Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

I was born into a world before rock and roll, before space travel, before the birth control pill and long, long before the Internet.

Every pope for nearly half a millennium had been Italian.

Telephones were made of Bakelite and tethered to the wall; not many people had them; if you wanted to place a call you went through the operator. Televisions were boxes with miniscule black and white screens. Most movies were still in black and white. Computers took up vast amounts of space.

Stalin was still alive. The Berlin wall was yet to be built. European cities- including London- were pocked with bomb sites. The British empire was still in existence. Prince Charles was a wee small boy.

Einstein was still calculating, Stravinsky was still composing, Picasso was still in his never-faltering prime. T.S Eliot was all but finished as a poet but still cast a living shadow. Hemingway and Camus had yet to win their Nobel prizes. Ezra Pound was locked up in a mental institution.

Racism and sexism and classism were socially acceptable. The "f" word was unprintable but the "n" word wasn't. It was widely held that women couldn't be comedians because they just weren't funny. White actors blacked up to play Othello and stuck feathers in their hair to play Native Americans. Male homosexuality was illegal. Lesbians were invisible.

Adults smoked as a matter of course. A lot of men used pipes. Bing Crosby smoked marijuana but you wouldn't have known it.

Footballers were working-class men and drew working-class wages. You had to be an "amateur" to play at Wimbledon.

And so on. And so on. And so on.....
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