Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nostalgia or Reality?


Sometimes I'll borrow a set of DVD's from a relative or acquaintance or from the library.   These are shows I may have watched years ago.  I'm not sure of their appeal to me so I'll call it nostalgia.   These shows could also form the basis of a sociological treatise so perhaps I could call it research.

There's a reason for the old saying 'you can never go back'.   You can watch the same program but you are different now due to the passage of years.   Your view and knowledge of the world is different.  So it is when I watch these shows from the '60's or '70's.    Let me tell you some of the things that jump out at me:   The women wear mostly skirts and dresses,  even suits for work or for everyday use.   There are a lot of secretaries,  artfully made-up and with their hair in chignons.   They wear clothes only seen at funerals now.   To be fair, men seemed to be required to wear suits and ties much more often.  

People smoked considerably more.   The main character and supporting actors light up regularly.  When was the last time you saw this on a current television show?   Of course, this means that flirtatious moment when a man bends over a woman, cupping her cigarette hand with his to offer her a light while she looks up at him helplessly, is no more.

That's another thing:   women seem more, dare I say, incompetent.   They freeze, they scream, they phone their husbands for help.   They even faint with depressing regularity.   Anything but take action themselves. I have to resist the urge to shout:   "Pull yourself together!   You're not helpless.   Do something!"  But then I'm accused of talking to the television.

Then there are the cars.   Large American made vehicles, complete with a bouncy suspension, that squeal as they round a corner.   And the technology!   Those ENIAC computers, the size of a large wardrobe or curio cabinet, are portrayed as the latest technology.   I can't help but notice how many situations involve the main character frantically searching for a pay phone not to mention how many situations would have been saved if there had been a cell phone in their pocket.

I recommend trying this activity some time.   Younger people will equate this with the bonnet and bustle days but if you have any actual recollection you may find it fascinating.

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