Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

In MY Day, It Wasn’t Even MY Day, but I LIKED It

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It’s time to cease your whining, child. You have it easy.

Why, when I was your age, cable TV meant a few dozen channels, and that was only if you paid for the premium package! But did we complain? No! We knew we were lucky – that there were people out there with NO CABLE TV AT ALL. People who had no passive entertainment other than the three major networks and a few local stations, for crying out loud. And if they were lucky they had UHF, with lousy reception and lousier programming.

And don’t get me started on video games. No Wii or PlayStation for us, no sir; the lucky among us had an Atari 2600, and we spent hour after grateful hour engrossed in such advanced games as Asteroids, Combat, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong. If we were extra lucky we could get cartridges for Return of the Jedi. We were HAPPY children. Who needed “realistic” graphics? We had imagination! Skill was what counted, not surrendering to some software developer’s idea of realism!

And when did roving everywhere with a Bluetooth stuck in your ear become such a good idea? I’ll tell you what happened: if you keep a consarned mobile phone stuck to your ear, sooner or later someone will whack you on the back of the head and the machine will stay there permanently! THAT’s why so many people are walking around with technology stuck in their aural orifices! Give me a coiled phone cord any day of the week, and twice on Saturday. If you can’t wander from room to room while you gab with your friends, that doesn’t mean you need a cordless whatchamacallit: it means you should stay put! In my day, “wireless” was what the old folks called the radio. And did you know that some cars only had AM radio?

[True story: our cousins’ car had only AM, and my aunt and uncle would always have some talk station on. Our car, a blue Plymouth Fury III, as crappy as it was, nevertheless had FM, and my mother switched back and forth between WQXR and WNCN (of blessed memory), two stations devoted exclusively, or almost so, to classical music. My oldest cousin once remarked to my mother, “Your car plays the niiicest music.”]

For the longest time, no one cared about so-called “special” effects. The old movies were good because the people who made them cared about quality. How come no one makes ¬†musicals anymore? Give me State Fair over Avatar anytime. Give me Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, and take your Leonardo DiCrappio somewhere else. Yeah, he probably belongs at the bottom of the North Atlantic. You young people have no idea.

And what’s with all these divisions in baseball? Why is there a wild card in anything but poker? And where did all these variations in poker come from, anyway? And since when is there a World Series in anything but baseball? What huckleberry decided a World Series of Poker was an appropriate name for a bunch of seeming grownups sitting around some tables trying to keep a straight face?

It’s time you whippersnappers got back to basics: good old network television, maybe some PBS; mail that unequivocally calls for proper capitalization, punctuation and orthography, even if it does take a week to get there; candy bars priced in cents; newspaper comics visible with the naked eye. You have to rough it nowadays to appreciate how fortunate you really are, you spoiled brats.

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Written by Thag

August 8, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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