Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Last One Standing

The funny part is. This is normally a really quiet area - so quiet that there were a couple of times before I got the TV, when I was sure that the whole neighbourhood had been evacuated and no one had told me.
It reminded me of that wonderful bit in Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent (Abacus, 1989), a classic if ever there was one, where he describes coming to a small country town “steeped in that kind of dead silence that makes you wonder, if you are of a suitably hysterical nature, if perhaps everyone has been poisoned in the night by a leak of odourless gas…”

It was not unlike that time when my children were late for school because we hadn’t heard that daylight saving had started. We didn’t have TV then either because we lived around the back of the mountain from where the TV tower was. The Headmaster didn’t believe us.

Not having TV does rather cut you off from the common experience. Last night I happened to watch a bit of “Talkin’ Bout Your Generation” (you think when you get a TV you are going to watch all this intelligent, socially responsible stuff, but somehow you end up watching game shows and late night shopping, though I do think Shaun Micallef  is quite witty and George Clooneyish, I also like Amanda Keller and especially Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls who did Coin Operated Boy) and quite honestly, whether they were Baby Boomer, Gen X or Gen Y Questions, I couldn’t have answered any of them, though I could probably point to Dagestan on a map, whereas they quite possibly couldn’t.  

 My children used to complain that they were social outcasts at school because they had no idea who The Power Rangers were. I have the same problem with the Wiggles. I missed that whole era and upon being invited to a Wiggles party not long ago, had absolutely no idea what this involved. Nor am I intimately acquainted with Survivors, assorted Idol winners or The Biggest Losers. They don’t really sound like people I would be desperate to know. It also makes most of the women’s magazines and celeb. gossip pretty arcane and irrelevant, though I did have passing acquaintance with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles thanks to someone sending us the videos. I can’t wait for them to have a revivial or come up in a conversation again.

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