Is the general quality of things getting worse or is the person asking this question just a grumpy old git?
There's a feeling among some folk that the stuff we buy today doesn't last as long as it used to. It's not as well-built and it doesn't last as long. It's of a poorer quality. No doubt we're more materialistic in our 'global economy' and there seems to be a higher turnover in general consumption. The argument goes, the quicker stuff wears out, the sooner it needs to be replaced. What's kaput for the buyer is ker-ching for the seller. We live in a disposable world.
There's also a feeling among some folk (probably the same lot as above but we'll get to them in a minute) that pop music isn't as good as it used to be. The Beatles, Abba, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, David Bowie and er, Owen Paul1 were all very popular in the charts at some point. Was their music of a higher quality than stuff produced today?
And what about TV programmes? Surely today's celebrity-obsessed drivel marks a nadir in British TV production? Was it ever this bad in the good old days? Or is it just a case of, 'Grandad, shut up - it's time for your tablets now.'
It's a tricky one. You do often hear older folk moaning about the way things are today and in their day things were so much better, etc. And isn't it just the case that we all glorify the past to some degree? But the 'some folk' previously referred to aren't all old. A lot of younger folk seek out older music, for example, because to them it's just better. But then again, are they just old fogies listening to 'dad' music? So...
Are things more shoddily made these days? Chairs, tables, watches, clothes. Are they built to fall apart. Is the quality getting worse? Or is it actually getting better?
What about music? Is the quality of music getting worse as well? Is the music of Frank Sinatra a better quality of say, the music of Robbie Williams? And what do we mean exactly by quality?
Is modern television production utter rubbish? Are popular big films these days just dollar-making vehicles, all re-makes and product placement? Or is the reverse true?
Is sport getting better or worse? Are sportsmen fitter and more proficient? Are they as entertaining? Are there more or less quality footy games these days?
And finally, is the quality of stuff we consume today actually getting better?!