over the vast Empire) were garrisoned in Britain for hundreds of years, meaning that the cosmopolitanism isn't entirely surprising. The cleanliness, on the other hand, is.

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* Professor Welch in ''Literature/LuckyJim'' a Medievalist who loves Medieval arts and culture, sees the Middle Ages through a very rosy light. Welch has Jim give a talk on "Merrie Old England", making his view on the subject clear. To butter him up, Jim plans to end his lecture with an extended digression on how much better those times were than now, and how the Medieval man would be shocked by modern society.


* ''{{Series/Merlin2008}}'': Camelot is awfully cosmopolitan and clean for the Middle Ages.
** The former is potentially justified by the setting being loosely (what with the castles in particular, very loosely) post Roman Britain, which was actually very cosmopolitan - graves of highly ranked people of North African origin, for instance, have been discovered in Britain, and a number of Roman legions (which recruited from all over the vast Empire) were garrisoned in Britain for hundreds of years, meaning that the cosmopolitanism isn't entirely surprising. The cleanliness, on the other hand, is.

to:

* ''{{Series/Merlin2008}}'': Camelot is awfully cosmopolitan and clean for the Middle Ages.
** The
Ages, though the former is potentially justified by the setting being loosely (what with the castles in particular, very loosely) post Roman post-Roman Britain, which was actually very cosmopolitan - graves of highly ranked people of North African origin, for instance, have been discovered in Britain, and a number of Roman legions (which recruited from all over the vast Empire) were garrisoned in Britain for hundreds of years, meaning that the cosmopolitanism isn't entirely surprising. The cleanliness, on the other hand, is.



* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' took part in a reality show where they lived in a turn of the century lifestyle while their house is gassed for termites. The family had to ride Cugnot Steam Trolley to Apu's, and could only buy stuff that was sold in the era. Eventually though they got ''so'' into it- even adopting the speech mannerisms and mindset of the era- that viewers grew bored. The show then gets derailed when the producers try to get more ratings through introducing a washed-up '70s TV actor (who's entirely out of place) and endangering the family by sending them and the house they're in down a river.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' took part in a reality show where they lived in a turn of the century lifestyle while their house is gassed for termites. The family had to ride Cugnot Steam Trolley to Apu's, and could only buy stuff that was sold in the era. In spite of this, largely they lived a pretty comfortable middle to upper class life. Eventually though they got ''so'' into it- even adopting the speech mannerisms and mindset of the era- that viewers grew bored. The show then gets derailed when the producers try to get more ratings through introducing a washed-up '70s TV actor (who's entirely out of place) and endangering the family by sending them and the house they're in down a river.



* Some have gone even further back, idolizing pre-civilization and thus crossing into NobleSavage territory with their view of hunter-gatherer peoples (or foragers, as anthropologists now call them). While it's true some foraging peoples were peaceful, this was mostly the ones largely isolated who thus didn't have enemies to fight (with tragic consequences if hostile forces ''did'' find them). Many were extremely violent, with some anthropologists estimating their men on average as having a homicide rate as high as ''40-60 %'' due to endemic warfare. This may stem largely from guilt over how foraging peoples were and are treated, but it does not make such idealized conceptions of them any more correct than the opposite.

to:

* Some have gone even further back, idolizing pre-civilization and thus crossing into NobleSavage territory with their view of hunter-gatherer peoples (or foragers, as anthropologists now call them). While it's true some foraging peoples were peaceful, this was mostly the ones largely isolated who thus didn't have enemies to fight (with (with, obviously, tragic consequences if hostile forces ''did'' find them). Many were extremely violent, with some anthropologists estimating their men on average as having a homicide rate as high as ''40-60 %'' due to endemic warfare. This may stem largely from guilt over how foraging peoples were and are treated, but it does not make such idealized conceptions of them any more correct than the opposite.

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* ''Film/TimeChanger'': The film treats 1890 (and by extension, American society up to around 1930, when the Hays Code was introduced) as far better, as the time-traveling protagonist complains about rampant disobedient kids, alcohol abuse, crime, poverty and blasphemy. Of course, those things were common not only in 1890, but before and into the 1930s too (the alcohol problem is especially funny, as people took it so seriously this led to Prohibition). He would also have to be extremely sheltered if a film character blaspheming God's name sent him fleeing in shock from a theater.


* Creator/MarkTwain wrote ''Literature/ThePrinceAndThePauper'' and ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' specifically to avert this trope. It was a TakeThat against Creator/WalterScott's book ''{{Literature/Ivanhoe}}'', whose romanticizing of knights and chivalry he blamed for corrupting the antebellum South. In his view, it helped cause the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar because they clung to their culture in the face of change.

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* Creator/MarkTwain wrote ''Literature/ThePrinceAndThePauper'' and ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' specifically to avert this trope. It was a TakeThat against Creator/WalterScott's book ''{{Literature/Ivanhoe}}'', whose romanticizing of knights and chivalry which he blamed for corrupting helping to cause the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar, because the antebellum South. In his view, it helped cause the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar because they South clung to their culture in the face of change.


* Creator/MarkTwain wrote ''Literature/ThePrinceAndThePauper'' and ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' specifically to avert this trope. It was a TakeThat against Creator/WalterScott's book ''{{Literature/Ivanhoe}}'', whose romanticizing of the Medieval knights with their code of chivalry (that in reality was mostly in principle, not practice) he blamed for corrupting the antebellum South. In his view, it helped cause the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar because they clung to their culture in the face of change.

to:

* Creator/MarkTwain wrote ''Literature/ThePrinceAndThePauper'' and ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' specifically to avert this trope. It was a TakeThat against Creator/WalterScott's book ''{{Literature/Ivanhoe}}'', whose romanticizing of the Medieval knights with their code of and chivalry (that in reality was mostly in principle, not practice) he blamed for corrupting the antebellum South. In his view, it helped cause the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar because they clung to their culture in the face of change.


* The Series/BBCHistoricalFarmSeries loves to avert this trope, but at the same time likes to call out misconceptions that exaggerate TheDungAges reputation of past societies.
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' once had John Oliver try to track down when "The Good Ol' Days" ''were'', after hearing the likes of Radio/GlennBeck, SeanHannity, and Creator/BillOReilly lament their passing. He proceeded to interview people who'd grown up in each preceding decade (starting at the '70s), all of whom disproved the notion by [[LongList listing the things that were screwy]] during that period, culminating in a woman who'd lived in the '30s describing TheGreatDepression. He concluded they [[NostalgiaFilter all felt the good old days were when they'd been children]], since everything usually seems better at that point, largely because parents will go to great lengths to protect their children form poor circumstances.

to:

* The Series/BBCHistoricalFarmSeries loves to avert this trope, but at the same time likes to call out misconceptions that exaggerate TheDungAges reputation of past societies.
*
societies. ''Series/TheDailyShow'' once had John Oliver try to track down when "The Good Ol' Days" ''were'', after hearing the likes of Radio/GlennBeck, SeanHannity, and Creator/BillOReilly lament their passing. He proceeded to interview people who'd grown up in each preceding decade (starting at the '70s), all of whom disproved the notion by [[LongList listing the things that were screwy]] during that period, culminating in a woman who'd lived in the '30s describing TheGreatDepression. He concluded they [[NostalgiaFilter all felt the good old days were when they'd been children]], since everything usually seems better at that point, largely because parents will go to great lengths to protect their children form poor circumstances.circumstances.
* ''{{Series/Merlin2008}}'': Camelot is awfully cosmopolitan and clean for the Middle Ages.
** The former is potentially justified by the setting being loosely (what with the castles in particular, very loosely) post Roman Britain, which was actually very cosmopolitan - graves of highly ranked people of North African origin, for instance, have been discovered in Britain, and a number of Roman legions (which recruited from all over the vast Empire) were garrisoned in Britain for hundreds of years, meaning that the cosmopolitanism isn't entirely surprising. The cleanliness, on the other hand, is.


* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' took part in a reality show where they lived in a turn of the century lifestyle while their house is gassed for termites. The family had to ride Cugnot Steam Trolley to Apu's, and could only buy stuff that was in the 1900s. Eventually though they got ''so'' into it- even adopting the speech mannerisms and mindset of the era- that viewers grew bored. The show then gets derailed when the producers try to get more ratings through introducing a washed-up '70s TV actor (who's entirely out of place) and endangering the family by sending them and the house they're in down a river.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' took part in a reality show where they lived in a turn of the century lifestyle while their house is gassed for termites. The family had to ride Cugnot Steam Trolley to Apu's, and could only buy stuff that was sold in the 1900s.era. Eventually though they got ''so'' into it- even adopting the speech mannerisms and mindset of the era- that viewers grew bored. The show then gets derailed when the producers try to get more ratings through introducing a washed-up '70s TV actor (who's entirely out of place) and endangering the family by sending them and the house they're in down a river.


* ''[[Film/BillAndTed Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure]]'': our heroes travel to -- and pick up hitchhikers -- from ancient Greece, ancient Mongolia, and medieval Europe (among other eras), without needing to bother with unpleasant hygienic issues.
* ''Film/AKidInKingArthursCourt'' had medieval England as a pretty nice place. It's moderately clean, and unless you stand under a window while walking down the street, you won't be covered in filth.[[note]]Watch out for the wives emptying the chamber pot![[/note]] TheProtagonist notes that his joust helmets smell something awful. Both the princesses are perfectly clean, but then again, ''they're princesses''.

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* ''[[Film/BillAndTed Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure]]'': our Our heroes travel to -- and pick up hitchhikers -- from ancient Greece, ancient Mongolia, and medieval Europe (among other eras), without needing to bother with unpleasant hygienic issues.
* ''Film/AKidInKingArthursCourt'' had medieval England as a pretty nice place. It's moderately clean, and unless you stand under a window while walking down the street, you won't be covered in filth.[[note]]Watch out for the wives emptying the chamber pot![[/note]] pots![[/note]] TheProtagonist notes that his joust helmets smell something awful. Both the princesses are perfectly clean, but then again, ''they're princesses''.

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* ''Household Gods'' by Judith Tarr and Creator/HarryTurtledove plays with this trope. The protagonist, a female lawyer who lives in modern LA (c. the late 90s when the book came out) wishes for something else than her difficult life juggling a career and family, praying to a statue of two Roman gods she bought, thinking it was better in the era they came from. When her prayer is granted, and she's woken up in the body of a female Roman tavern owner in the 2nd century AD, it turns out to be quite unpleasant in many ways. She's disgusted by the lack of hygiene, slavery and the Romans' attitudes toward many issues. Then things become worse. Ultimately it boils down to finding appreciation for what she has in her own time.

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* Deliberately averted in ''Creator/LeoFrankowski'''s time travel series The Crosstime Engineer. Sir Conrad, narrating via diary entries, notes that it might be somewhat as pretty as 20th century people believed, but for the horse manure everywhere.

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[[folder:Music]]
* In the Music/BillyJoel song "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant":
-->Joel: Do you remember those days hangin' out at the village green?
-->Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans!
-->Drop a dime in the box, play a song about New Orleans!
-->Cold beer. Hot lights. My sweet romantic teenage nights!
*The song "Crocodile Rock" by Music/EltonJohn is all about the good ol' days of young rock and roll:
-->John: I remember when rock was young.
-->Me and Suzy had so much fun.
-->Holdin' hands and skimmin' stones.
-->Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own.
[[/folder]]

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