Wednesday, July 06, 2016

To Tell The Truth

I've been watching the BUZZR channel, which airs old game shows.  There's a distinct difference between the shows in black and white, such as What's My Line?, and the shows in color, such as the 1970s revival of Match Game.

The earlier shows, aired in the 50s and early 60s, have a sense of decorum.  Everyone is well-groomed, polite, articulate and witty without being too suggestive.  The later shows let it all hang out, with longer hair, wilder outfits, a lot of touching and kissing, and a tremendous amount of innuendo.

The later shows are themselves dated, but they're from a world I recognize--it's the one I grew up in, and isn't that far removed from life today.  The black and white shows represent a reality so far off that it's sometimes hard to believe it existed (even if just on TV).

The different style and pace can make one long for that era.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure what seems decorous a half an hour per day might become stuffy, puritanical and even repressive if there were no place else to go.  But it's such a contrast to the more spiky word we live in now that it's hard not to feel nostalgia (even if it's for a time before we were alive).

Unfortunately, when you express any yearning for the past, you often hear that you're ignoring--or worse, you accept--the ugliness of that past, such as its racism.  I don't think so.  Were the good aspects necessarily tied to the repulsive parts?  I'd hate to think so.

Maybe we can't bring back the past.  But if we can, I'd like to think we can pick the good parts and leave the worst behind.


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