The "Good Old Days" - what made em' good?
Have you ever heard the phrase:THE GOOD OLD DAYS?Well, since I can't sleep tonight - you're gonna hear my version of what it means.So, just suck it up and deal._____________Once Upon a Time there was RADIO.Every home had a radio.Radios were a BIG piece of furniture not as big as a refrigerator, but taller than your little brother, Timmy.1930sThe golden age of radio — the period when radio reached its peak popularity with general audiences — was in the 1930s and 1940s. Strangely, part of this period was during the great depression in North America when people were doing without most luxuries, and even a few seeming necessities.Radio was a SHARED EXPERIENCE.Cultures which didn't like each other - without realizing it - shared the same love of the same radio dramas.THE SHADOWDICK TRACYGANG BUSTERSAMOS n' ANDYLITTLE ORPHAN ANNIETHE LONE RANGERAnd on and on and on ...Think about that for a second, will you?Even people who hated each other sat down at the same timein front of a radio and listened "together" and laughed or cried about the same thing.A cultural miracle.People shared the SAME source: Radio.A window to the world."Who cares?""So what?"You don't want to miss my point: Radio was the glue which bound people together culturally when they didn't even know or like each other.Radio was imagination.A radio play took place inside your mind.The vividness was better than movies. Don't laugh. It's true.We all sang the same songs.We all laughed at the same (clean) jokes.Radio plays, mystery serials, soap operas, quiz shows, talent shows, daytime and evening variety hours, situation comedies, play-by-play sports, children's shows, cooking shows, and more.During the 1930s and 1940s, the leading orchestras were heard often through big band remotes, and NBC's Monitor continued such remotes well into the 1950s by broadcasting live music from New York City jazz clubs to rural America.The Golden Age of Radio featured the celebrated Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra, which had been created especially for him.At that time, nearly all classical musicians and critics considered Toscanini the greatest living maestro.Popular songwriters such as George Gershwin were also featured on radio. (Gershwin, in addition to frequent appearances as a guest, also had his own program in 1934.) The New York Philharmonic also had weekly concerts on radio.CULTURE was being formed and people glued together in their hearts and souls.That's what was "GOOD" about the Good Old Days.As a boy growing up in the 1950's, I listened with my great-grandmother, my grandfather, and my mother ...SHARINGtheir tastes in music, humor, and a sense of what was fun.Today (need I remind you?) families are in individual bubbles, sealed off from each other with separate tastes, ideas, and living in different worlds. The 30s 40s 50s were NOT a Golden Age for ethnic groups or women. I'm not saying that. God no. I'm just focusing on what is called an ETHOS. (Look up the word). The absence of that ethos has made a big difference in our Society. That's my point. There shall be no new Good Old Days because of its absence.And that, my friends, is why we seem to be living in THE BAD OLD DAYS.We don't share the same collective tastes around a central space at the same time.We aren't together because we aren't together.And it will prove to be our undoing as a species.____
Radio Gaga lyrics
"I'd sit alone and watch your light My only friend through teenage nights And everything I had to know I heard it on my radio You gave them all those old time stars Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars You made 'em laugh, you made 'em cry You made us feel like we could fly (radio)"
I quite agee Terry, shared experiences unite. We all used to be home for a favourite TV program....nowadays people singly ' binge view' ..
Something is lost
Without being overly romantic about it - shared experiences are what unite us and
today's tribalism and conflict have far less to do with politics than we might think.
My shared experiences with my great grandmother, grandmother and grandfather and mother made me far more open to what their generations had to offer.
I was not a rebellious teen.
My big disruption was in religious belief.
My family had no religious shared experience and it left me fair game for JW teachings.
Selective memories, or not having lived in the good old days.
The good old days are a fantasy we create of our of cherished memories that are unique to us.
Better music, better home lives, better morals, cleaner air, maybe we believe the sun shone brighter and the grass was greener.
You might just be living the best years of your life right now.
I'm right there with you, Terry. Sure, 1,000 years ago it was different. The "shared " experience was Grandpa's storytelling in the evening. Or fables. Or re-told Bible stories. But the attention among the listeners was rapt. And shared!
Now, it's earbuds and going to your own room for privacy..
I don't see how this will ever be the good old days.
Different doesn't mean worse. The absolute best time to be a human is right now. Imperialism, slavery, racism, sexism and many other societal ills are nearly universally recognized and condemned. Medical and scientific advances have extended life and prevent billions of childhood deaths. The changes are fast and not all changes will prove to be optimal but truth be said, today's youth are better adjusted and more socially aware than any previous generation.
Each person's perception of the time in which they're living is, of course, subjective.
My judgment is from the end of a seventy-two year journey with many decades of actual experience.
Reared in the South (in Texas) but born in the North (Detroit) I can easily see what a different life and different people would have been.
None of us gets a second chance and memory is radically selective.
I don't long for the Good Old Days, but I do miss the people gone forever.
I do miss Radio Days and consider TV a cancer on civilization as much as a baby-sitter for busy parents.
Technology has done as much harm as good but I wouldn't want to live without it :)