Friday, April 25, 2008

An Old versus Modern (or Postmodern?) Friday Five

Today, from Singing Owl at the RevGals:

Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live

I think I'll have to go with those who've already stated modern plumbing here. I know that some folks have done just fine with much less than modern flushing toilets, instant hot water, etc, but I'm not sure that I could.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?

Without a doubt, call waiting. I HATE CALL WAITING. I hate that moment when you're talking to someone, and all of a sudden there's a click or a buzz or a pop or a beep, and the other person says, "Oh, that's my call waiting; I should go." We reluctantly got call-waiting at home, because we needed three "features" and didn't want any of the others either, but I HATE IT.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?

I have a portable stereo that I bought considerably more than 10 years ago that has a cassette player in it, but that's about it. Both my parents and WH's parents have wonderful collections of vinyl records that make me really want to get my hands on a record player. There's something so classic and wonderful about the hiss and crackle of the needle touching vinyl...

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?

Oh, some combination of all of the above, I think. The potential to put technology to immeasurable good is very exciting, but I'm disheartened that that's not always the focus. In fact, how much bad we can (and do) put it towards is very frightening.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.

You know what comes to mind first? And I think it's just because I had a conversation the other day about this very thing, but I don't think we do a very good job of building beautiful buildings. Our architectural style has changed so much and become so much less interesting, less artistic, less beautiful, and so much more industrial, square, bland... (with, obviously, some remarkable exceptions).


Mrs. M said...

I agree about call waiting. It's like telling someone, "Can you hold on while I decide if someone else is more important than you are?"

Jan said...

Call waiting is annoying, but we found it necessary when we had teenagers pre-cell phones. So now we don't use it anymore.

Is that a picture of the Empress Hotel in Victoria?

Chorus said...

No, I think it's a picture from Ottawa... the building that's reflected is from the same vintage as the Empress though!

Auntie Knickers said...

What an interesting thought on #5 -- you are so right. Just looking at old small apartment buildings, store buildings and so on -- the ornamental brickwork and such like craftsmanship which we don't see much these days.

Thursday's Child said...

You're so right about call waiting - as Mrs M implies, it's just plain rude!

Shalom said...

I cannot tell you how much I agree about the call waiting thing. HATE it. For exactly the reason Mrs. M identified.

RevAnne said...

I'm with you on call-waiting, although I'm the reason we had it when I was a child.
Architecture as art...great play!

Singing Owl said...

Great play...and I hadn't thought about the architecture, but that is so true. I'm glad you liked this F.F. :-)