miwahni (miwahni) wrote,

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For Better? Or Worse?

I received one of those long rambling emails recently, that tries to tell us about all the good things we are missing out on in today's hectic life, and how much better life was when we were children. I found myself saying "Yeah, I remember that!" to nearly all of it.
Although I'd forgotten about warming up the tv and the radio. And test patterns. While you waited for the TV to start broadcasting for the day, you got the test pattern for about an hour beforehand. And the stations closed for the night around midnight. So if you fell asleep watching tv, you'd wake up to the hiss of static.

Life was simpler and slower then, but I don't think I'd trade. No microwave ovens. No colour TV. No PC or mobile or cordless phone or internet or cable, no DVDs or VCRs. No power steering or aircon in cars unless you paid the equivalent of the GDP of a developing nation for an imported luxury job. Three on the tree manual gearshifts. Sunday school. For everyone. No exceptions.

These were also the days of the 'cultural cringe' ; whereby if it was Australian it just had to be bad, whether a car or a tv show or a garment. But if it was British, or from the USA, it was Righteous. Only we wouldn't have used that word. It was Quality. Gough Whitlam did that much for us, at least; made us aware of our own cultural identity. And helped us take pride in it. People like Reg Livermore and Barry Humphries could return to an Australia that appreciated their talent. Australian artists suddenly were fashionable, and Australian movies were in great demand. Peter Weir and Fred Schepsi found funding for projects that no-one would touch five years earlier. Of course, some nice little tax incentives for investors probably didn't hurt things either.

Skyhooks had six of the ten tracks on their debut album banned from airplay because of "swear words". Just listen to the radio today, and ask yourself how much of that content would have found airtime as recently as the seventies.

We had troops in Vietnam, in the late '60's and early '70's, fighting with our American allies against the looming threat of Communism. Claims by the US that the Vietnamese welcomed the US troops into their country. They weren't so welcoming after the US army officer ordered the massacre of old men, women and children whom he suspected "might" be sympathetic to the Communists.

The world's not necessarily any better, or really any worse. It's just different, now.

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