First up I’d like to welcome you all to this little blog I got going. Hopefully we can make this a regular thing (And any feedback is appreciated!) and though this takes an odd sway into the personal, hopefully it’s readable.
Thanks to some random forum browsing, I stumbled across http://betamaxmas.com/, and instantly I got nostalgic. Obviously that’s what the site is there for, until you consider the fact that I never saw any of those shows to begin with. But first let me digress…
Almost every video on that site speaks to a time when America was moving away from the reality of the 80’s and sort of dovetailed itself into the gee whiz optimism of the 50’s. Everyone is just so…nice to each other. Even in the commercials, nothing says thank you like a McDonalds meal. Innocent was the buzz term of the day, and it’s weird looking at where we are now, and what we were like then. If this is the decade of ‘realism’ then the 80’s were a decade of blind faced optimism. To be sure, optimism is a largely American trait, and rest assured you’re looked upon with envy for that. The British are reminded time and time again that dreams are for children and just get in the way of life, oh but we have this mid-level managing position available so you might as well jump right in.
It’s easy to slice through all that though and reveal what’s underneath. But there’s no fun in that, we know what’s there already. Still, I feel a pang of…yes I guess Nostalgia is the right word, when I see Michael J Fox telling us what to do if an Uncle touches us a little too much (I’m deadly serious. Though it sounds twee now I also imagine it was effective. If there’s one thing we’ve learned is that
people do what celebrities tell them). And this brings me back to my earlier point, can I really get Nostalgic for something that I never experienced the first time? I’ve never seen an episode of “Perfect Strangers” in my life. But I sat there and watched while Balki and Larry learned about the true meaning of Christmas. I recognised it was corny, and I know the jokes aren’t all that funny. But at the same time I didn’t care, I sat there for half hour and enjoyed the cynicism free television.
And it was nice.
I could rack my Brain (And Thesaurus) for another word there but I think “Nice” sums it up well. There’s a complete lack of anything that could even be considered ‘dangerous’, or dare I say it ‘thought provoking’, but what there is is television for the Family. Really, can we say that now? I couldn’t sit down with my Dad and watch ‘Mad Men’, but I could sit down with him and watch ‘Family Ties’ (Oddly enough one of the few shows we did get here in the UK). Everything these days is skewed toward someone, and though some shows are still marketed as such, there’s rarely anything for the family to watch anymore. I could of course be wrong, and these shows are still everywhere. But everything looks better through rose tinted specs after all.
But I suppose that’s us as a society. In the days of mobile phones and email and computers and the Internet everything becomes so detached. I know families who don’t even eat together anymore (Unless its an occasion) let alone sit around the TV and watch the same shows. At heart I’m usually a realist, and I like to think I understand how the world works. I know that life isn’t always fair and that bad things often happen to good people. But there’s part of me that needs those moments where everything is simple, and that problems can be solved with nary more than a soft word or a hug. There are times when I need to watch “He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special” if only to remind myself of a time when I wasn’t a worrisome 27 year old, and the world seemed a less dangerous place.
Maybe that’s just cowardly of me, who knows? But if you don’t mind I have a date with the Garfield Christmas Special.