November 23rd, 2007
Almost every time friends and families get together a game of "Remember When" seems to break out. Okay, it's not really a game, but eventually the conversations all start with the words "Remember when?". I am sure that all of you have played it at one time or another.
It's not just for old folks that are trying to relive their glory days, either. My wife and kids play it all the time, when we have the opportunity to gather for a meal or a visit. Usually, "Remember when" is followed by an anecdote about how they were all embarassed by something their father or husband had done.
Classmates, teammates, workmates and childhood friends conjure up memories from their past as the game can grow into a battle of one-upmanship to see who can remember the most. Each story rekindles another memory from the past, usually prompting another person's story of their shared time together. It's very contagious and can go on for hours.
If the sentence "Remember when?" is started by someone of the older persuasion, like me, it is usually followed by groans, from one's children and their peers. It's because the story just might have some life-lesson in it, or the story will relate to how life was so tough way back when or something. Not always, but more often than not, they are right.
During a recent conversation, with some young people, I started a "Remember when?" story about television viewing. "I remember when we moved to Kipling, in 1970, we had one channel on the TV to watch. Yes! ONE CHANNEL! Can you imagine!?"
Now, I know it doesn't compare to travelling across the prairie landscape on a "Red River Cart", or even milking the cows BY HAND?!, but in comparison to the hundreds of channels available, today, it seems downright primitive!
Our family has progressed to our current satallite TV package that includes 97, yes 97!, channels. Sure, some of them are duplicates, but remove half of them and it's still a far cry from ONE! Even TWO channels would have DOUBLED our viewing selection in 1970, for crying out loud!
In retrospect, one channel wasn't all that bad. We older folks tend to justify our long-ago hardships as character builders and such. When there wasn't anything to watch on tv, which was pretty much all the time, we played sports or games and invented new ways to entertain ourselves. Sometimes, it wasn't in the most constructive manner, either. But I'll save some of those stories for a different round of "Remember When?".
One would think that with all of these channels available, to us, there would be something worthwhile on the ol' tube at any given time. My experience has been that that is not necessarily the case.
I have stated that, in my humble opinion, watching poker on tv is a colossal waste of time. Well, I have to report that I have found something even more useless to do with your time. You can watch RADIO on TV! Yes, RADIO on TV! You can watch The Fan 590 Sports Talk Radio, from Toronto, on TV!
Now, there are two things that are very disconcerting, to me, about this. One, is that it's even available, and the other is that I watched it! In my defence, they were talking about the 'Riders chances in the Grey Cup; but still, RADIO onTV?! We must always be careful as to what we label progress!
"So live that your memories will be part of your happiness."- Author Unknown.