Just a few connections and conclusions I drew watching a few things yesterday. Firstly, Catweazle on DVD. This was a childrens’ programme first aired in 1970, a meander down Nostalgia Street for me, back to my own childhood, though I must have seen it when it was repeated a few years later. I was struck by the innocence and the freedom. Apart from the young lad Carrot befriending a weird, old bloke which would probably be enough for it not to get made these days, Carrot just jumped into the back of an old open top car, no seatbelt and then suggests Sam the driver goes off for a pint while he waits before driving back! I am not condoning drink driving, it is just the naive, innocent freedom of it all.
Later I watched Man on Wire about the French guy who high wire walked between the twin towers in New York in 1973. To get in to organise and set up they posed as workmen, office workers and journalists, creating false documentation and ID cards…can you imagine that now? They would be whipped off somewhere for questioning and have the almost impossible task of convincing the authorities they were not planning an attack. The DA at the time just said that if he did what amounted to a bit of community work all charges would be dropped. He was more than happy to do so and that was that. It seemed a finer world back then. The saddest thing was seeing the opening ceremony for the towers with a speech along the lines of them being a symbol of harmony, to bring the world together. Poignant when one considers the tragic circumstances that brought them down.
Finally, I saw the last five minutes of a programme I don’t watch: Top Gear. It had Jeremy Clarkson driving an Aston Martin and mourning the fact that because of world economics and environmental concerns such cars would soon be a thing of the past. I do not agree with most of his attitudes, tearing up the environment in a gas guzzler is a pretty selfish way of living but I do agree with his sentiment, that a sense of adventure, of fun, a spirited approach to life does seem to be lacking in our over controlled, safety conscious and secure no risk low risk culture. Not a culture that breeds free spirits like the Man on Wire.