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Roger Bara

I want to take you back to a time when the internet was 30 years away, mobile phones were only seen on TV shows like “Thunderbirds”, and live football was a pipe dream for all British supporters.

Let’s go, for instance, to 1963. There are only two live football matches shown on T.V. in Britain, which remained the case until the advent of satellite T.V. in the 1990s. Yes, the annual F.A. Cup Final, and the annual England v Scotland international. Think about that. Two live games all season.

Of course, 1963 was a really special year in Britain. It saw the start of one of the most famous and long-lasting T.V. series of all time, “Dr. Who”. Something also happened in the U.S.A. that year as well, as I recall….

News Teleprinter

So, what do I miss so much from that era? As a fanatical football fan, and there were, and always will be, millions of us, it was very difficult to know how your team was performing. Because there were no T.V. schedules for live games, every single match at the weekends kicked-off at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.  It was long before the advent of local radio, so you maybe could pick up commentary on one match only on national radio, but that was your limit.

Never ever was there a game on a Sunday. How could you go to church first thing and then descend into the hell that was watching football? No, you went to church, and then got pissed at the local Conservative Club, and went home and battered your wife. 

For so many of us, Saturday afternoons were spent watching a flagship BBC sports programme called “Grandstand”, which ran for years and years. It had an iconic theme tune as well.

But no live football during its five hours of broadcast. What I still miss today though was the atmosphere and excitement created during that programme by the BBC Teleprinter! Yes, as each match finished around 4.40pm on a Saturday afternoon, the results were sent, with primitive technology by today’s standards, to a teleprinter, upon which a BBC camera was trained. That is how we discovered how our team performed. If one team scored six or more goals, the teleprinter would type out: Rangers 6 (six) Celtic 3. That way we would all know that it was not a typo, (a word that had not been invented in those days!)

Of course, in 2023, we know within milli-seconds every single piece of action as it happens. But back in 1963, oh my, the excitement of that teleprinter; there is simply nothing equal to it today.

What do we miss most about our past?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

A couple of days ago a friend pointed out that we are largely shaped by the choices we make along the way. It’s these decisions that make us who we will become. After so many choices have been made, many options are no longer available. You have closed them to yourself. You will never marry the girl you didn’t ask to the Prom; you changed the course of your life.

We don’t always have a choice in the matter. Sometimes it’s the girl who says no. Or worse yet, sometimes these choices are made for us by those who have no interest in who we are or what will become of us. This simple truth brings me to my choice for the thing I miss most: A TV set that only gets a few channels.

Yeah, I just said that; see, when I was young, there were three major Newscast each evening in the US. They all started at 18:30 (6:30 EST) and ran thirty minutes. What a bizarre thing to miss, right? Let me explain: back then news was a serious matter and the networks took it as such. It’s wasn’t a profit centre, it was a Public Service. They maintained bureaus around the world and every last detail was checked and checked again. 

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Today most get their news from ass-hats like Zuckerberg and Murdoch. I find this repugnant, even astonishing. You really think some guy who is today practicing for a cage fight with another billionaire cares about whether that meme you stole is true or not? What a clown show! The damage Murdoch has done is even worse. Example: in America, Fox Entertainment has been shown to lie and mislead their viewers — with malice and forethought. That’s a fact, not an opinion.

The upshot of this is that we are seeing the decline of civil society across the globe. Authoritarian leaders are emerging to destroy what little critical press remains. This loss is changing our future for the worse and ironically, it’s the increase in choice that seems to be killing democracy.

So, I miss a TV set that only gets twenty channels – 500 channels is harming the planet. Streaming is not going to help… it’s too late. We all consume news that matches our preconceived truth: We are not looking for news, we seek confirmation. No Editor or Chief will challenge our “facts” because they know we will simply turn the channel. We now live in a post-truth society because my TV has too many buttons.

What do we miss most about our past?”

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

When Roger proposed the topic, I thought it was great to think about it. This will be really a brief blog from my side.

There are so many things from the past we just cannot return. Or re-do. Or get back.

I don’t consider myself on old man yet, but, looking back from my 48 years spent on this planet, I’d have reloaded my life entirely.

I wouldn’t have done many things. Meeting other women. Choosing other jobs. Refusing proposals in life that I’ve taken. Plenty of stuff that I’ve ever done in my life, or still do.

But the wisest thing, to me, is that as you cannot change the past, you live by the moment. You enjoy every second of your life.

To me, the thing is not about missing something from way back, but appreciating what is happening right now. And learn to love it. Here and now. Do daunting memories.

And what is going to happen. This is the only thing that matters.

So, no misses of the past.

Just plans for future.

One thought on “What do we miss most about our past?”
  1. Having read my article again, I don’t really want a low-resolution, black & white TV. What I want to say is that I want far fewer choices in Newscast.

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