Thursday, December 13, 2007

Child of the Cold War, Me

I laugh because I just realized that every time there is a bit of dead air on BBC Radio 3, the first thought is, "Oh, hey. I wonder if someone has nuked London."

That early childhood training will never never leave you.

BTW: anyone old enough to remember them,

you know those "Emergency Response Test" things they used to have on TV? You know, "This is a test. This is only a test. If there was a real emergency, you would be given instructions..."

Then that long beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

then, "This has been a test of the emergency response system..."

you may now return to your regularly scheduled Saturday morning cartoons.

Was I the only one to wonder, "If the emergency came when no one had the TV on, is there some master switch somewhere that would turn them all on so we would know something was happening? How would we know what to do if we didn't happen to have the TV on at the moment the Emergency Response System came on."

It was not until years later that I realized the whole thing was a scam. The "emergency" was nuclear war, and with or without your TV telling you to put a paper bag over your head, there wasn't going to be a lot of point anyway.

I'd be interested to see a study done on people who were raised with the 15 Minute Spectre. You know the one where we were all told that any given 15 minute period could easily be our last. I have often wondered if it resulted in the "slacker" phenomenon where people my age, raised by hippies, simply made no plans for their lives because we all thought there wasn't any point.

I've probably written about this before.