The old world holds the door open for you if you can or have made children. Pulls out the chair and stands when you enter or leave a room. Tips its hat and gives you a polite smile, the old world. The old world also sells you into slavery and/or prostitution, no questions asked. The old world was an old boy invisible and indivisible. The old world had manners and refinement and social order. The old world understood the value of respect. The old world smoked indoors near young children. The old world had a dirty nickname for every single race that you could think of. The old world thought this was just fine as long as it was fair. The old world burned children in factories and on streets and in their homes during wars and during the other old times they called "peace" on TV or on the radio. The old world sold kids too. Sold them like fresh killed tuna or chickens or rabbits. And beat them and hurt them in ways that made them bad. Old world bad. The old world called this "life" and "school", particularly the one affiliated with "hard knocks". The old world said, "If it doesn't kill you, it makes me stronger." and we all know just how true that is. The old world was smaller and dumber than us, but also a whole lot meaner, and that always counts for something. The old world walked with a limp and was called gimp or cripple. The old world called some folks "queers" and some folks "perverts" and many folks just plain crazy. The old world didn't need an explanation or even comprehension. The old world didn't have a use for constant contact, with each other or their government. The old world slept with their doors open and their minds clear. The old world dreamt of simple things like a new gingham dress or fresh pressed slacks. The old world made rope of hemp and then strung each other up with it. The old world branded people and called some animals and others criminals and this gave them the right to torture and maim. And then the old world got up and hung and burned other people, took their property and watched them die through the eye holes of their pressed white robes. Oh, the old world of strip mining and sandblasting. The old world of knife fights and shootouts. The old world of battlefields and gang rape. The old world of playground bullies and gangland murders. The old world of oil spills and cave-ins. The old world of polluters burning tires and pouring oil into rivers. The old world of animal massacre, but only after humans. The old world knew the value of a dollar and a dollar had a value. The old world understood a hard day's work. And union busting and head cracking in the name of payola progress. The old world looked smart in public and said, "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir" to your face. The old world cut its nails with a knife and washed its hands with powdered soap. The old world might have enjoyed dancing, but only when drunk or when at weddings and only with a cousin or the sister of a friend. The old world was so lovely, if only from a distance, lit dimly with floating tea lights on tiny metal reflectors a big band playing a slow song on black water in the night.