Sunday, 19 July 2015

Does Anything Stand The Test Of Time?

It's funny how things seemed so much better when I was a kid. And I can't quite figure out whether it's because I have become more sophisticated and demanding in my taste or, whether it's inevitable that memories become larger than life in the retelling of them over the years.

One of the first TV shows that I can remember really loving was The High Chaparral. This was back when there were only three channels to choose from and everybody tended to watch the same shows. Monday night was High Chaparral night and Tuesday it was all anybody at school talked about. I thought about it often over the years, bemoaning the fact that it had never been repeated. Imagine my delight then when, a couple of months ago, I saw that one of the cable channels was running an entire series. However, my excitement soon turned to disappointment when I realised that it wasn't anything like I remembered it. The theme tune still gave me a jolt of pure pleasure but that was about it. Big John, it turned out, is a controlling bully, Buck and Manolito are more spiteful and mean spirited than I remember and Blue Boy, frankly, seems like he has special needs. 

After two episodes, I had to accept that the version I had in my head far exceeded the reality and it got me thinking about other things that hadn't stood the test of time. Reading Catcher In The Rye as a teenager pretty much blew me away and I held the novel in high affection for years, despite never re-reading it. That is until last year and I was devastated to find that it was almost unreadable and Holden was totally irritating and not particularly likeable at all. 

Likewise, I had such strong memories of Jackie magazine which had a tremendous impact on my life as a teen, when it was the focus of my week. With the trend for all things nostaligic, an old edition of Jackie was recently re-issued and I was shocked by its facile simplicity. I couldn't believe that this had been the highlight of my existence during my early teenage years. 

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered a box set of 21 Jump Street, a show which brings back so many happy memories of spending time in The States and watching it with my friend, whilst drinking hot chocolate with marsh mallows. The trouble is I'm scared to open it because I more or less know what's going to happen. I'll watch one episode and wonder what the hell I was thinking. 

Maybe that's the key, it's not about the show or the magazine or the book, it's about what they represent. A moment in time when, for whatever reason, they provide us with what we need. Something magical that only exists in the moment and, when we try to re-create it, it falls flat and disappoints. For that reason, I'm thinking maybe I'll just leave 21 Jump Street in the box.


  1. Did you leave it in the box?

    1. Still in the box more than 2 years on. I have since seen the modern film versions though and had a sneaky chuckle :D