Memories.

I received an email today entitled;
DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN…?

All the girls had ugly gym uniforms?
It took five minutes for the TV warm up?
Nearly everyone’s Mum was at home when the kids got home from school?
Nobody owned a purebred dog?
When a a shilling was good pocketmoney?
You’d reach into a muddy gutter for a penny?
Your Mom wore stockings that came in two pieces?
All your male teachers wore ties and female teachers had their hair done every day and wore high heels?
Cereals had free toys hidden inside the box?


It was considered a privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents?
Teachers threatened to keep kids back a year if they failed . . . and they did?
Lying on your back in the grass with your friends and saying things like, “That cloud looks like a .” and playing footy with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game?
Stuff from the shop came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home?
Basically we were in fear for our lives,but it wasn’t because of drive-by shootings, drugs, gangs,etc. Because our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat! But we survived because their love was greater than the threat.
Who can still remember Nancy Drew, Laurel and Hardy, The Famous Five Secret Seven, Biggles,the Lone Ranger, Phantom, Roy and Dale and Trigger.
As well as summers filled with bike rides, cricket games, Hula Hoops, monkey bars, jilgying, visits to the beach and “conversation” lollies.
Saturday morning cartoons weren’t 30-minute commercials for actionfigures?
Spinning around, getting dizzy, and falling down was cause for giggles?
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team?
Playing cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle?
Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin?
Water balloons were the ultimate WMD?

Didn’t that feel good, just to go back and say, “Yeah, I remember that”? And with all our progress, don’t you just wish, just once,you could slip back in time and savour the slower pace, and share it with the children of today?

No!! Because I remember interest rates reaching 17% on my mortgage and farmers being thrown off their properties by banks foreclosing on loans with 22% interest rates – and being forced to have a low interest savings account to get in line for 12 months so that I could apply for a mortgage. When the revenue from bank loans subsidised depositors and there was no fee-for-service or ATM’s or electronic banking or online transfers or BPay; when cheques took 14 days to clear and I had to arrange an international line of credit if I wanted to leave Australia.

When the only ethnic food was spaghetti – and my Dad cooked the meat sauce IN WITH THE PASTA. Take-away was always Chinese (usually sweet and sour pork) and nary a Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Indian restaurant was to be seen.

Being absolutely terrified if the condom broke because ‘good’ girls didn’t take contraceptive pills and women were second class citizens who had to leave their jobs when they got married. When there was little sex education; women lived their whole married live without experiencing an orgasm because ‘nice’ people didn’t talk about sex and left their violent husbands just as soon as they achieved economic freedom or else stayed on in a loveless relationship, taking the beating and overlooking the child abuse because they had nowhere else to go.

Wogs were everyone other than WASPs and, although few knew the meaning of the word, XENOPHOBIA ruled. When balts, boongs, slopes, reffos, kanakas got stuck in and reformed the economy, dammed the Ord, built the Snowy and helped create the best country in the world before it became politically correct to embrace multiculturism, and it wasn’t embarrassing to your mate when you made reference to his heritage. When ATSIC and land rights and Native Title and Stolen Generations were the stillborn dreams of Charlie Perkins’ freedom riders. Lubras were kidnapped and dressed as boys to keep the drivers warm at night and black stockmen were paid in flour and tea.

Tarrifs and import duties made everything more expensive than it should. Forced membership of the union, the Labour Party ruled by the “40 faceless men.” Calwells ‘two wongs don’t make a white” remark. Always frightened that Dr. Strangelove would attack the Russians.

And that’s just what I can think of in the first five minutes. Nah, I don’t hanker for ‘the good old days’, I much prefer my life today, warts and all.

It would be really good though if somebody could say a sentence without use of the word “Basically”.

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David J
David J
2022 years ago

ah for the days when a parent could beat his child with impunity provided the love outweighed the threat… I’m with you Wayne, the good old days were never that good.

Jim Birch
Jim Birch
2022 years ago

Those objections may well be have some validity, but I reckon the plastic spacemen in cereal packets clinch it the nostalgia side.

John
John
2022 years ago

You’re cheating a bit with the high interest rates, which are from the 1980s, when nearly all the other items on both lists are from the 50s or 60s.

Especially in your list, it seems reasonable to mark the dividing line between then and now as financial deregulation which led directly to high interest rates and repossessions.

Antony
Antony
2022 years ago

Wayne,

An interesting catalogue of memories! However, as I understand it, contrary to the received wisdom of media pundits and our semi-educated academics, Arthur Augustus Caldwell’s famous quip

Craig G
Craig G
2022 years ago

Arthur Calwells autobiography “Be Just and Fear Not” (1972) sets out his thoughts on certain topics.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book, but I don’t recall him even referring to the quip which gives some idea of how important it was too him.

Craig G
Craig G
2022 years ago

I might also add that not getting plastic toys in cereal boxes is quite a sure indication of the decay in living standards.

I remember it must have been around 1967-68 I had accumulated a whole working airport. It wasn’t just the plastic planes etc in the box, you see, the Corn Flakes (or Rice Bubbles) pack also had on the reverse of the box runways and aircraft hangars, control towers etc which could be cut out along the marked lines, folded and assembled.

I can’t convey the feeling of loss in my own kids, now of a similar age, not having the same opportunities.

woodsy
woodsy
2022 years ago

But surely Craig, the plastic thingys kids get from Maccas these days are much better than the cardboard cut out of yesteryear.

And on the subject of Calwells remark, he may not have meant it the way it was taken, it did however fairly clearly reflect the anti-asian feeling amongst (the majority? of)the electorate.

Antony
Antony
2022 years ago

Wayne,

You may well be right when you say that Caldwell’s remark, when removed from its original context, did reflect public opinion of the day. However, and this is my main beef, it is misleading and deceptive to use this comment as proof of Australian attitudes in general and Caldwell’s attitudes in particular at that time. However, I don’t blame you. It has become part of our received wisdom, a tribute to the baleful influence of second-rate media pundits and third-rate academics over the years.

yobbo
2022 years ago

What’s a Kanaka?

woodsy
woodsy
2022 years ago

Kanaka;
Hawaii. A Hawaiian of Polynesian descent; a Native Hawaiian.

Australian & New Zealand. A South Sea Islander, especially one brought to Australia as a laborer in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Often used disparagingly.

The sugar cane industry was based on the work of two ethnic groups; to begin with the ‘blackbirders’ supplied the labour, often tricking kanakas into dodgy indentures. After the first world war the italians took over.

Antony
Antony
2022 years ago

Woodsy,

Another visit and another nit-pick. (Where is Norman when you need him?) There were actually 36 “faceless men” on the National Executive of the Labor Party in those days, not 40.

Still, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Hmmm.

Now, let’s see, where’s a stone?

Christop
2022 years ago

It seems like the e-mail was originally written for an American audience (at the start it uses ‘Mom’) and adapted as if to suit Australian culture by talking about cricket and lollies.

Mike Crnjanin
Mike Crnjanin
2022 years ago

what is: – jilgying