There are multiple videos on YouTube of teenagers attempting to use rotary phones. Like this one, and this one. They’re extremely frustrating, for various reasons. For one thing… have they never seen a TV show or movie from the 1980s or prior? I mean, there are some pretty good ones out there. I understand not knowing what you don’t know. I have many, many things in that category. But you should at least know to pick up the receiver before dialing. Right? That’s the part that gets me.
Also, the cockiness is offputting. The douche is strong in both of those videos. That shirtless guy is annoying, as is the sullen hands-in-pocket backwards hat puffy jacket gentleman in the other one. Not a fan of that level of phony dickhead aloofness.
Of course, the temptation is to mock, and I’m on-board with that. I’m always down for a good mock. But it illustrates something I’ve been repeating, for years, to anyone who will pretend to care: a person of my approximate age has lived in two different worlds. The 1970s and 1980s weren’t that long ago, but it was a wildly different place. Right? It feels like I came of age on the cusp of massive change, and have lived in…. well, two different worlds.
Does everybody feel that way? Probably, right? Somebody born in 1935 would have certainly seen the 1968 Summer of Love as a totally different world. So, I realize my situation is not unique. But when it comes to technology, there was a huge change from the world I lived in when I was 17 and the one I live in now. It feels like that level of upheaval is fairly rare, but what do I know? What are your thoughts on this? Do you have anything?
Also, what 30-year span do you think saw the most societal change? 1985 to 2015 saw a shitload, right? Which other spans saw an inordinate amount o’ change? And how do you feel today compares to your teenage years? Big change? Or not so much?
I need to go now. I just uploaded a new podcast episode. Check it out, wherever you get podcasts. Or here. This is the summary:
In this one I talk about the time I was hired, promoted before I’d even started, and quickly promoted again in a super-bizarre — and highly-awkward — fashion. Craziness! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for listening!
I’ll see you guys again on Thursday. Last week I called for a better week, but it wasn’t better. It was worse, much worse. So, let’s try it again. Let’s make this one a good week for a change. What do you guys say? Are you with me?
Have a great one, my friends.
Now playing in the bunker
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Greg Wildt says
My first amplifier was an H. H. Scott kit. I think my dad got me the kit because it was cheaper. I think it was about 80 watts. I put it together with a soldering gun. Soldered in the resistors, capacitors, transformers, everything. This was about 1960, or so. I was about 14. Naturally it didn’t work when I got done, so we had to send it back to the factory, so they could correct my errors. It used many, many tubes. But when I got it back, Holy Shit, that thing was powerful! It always ran real hot, but the sound was incredible!
Yes – younger people don’t believe me when I talk about “long distance cost” and the fact it was long distance to call a town not too far from where you lived.
The only other time that I can recall really significant change was the introduction of the Model T just over 100 years ago. I’ve seen before and after photos of Manhattan that are separated by about 20 years and it’s a MASSIVE change. Where it used to be a mass of horses and pedestrians, it was a mass of cars and trucks. The change for the average American must have been extraordinary.
The biggest change from my teenage years is definitely smart phones. There is so much planning in your teen years – from meeting girls, to going to the mall, to planning sports. And people weren’t instantly available. You’d wait a half an hour for the late guy and learn the next day that he was in the hospital or whatever. Now, you just text him and get an update.
Due the condition of the streets where I live – you can sometimes see the trolley tracks. In many places they did not remove the metal tracks. They just paved over them. I was telling someone about the trolley system on the bus one day. I don’t think they believed me.
The telephone is one of those interesting hand signals where we all still use the old version – “call me” hand gesture is an old phone not a mobile. Winding down a car window hand gesture is the same too.
You are so right, Limey!
It’s almost far fetched that these kids wouldn’t kn
I read somewhere on the internet not too long ago, so it must be true (maybe on this place), that the young ones don’t know where “hang up” came from. Makes me feel both old as hell but wise nonetheless.
“hangover” comes from feeling ill after a day of partying at one of those fun public hangings we used to do.
1967 was the Summer of Love and the year of Monterey with Hendrix, Joplin and Redding.
1968 was the Summer of Fire, with protests on campuses and in the streets, and the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
1969 was the Summer of the Future with the first Moon landing and Woodstock.
1970 was the Summer of Death with massacres at Kent State and Jackson State and significant escalation in the Vietnam War.
surreal killer says
The times they were a-changin’
Larry Nelson says
My Grandmother was born in 1907. Think about what she saw, such as automobiles, radio, telephone, airplanes, and television.
Today is the anniversary of the Challenger disaster, January 28, 1986. Space exploration wise, we don’t seem all that far advanced.
A party line to me doesn’t mean $1.97 per minute.
Pure heroin seems kinda cool now.
And as always be careful with that ax Eugene
A Different Jeff says
It doesn’t help matters that my new smartphone still refers to the keypad as a “Dial,” when in fact it is, as mentioned, a keypad. Once our generation is all dead and gone, will some “sullen hands-in-pocket backwards hat puffy jacket gentleman” remark, “WTF is a dial, dude?”
Time marches on, I suppose. When my 77-year-old dad complains that kids these days don’t even know how to change a flat tire (There’s a spare one right there in the trunk!), I remind him that his grandfather probably thought the same thing about him because he didn’t know how to properly shoe a horse …
Need some advice, Jeff – since you’ve been to New York City at least one more time than I have (which is never):
What’s the best deli in/around Times Square (8 blocks in any direction)? Seeking large Reuben or giant pastrami/swiss sandwich!
You’re too late, it’s closed. A messy divorce by the owners. The Carnegie Deli was it. Spectacular sandwiches, mine was the “Woody Allen” half pastrami half corned beef with a side of child molestation. Now you’ll have to make the trip to Katz’s which is further than 8 blocks.
Thanks. Ever heard of Ben’s Kosher Deli?
Gotta go to Katz. My son and i were treated , with my wife and daughter to lunch there, by Regina Spektor, thru the make-a-wish foundation. The reuben i had was the size of a soccer ball. You can even sit at the table where Harry met Sally if its available. Regina also sent over 100 dollars of chicken wings and macaroons to our hotel room in Time Square that evening. Try the street vendor food while you are there. I would live off that the rest of my life, if i could afford to live there.
Maybe we’ll have to make a pilgrimage. Beyond going to the Richard Rodgers theatre to see “Hamilton!”, we haven’t thought it all the way out yet. Want to see ‘Ground Zero’ and I don’t know what else. We’ve only got two days so somethings will have to go by the wayside.
Not Oprah says
Usually for my first time in a big city I will do a jump on/off tour first thing and then figure out where I want to spend the rest of my time. Always so much going on in NYC – people watching is a free event all of it’s own. I’ve been 4 times but not for awhile now though. The Lion King was definitely one of the best live shows that I’ve seen – you’ve gotta keep your eye out for the last minute 1/2 price deals.
Jerry in WV says
The biggest change in our lifetime has to be computers. When I went into the Air Force in the early 80’s, I went in as a computer tech. In tech school, we still had to go thru tube theory. Some of the computers in operation were as big as a room and to trouble shoot, you turned out the light and looked for the tube that was glowing! Then we had mini computers that had a grand total of 32k of memory. These computers were used for missile warning. They had a solid iron ferrite core for memory. When I got out in the late 80’s, we were installing our first pc’s. Now look at what we have. It is almost scary, the amount of progress in the past 38 years.
surreal killer says
I’ve seen lots of changes in my lifetime. I blame wi-fi
I’m going with 1890-1920. Planes and autos, Industrial Revolution and WWI would’ve been mind-blowing.