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The curse of the century — 26 Comments

  1. The problem is not the people watching the box.

    The problem is the boxes have no OFF buttons nowadays!

    Now can you O Wise One, what is a couch potato?

    I find crumbs and sometimes money, but never potatoes under the cushions of my couch.

  2. D’you know, I haven’t the faintest idea! Couch Moron, maybe. Couch Slob?

    Maybe it’s something to do with being too lazy to wash so they end up caked in mud?

    I think we need help from others on this one. Anyone know the origin of Couch Potatoes?

  3. I was asking you a question there and left half the words out. Another senior moment!

    The Q was: Now can you tell me O Wise One, what is a couch potato?

  4. Not just tv grandad. Video games consoles and personal computers are even more responsible for this generation’s lack of traditional socialising. Kids have virtual friends from all over the globe, but rarely leave their house.

    I feel extremely fortunate to have had the kind of childhood where we were told “Get out of the feckin house” at every opportunity. As long as it wasn’t lashing rain, we would not be allowed to stay inside. I often hated it, but look back and think how much better it was for me.

    Of course, these days the media has us so paranoid about paedophiles and the like, we won’t leave our kids alone, even though the rate of child abductions is no higher now than it was in 1945*. Perhaps it’s a bit of an oxymoron to say I blame the internet, but I’d say it’s got a lot to do with it.

    Of course, there are many who say that the internet is just a new way of socialising, no better or worse then how we used to run around the streets playing tig and the like. Blogging and Bebo; the new Cops and Robbers.

    God, I’m only 27, and I’m beginning to sound like you.

    *this is true, but I can’t remember where I read it.

  5. I agree with Kav on some of his points – I have an Xbox 360 up here with me and it provides more incentive to stay in than go out. Thankfully I freed myself of the cold deathly grasp of Bebo after I realised what a load of bollocks it was – and I only blog for about half an hour each day.

    Fortunately, I had a lot of friends in the street I grew up in, and so every summer’s evening we could be found at the hallowed Green Box, playing football and hanging out. Strangely enough, I was also damn near the only guy, so I was Maradona by comparison.

    Even though my childhood was a mere five years ago, I still say that we were better off without iPods and the internet, and TV was so bad back then, there were few obese kids.

    Halcyon days indeed …

  6. @Kav
    Strangely enough, I disagree about computers and the Internet, and the only reservations I have about video games is that they all seem to be extremely violent.

    But computers are interactive and that is the key. TV requires you to do nothing. You just watch and listen. No interaction, no imagination, nothing. The only thing you have to move is your thumb on the remote control.

    Even blogging inspires the imagination. Do you know what I look like? No. Do you wonder what I look like? Possibly. Your imagination is fired. You are thinking enough to reply.

    I had put a bit about paedophiles in the above post, but took it out,as the thing was getting a bit long [like this reply]. I said what you say – they have always existed, but TV has instilled a fear out of all proportion to the problem.

    God, I’m only 27, and I’m beginning to sound like you.
    You are an early graduate to the club, but welcome. It will get worse. Wait until the day when everything was better when you were a kid [or even a 27 year old]!

  7. This is fantastic!

    I am already turning today’s youth into Grumpy Old Men. Wow! This is beyond my wildest dreams.

    If I can make people in their teens and twenties start reminiscing about the Good Old Days then that makes all this blogging worthwhile.

    I’ll start the revolution yet. 🙂

  8. I remember when you could get a packet of Tayto for 11p, and Creme Eggs were the size of your fisht.

    Jeebus Grandad, you took a bit out of your post? I have real trouble with that. I’m a terrible self-editor, even though I know it makes for better reading when the bumph is cut out.

  9. I remember when you could get a box of matches for 1d, and it cost 6d to climb Nelson’s Pillar!

  10. Let me give some you some middle ground. Grandad is well, Grandad and Kav is 27, Dario is still a kid. I in fact am still 29. It’s just that I have 19 years expierence at it.
    TV sucks! It all started with cable TV and more channels than we need. I do not have cable, satellite, or anything all high tech like that. Nope, my TV gets turned on to watch the local news then, unless I rented a movie, it goes right back off.
    I have to go along with Grandad. As a kid I woke up, ate breakfast and went outside for the day, the whole day. I had to be home by 6pm for dinner. If it rained I was relagated to the basement, usually with some heighborhood friends.
    My son Jimmy is now 18 and he grew up with rather strict rules on how long he could watch TV or play video games but he could always go over to his friends where their parents allowed the TV and video games to act as babysitters. So I guess where this is heading is that, yes TV sucks but so do parents that allow it to rule both their and their childrens lives.

  11. When I was a kid, we didn’t have television. My parents wouldn’t have it in the house. Mind you there was only BBC then [yes – one channel!!!!]. They were right.

    My mother even won a TV in a competition and took the money instead [£60]. She bought a washing machine with it.

    We used to play using our imagination. We used to cycle. We used to explore far and wide. We used to fish in the local rivers. We ran a lot.

    And Dario is right – there were no obese kids, and very few fat ones.

    Incidentally, I just read Brainf’s reply out to my daughter who is staying with us. I took great delight in the last sentence. Even as I type, both grandchildren are plonked in front of the TV, watching some ghastly cartoon channel!!!!!

  12. Oh no, Grandad, you didn’t turn me into a Grumpy Old Man. I’ve been there since about the age of 16, making me a Grumpy Young Person.

    By the time I’m your age I’ll probably have ranted myself to death.

  13. And also I long for the days when a bottle of Cavan Cola – best damn cola ever! – cost you 25p.

    Then they got taken over and Cavan Cola disappeared. A little bit of me died when they took it off the shelves.

  14. And petrol was 3/- a gallon [when I first started driving]

    (translation of 3/- provided on request. Any one out there remember??!!)

    Ah! Even nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

  15. Would it be three shillings now?

    My parents used to harp on about shillings, pennies, half-crowns, thrupenny bits, ha’pennies, and of course p/s/d, so I know a good bit about that.

    They nearly had heart attacks when the euro came in.

  16. Fair play!!

    You left out the good old tanner.

    And for some reason it was l/s/d [not to be confused with LSD!]

    Dario – you are way older than your years 😉

  17. Hello Grandad,

    I’m sure I’m older than all of you! I was a kid in the 1930’s. The height of the depression.Talk about poor: we thought knives and forks were jewelry. We had no TV or X boxes or any other form of entertainment,except radio. We listened to “Jack Armstrong,All American Boy” and “Little Orphan Annie”and “The Green Hornet”.
    They always announced “Here comes the Green Hornet and his faithful Japanese servant, Kato. That is, until December 7,1941 when he became Kato the faithful Philipino servant. I swear that’s true.
    All of our activities were outside the house. They talk today about global warming and I believe it. We would begin ice skating on our little pond about November 15th.The first freeze came this year about two weeks ago,in February. And fat! None of us was fat; we were all as skinny as a rail.We never stopped running,skipping or skating. I could go on and on but I’m sure you have the picture and it’s not much different than your own except mine was a few years earlier. Or, in the case of Dario, a lifetime earlier.

  18. OK, Nancy. You have me on the age stakes. I take my hat off to you.

    But it re-enforces my point. Radio forced you to use your imagination. And most playtime was outside the house. Times were harder then but I think, on the whole we were physically and mentally better off.

    And think about it Nancy. Times were hard during the Depression, but would it have made life easier to constantly see pictures of other countries that weren’t going through hard times?

  19. Hah! I missed that one. Great site. Thanks.

    I must get one of their remote controls. Peace in the pub at last!!

  20. You are so right, Grandad! We really didn’t know we were poor because everyone we knew was in the same boat, and we had no TV to show us how the other half lived. We did go to the movies,however,and saw all the rich people who dressed in a tuxedo to have dinner in their own home. And they spoke on WHITE telephones. But we knew that nobody really lived like that; it was all Hollywood make believe.

    President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher liked to take credit for the removal of the Berlin wall (“Mr. Gorbachov,tear down that wall!!!”)but it was TV coming in through cracks in the Iron Curtain that let people in Poland and Hungary,etc. know what was happening in the world. And they wanted to live like that,too. So, TV has done a lot of good and has brought the news into our lives. You just have to be selective in what you and your children watch.

  21. I couldn’t agree more… TV has ruined the modern world… As a fellow grumpy young person I have to say I love your blog, I feel the same way on so many issues. Thanks Grandad… keep it up! I am going to send my Dad, three year Grandad over here as he seems to be getting progressively more grumpy… and his Dad… well, we won’t even go there! 🙂

  22. Welcome to the Happy Crew, Deborah.

    Tell your dad to start blogging!

    I seem to have hit a nerve with this anti-TV thing. 🙂

  23. Dad’s not exactly a genius on the computer. The first time he dialled into the internet back in 98 he called me at work to ask why little stars kept appearing when he typed in his password! Great Dad! Think he’s a bit better now!

  24. If I can do it – he can do it.

    In fact, if I can do it, anyone can do it.

    [p.s. I forgot to say – thanks for the kind words about my scribblings!]

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