Saturday, 24 August 2013
Were The '80s Better Than Now?
I was thinking about my birthday yesterday. It's approaching over yonder horizon - 18th October to be exact. I'll be forty-eight. With this in my head, I riffled through all my Corrie memorabilia to find this Granada TV press pic from that date in 1989. Was life better in the 1980s, I wondered? No paranoia about "stalkers", no CCTV watching our every move, a political scene that was the subject of fierce dabate/adoration/protest amongst the electorate - unlike the apathy of today...
I certainly think Corrie was much better back then. Amazingly, Sky TV was just beginning in 1989, and the World Wide Web just being invented - it would not be operational until a year or two later. Less complicated times, with some absolutely cracking telly, I think.
Not all jam of course - no rosy coloured specs here, but I still think better. People seemed more concerned, more united. I don't recall ever living in a peaceful, lovey-dovey era. As far as I'm concerned, the "flower garden" '60s thing is a complete myth, but I still think people were a bit more caring in the 1980s than they are now. We didn't watch soaps in the constant hope of tracking serial killers or witnessing a gigantic explosion, for instance. We cared about the characters, enjoyed an occasional "blockbuster" story-line, but also savoured the far more common everyday trivia stories.
I wonder how much our multimedia world of today has contributed to the fragmented society we currently live in? There seem to be so few points of connection. Pubs are dying out round my way, and TV is no longer the great shared experience it once was.
Maybe I'm just getting old(er)! But I do have a sneaking suspicion that during the 1990s we grew smug and hypocritical - and complacent. We rewrote the past, let the politicians get on with it, and kidded ourselves we were lovely now the big bad '80s had gone.
Maybe it's just because I'm getting old (er!) but I can't help wondering...