Forty-Seven. Can’t really believe it, but there it is. It’s been quite a ride so far.
I couldn’t have been born at a better time, really. I was born in 1970 and grew up with the explosion of science-fiction films that coincided with the birth of modern f/x. I also had the benefit of discovering novelists from the Golden Age of Science Fiction — Isaac Asimov, Fred Pohl, and Robert Heinlein to name just a few.
I experienced STAR WARS at the age of seven. I saw it fourteen times in the theatres. That movie made a massive impact on me. Admission was $2.00 and the ushers would let us stay for the second show. On rainy summer days there was nothing better to do than go to the nearby cinema. STAR TREK made no less of a mark, however — syndicated television for a kid was a marvellous thing. TREK along with SPACE: 1999, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE TWILIGHT ZONE and BUCK ROGERS were big influencers. Hell, even cheesier offerings from the time period made a creative impact on the formative TSJ: THE A-TEAM, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, and FANTASY ISLAND to name just a few. MAGNUM PI and SIMON AND SIMON and AIRWOLF.
I was a teen in the 80’s and had the pleasure of experiencing the films of Arnold, Sly, Bruce and Clint in their primes. We just don’t have actors like that anymore. It was a special period for cinema. Any fan of the 80’s just innately understands that. It was the time of John Hughes and SIXTEEN CANDLES. The time of Sean Connery and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. The time of John McTiernan.
I have never known a time when humans have not visited the moon. I have witnessed an incredible explosion of technology, for better or for worse. We have adapted or managed, and we will continue to find our way through these magnificent and sometimes troubling times.
I grew up in the time of the VIC-20, the Commodore 64, Apple and the Apple clones. I owned a ColecoVision. My cousins owned PONG. My neighbour across the street had an ATARI. I went to video game arcades that children today will never experience. In my hometown it was Gilley’s. We’d ride the bus to spend an afternoon with a roll of quarters and Galaga, Asteroids, Defender, Pac Man, and Donkey Kong.
I sometimes come across parents who don’t let their kids watch movies, TV, or play video games. They justify it by saying they should be playing outside, not “wasting” their time, and so on. They have a point — but balance in life is everything. Creativity is just as important as exercise and academics. Movies are just as important as books. Video games are the same as board games. Inspiration comes in many forms. Comics, books, movies, television … it doesn’t matter.
I started this post intending to just write “Forty-Seven,” and leave it at that. I’m feeling nostalgic today I guess. And happy.
— TSJ (The picture of TSJ-Kirk is from Halloween 2016. Wearing the uniform made me feel like a better man … for a few hours, anyway.)
(Originally Published October 2017 on TSJ’s Facebook Page)
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