First and foremost, apologies for my unannounced absence, which was a deed of pure impulse. When I asked myself, what do I really want for Christmas? My first option, an exotic sweets dispenser,
seemed an unrealistic hope. The most appealing alternative was some time offine.
I wanted to cut down on the hours – and I do mean HOURS – of idle roaming through cyberspace. It was not a complete and total break but I did reacquaint myself with the printed page, reading The Tears OF The White Man by Pascal Bruckner.
Viewing wise, I worked both ends of the cultural spectrum. From The Aunty Jack Show
to The Ascent of Man.
The Ascent of Man is a fine complement to the BBCs Civilisation. Seek them out at your local library or the video hire, because I’m quite sure that neither could be reproduced today. The choice of presenters alone would be the ruin of any attempt. Jacob Bronowski and Kenneth Clark were both deeply engaged with their subject matter. They spoke with authority. Today they would be dismissed as unsuitable for television; Clark with his wet sounds as he paused mid-narrative, Bronowski for his wardrobe. Which was undoubtedly typical of its time – but rather close today to fashion nightmare status. Their modern equivalents would be spotty faced kids of 25 with breathless Gosh, folks were clever back then! presentation. You’d endure them for only as long as it took to find the remote.
The subject matter itself would also be taboo. Both series focus on the achievements of the West and give practically no attention to the racism, sexism, and profound contempt for Gaia that we know today are the true legacy of our forefathers. Discovery and genius be damned: where’s the guilt?
Apart from these, I tracked down a few episodes of Lost In Space. Colour TV didn’t begin in Australia until 1975, by which time I had watched the series several times through. Suddenly being confronted by the Robinsons in all their non-monochrome glory was traumatising to say the least.
Lost in Space? Looks more like Lavender in Space to me.
The old childhood favourite didn’t hold up so well. Apart from the horrors of the wardrobe, Doctor Smith now seems nothing more than an oxygen thief. If he’d met with an ‘accident’ toward the end of the first series, instead of hanging around as a convenient source of discord, the program might have actually progressed intelligently.
Ah, well. I still have my loveable Aunty.