Once upon a time there was blue toilet paper…and toilet paper with pretty flowers…and scented toilet paper. In other words, there once was a country where choices were as plentiful as the stars. Well, maybe not, but you get the general idea.
I’m not one of these old fogeys who thinks everything was better “in the old days,” but I am an observer of history. I like technology and “new and improved,” but some of the items that have vanished into the mists of time have done so for disturbing reasons: what I call the “one size fits all” mentality. It can also be referred to as the “if everyone can’t do it/have it, then no one can” philosophy.
The only problem with this type of limiting mentality is that it’s the preferred philosophy of dictators and totalitarian regimes. We often see it in science fiction shows where the so-called “utopia” is a bland landscape of blacks and greys and anyone found wearing a smidgeon of color is banished as a mental aberrant.
In science fiction, the hero usually upsets the equilibrium, rescues the damsel in distress, and frees the oppressed people.
But in reality, who will free us from the food and product PC police who have determined that only unscented white toilet paper can be sold, that junk food must be banned for everyone, that education can be stamped out with a cookie cutter, or that commercial competition is a bad thing. If a town wants to start up their own cable company, why can’t they? If a restaurant desires to serve fat, greasy, fried foods, why not? Those who want to eat there can, those who don’t can find somewhere else to eat.
I guess the worst example of this fading lifestyle is laundry soap. I know all the reasons why companies are turning liquid laundry soap and fabric softener into something that smells like it came out of a week old refrigerator, but please; I like the smell of fragranced clothes. Yes, I have allergies and I often find myself sneezing down that particular aisle of the store. However, I do not like my clothes reeking when they come out of the washing machine. Is it too much to ask that fragrances be returned to the soap? Put a warning label on them if you like, but give us a choice.
As American companies turn more and more to PC products to please an invisible, unspecific, and undetermined clientele, I will find foreign products that haven’t yet succumbed. Viva la freedom of choice!