More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

1961 Versus 2011

A lot has changed in the 50 years that I’ve been around, but not always for the better. Since 1961…

We’ve Gone From… To…
Wanting to beat the Russians into space Paying the Russians to take us into space.
Asking not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country Asking not what we can do for our country, but blaming our country for what they don’t do for us.
Judging people not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character Judging people on everything.
Risking your life to fight for equality Sending email petitions because the student union raised the price of breakfast croissants.
Learning the three R’s Learning to pass standardized tests so the school gets more funding.
Sexual harassment in the workplace Sexual harassment through email and Twitter.
Three or four good TV channels with static in between Three or four good TV channels with nothing else worth watching.
“Made in Japan” meaning something cheap “Made in Japan” meaning something that is actually built in China or Kentucky and is likely to be recalled or have their gaming service hacked into.
American cars built in Detroit American cars from an Italian company with components built in Canada, Brazil, and Mexico.
“Sound as a dollar” “We buy gold!”
Cigarette smoking being advertised on TV as safe and cool Eating 5000 high-fat calories a day being advertised on TV as safe and cool.
Kids playing soldier in the park Kids playing Modern Warfare 2 on the XBox 360.
Rotary phones that worked Smart phones that drop calls, have batteries that run out after a day, and charge steep overage fees.
The Dodgers in Los Angeles The Dodgers in bankruptcy.
Lenny Bruce Larry the Cable Guy.
Marilyn Monroe Lady Gaga.
Barry Goldwater Michele Bachmann.
John F. Kennedy Barack Obama.
A middle class Poor people who work two service jobs that earn only half of what they made at their last white collar job four years ago, live with friends since their house was foreclosed, and don’t know how they can afford college for their kids.