Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Comment - 1987

"The past is a foreign country".

If anyone ever reads these early jottings or the later, more detailed journals, they will find it hard to believe that young people once used such phrases as "Cad" or "Bounder","Look here,old man" and "I say, old thing" to mention just a few. But they did!

Attitudes were also very different. One great loss is that of Respect - and I do not mean just respect for one's alleged betters or elders or leaders, though that was part of it. For instance, in those days all men wore caps or hats, and no decent man would pass the Cenotaph in Whitehall without removing his headgear. The neglect to do this would offend his own self respect, apart from offending other people.

The attitude towards sex was of course very different. Without going into detail, it could be summed up as less sexual action and more romance and poetry. The young people of those days were more hidebound and stuffy; less daring and free and extrovert than they are today. They very rarely travelled outside Great Britain. Not only were they introverted and insular but there were two other practical reasons; first, they were short of money, secondly they did not have such long holidays. The funny thing is, they did not particularly want to have holidays abroad and did not fret too much about the shortage of money. The purchase of 'things' was not so important; the advertising industry was still a genteel infant. People were easily content.

Yes, the past is indeed a foreign country.

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