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Harking Back to Better Times

In the UK we currently have a spate of historically based TV programmes. Is it odd that in a upcoming ‘Time of Austerity’ TV producers are seemingly prepared to remind us all that a simpler life in the past was better? There is even a new version of that old staple of TV re-runs ‘The Good Life’ from the 70’s. Mind you – this new version is barely watchable – concentrating primarily on the personalities of the presenters rather than the substance of the content. In fact, I only managed to watch the first two programmes.

Another programme tries to recreate a series of high street shops from different eras in UK history. This could have been good. It’s not for two reasons. The first is that the time given for each of the ‘eras’ is only a week (must take a while to change each shop ready for the next era), and the second is the ‘Chamber of Commerce’ – a group of people who seem to be a bit like the ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel – who stroll into the High Street dispensing opinions and problems in equal measure. I watched two of these as well. I have given up now. Then – there is ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘The Edwardian Farm’.

I think that there is a lot of looking back with rose-tinted spectacles going on here. Times were better in the old days – for a very few. For the majority life was not so good. Disease was rife, money was short and living conditions could be very harsh. Things were not better for your ‘average’ person. I am glad that I was born into this time, in this country. That last is also an important factor – because there are places in the world where it is not much fun to be alive and where disease is still rife, money is very short and living conditions remain very harsh. So if you are warm, have shelter, aren’t hungry and no one is abusing you, these are the better times.

Friend Surfing in Facebook

It’s quite surprising just how far you can get friend surfing in facebook. Many people do not alter their privacy settings and by clicking on ‘friends’ of friends you can often glean interesting and not so interesting things about them. Just as well that I’m not a stalker or out to rip people off – ‘cos it wouldn’t be that hard…

The other thing that amazes me is just how personal some of the stuff posted up on there is. Do people think that the anonymity of the keyboard and screen stops it being personal? Some seem to live their lives on facebook. Also, many of the pictures that people post are of them in situations where they are ‘having a good time’ – which seems to consist of being rather the worse for wear, having had ‘one over the eight’ – or eighteen in some cases. How about the situation where you hold a fairly responsible position and you post up pictures of yourself drunk? I’ve seen it happen. How about your kids seeing you that way? Also a bit worried about younger people putting themselves up – complete with photos. There are a lot of predators on the web.