16 November 2009

There was a time before Twitter

Back in my day, and by that I mean the late ‘70’s, early ‘80’s, people – ALL people – had respect for authority. We didn’t bang on about respect having to be earnt; we just didn’t fuck around with the police. Or teachers. Or our parents. That was just the way it was. You didn’t break the law. You went to school to learn stuff. And what your parents said, went.

There were 3 TV channels. Just three. It didn’t mean you were deprived. Or poor. You didn’t call ChildLine and claim you were being victimised. And there was one TV in the house. In the front room. And you watched what your family wanted to watch. And you turned the channels by GETTING UP. No remote. And no Freeview. Or satellite. No streaming. No MTV. No video. No DVD. No Blu Ray. No HardDriver recorder. No IPlayer. No nothing. And we just got on with it. And at the Government-decided bedtime a thing called a test card came on, and that was that. You turned it off. And went to bed.

There was a time before people comparedthemarketdotcom for the fastest broadband they could get at home. I’ll tell you what – there was a time before most workplaces had a computer, let alone every home. I hear talk of the Government proclaiming that a family has a right to fast internet connection at home. Seriously – an actual Human Right. Laptops and PC’s at home weren’t even thought of when I was a girl. I typed on an Olivetti word processor at work in 1986, and I was considered ahead of the IT game.

Of course there was crime. And kids being a nuisance. BUT. There weren’t any hoodies who would literally kick your head in if you looked at them. ASBO’s didn’t exist. Child burglars didn’t successfully sue a homeowner when they fell over and cut themselves whilst trying to break into their house. Kids didn’t sue their parents for damages cause you were sent to your room. There was no naughty step.

There was rubbish, and litter and trash. But you didn’t get fined by the local council for putting a piece of paper in the rubbish. Your tax paying dollar didn’t go towards printing a manual for road sweepers on how to pick up fallen leaves. (PS – there wasn’t any council tax… there wasn’t any poll tax either come to that!). And you know what, all the litter got collected. No fuss. No nonsense. Job done.

Your NHS contributions actually paid for your dentist and doctor fees. And you could actually get to see a doctor or dentist as well when you were poorly.

You had to wait till you got home to talk to your friends on a LANDLINE. There was one phone in the house, normally in the hall by the door. And it had a lead, that plugged into a socket. In the wall. You didn’t have a mobile, or a Blackberry. You didn’t text. There was no facebook or friends reunited, or myspace or twitter. There was no Youtube. There was the News at Ten. And there was a Newspaper. And that’s where you found out what was going on in the world.

You didn’t have a Wii. Or a PSP. Or an Xbox. Or a Game Cube. Or Nintendo. Or anything. If you were lucky you had a Merlin or a Pacman. But mostly you went outside. And played with your mates. Or stayed at home. And made something. With glue and paper and old cereal boxes. Or you painted. Or read. A book. Or an annual. Or a magazine that didn’t have air brushing or celebrity gossip….cause there weren’t such things as celebrities. You had people who were famous for actually doing something great. Not just being famous for sleeping with someone else. Or wearing less clothes than someone else. Or eating grubs in the jungle. I know!

There was no gluten free. People weren’t wheat or dairy intolerant. Jamie Oliver didn’t tell Schools what to feed our youth. You ate what you were given or you stayed sat at the table (Yes, in my day people ate at a table) till your bum went numb and it got dark outside. No-one talked about 5 a day. Or nutritional value. And let me tell you – we were healthier then than most kids seem to be these days. Child obesity was never discussed and there certainly wasn’t an epidemic of it.

You knew a lot less about the inner workings of things like public bodies, and organisations and Big Business. And quite frankly you didn’t care. MP’s probably were spending our money on beer and chips, but we never knew so we couldn’t be outraged by it. There was no Tax Payers Alliance. There was no Political Correctness. No Human Rights. People just got on with it. Living. Most normal, average people just wouldn’t dream of doing something that would physically, mentally or emotionally hurt another human being. Call me old fashioned, but I really miss that.

If you pissed someone off by saying something they didn’t like, you said sorry… or you didn’t. You didn’t get lynched. Or sacked. Or jailed for it. You were allowed to not like people for whatever fucking reason you wanted. People who supported a different football team. Went to a different school. Liked different music. Whatever man. That’s freedom of speech.

I’ll tell you what. It’s not as good today as the old days you know. We may be advancing with every passing day in science and technology and you know, other stuff. But in my opinion society has gone to the dogs. And instead of trying to “inspire the world and lead the construction of a new global order” Gordon Brown and all his other useless, money grabbing, lying toad colleagues in The Government could look a little closer to home and fix Britain, cause from where I’m sitting, its all turned to shit.

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