Lost in time
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset at being this age (as the old joke goes, getting old sure beats the alternative!), but every now and then it catches me by surprise. Such as last week, when I started the discussion about end-of-the-world movies (please go vote in my poll if you haven’t already!). One of the folks who responded on twitter said something to the effect that Logan’s Run was probably the first post-apocalyptic movie she’d ever seen. If not the first, since she saw it as a child, the first that she remembers seeing. And because of that it’s always been one of her favorites.
Where I felt as if I’d smacked into a brick wall while running full tilt was this: Logan’s Run came out in 1976, which was the year that I sold my first story. It was a science fiction story that happened to involve an apocalypse. It wasn’t the first story I ever wrote, since I had started writing with the intention of becoming a professional writer when I was six years old. It wasn’t the first science fiction story I wrote. It wasn’t the first story I ever mailed to a publisher hoping to get it published. There had been several before that. It was the first one I sold.
And here was a person that I know is not a teen-ager or a college student, someone I think of as “not-a-kid”, and she remembers a movie that came out that year as something she saw when she was a child.
Admittedly, I was a teen-ager when I made my first sale, so if this person is only four or five years younger than me, let’s say, then of course this could be a movie she remembers fondly from her childhood.
Sort of like a conversation I had where I’d made some comments about what a creepy and awkward person Richard Nixon always appeared to be, and how I couldn’t understand how he got elected. One of the other people in the conversation said something to the effect that because Nixon left in disgrace, the only video and images anyone shows are from the scandal. “If you’d been around back then, you’d probably feel differently.”
So I had to explain that I was around “back then.” And further explain that not only had I participated in active debates about Nixon vs Humphrey and their policies while the election campaign was going on, it was the subject of a very angry discussion with my dad. Not because of who I favored, no, it was because Grandpa had explained to me that not only didn’t my dad vote, but that Dad had never been registered to vote. So when my dad had tried to get me to discuss who I thought should be president (four years previously, he had been very amused when I had insisted I was a Barry Goldwater supporter, despite that fact that I wasn’t yet in kindergarten, I had an opinion!), I had told him that I refused to discuss such things with someone who was legally allowed to vote, but couldn’t be bothered.
He didn’t take that well.
The one good thing that came out of that argument was that my mom, who had never registered to vote, either, went out and registered and became a voter herself. My father, on the other hand, still has never voted.
And it was during Nixon’s presidency, during the ’73 Oil Embargo and the crisis (and recession) it caused, that the country went on Daylight Saving Time year round, and I had very unfond memories walking to school and not seeing the sun come up until a while after classes started. Which is why I don’t really think that the solution to the problems caused by changing the clocks twice a year is to put us on DST year round.
Of course, since bringing that up, I’ve been informed that modern day kids are already going to school before sunrise because of the various before classes activities that have become the norm. Which isn’t really that much different than me going to Jazz Band practice three mornings a week before first period during high school, but it wasn’t the norm, and I don’t think we were expecting middle school kids to come in that early back then.
But what do I know? I’m just an old fogey, now, anyway.