Friday, 25 March 2011

This is so 21st century...

When I was a little girl a long long time ago...  Hey! You, at the back! I heard that.

Let me start again, when I was a little girl... Whenever a famous person would die, I would experience a delayed sense of loss. Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Grace Kelly: I didn't know who they were! I only got to know them after the fact through the retrospective programmes on television (and yes in the early days it was in black and white and we only had three channels).

When I got a little older I started compiling a mental list of all the famous people I was going to meet one day. (Please note that I said "looked forward" and not "wished" or "hoped" or "fantasised about".) Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Joseph Cotten, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Paul Newman, Peter Ustinov, David Niven, Alfred Hitchcock, Sydney Pollack, Orson Welles... I really thought that the day would come when we would meet. (Obviously not all together at once. Cos that would be, like, so weird.) Whenever someone on my list would die, I would feel an immediate sense of loss, not least because I knew then that our paths would never cross. And yet it had all seemed so real!

Every year, my list gets a little shorter. Please Mr. Eastwood, if you're reading this (hey, if he and I are going to meet up at some point, then him reading my blog is not that much of a stretch.) Anyway, Clint (may I call you Clint?), I really want to act in your next film, whatever it is. I don't care what I play, I'll play a horse. For free.

What does any of this have to do with the price of fish? Not much, other than my list keeps getting shorter (only this week with the passing of Elizabeth Taylor) and that makes me acutely aware of the passage of time, or rather of the growing hinge between our two centuries. Like the proverbial fence, it doesn't do any good to perch on it for too long. A decade is long enough.
It's now 2011 and it sure is starting to feel like - well - like it's not the 20th century anymore. Doesn't it feel like someone's come along more or less overnight and rearranged the neighborhood? At first glance it's the same, but the trees have grown, the road's been resurfaced, couple of the old buildings torn down... To my five year old niece, it all looks perfectly fine and normal, and because I'm determined to stay young in mind (and body), I'm going to say that I'm pretty cool with it too (even though, sometimes, I miss things.)

So what's the 21st century about then, so far? Here's my top ten list:

1. Shuttle Atlantis will never launch again
2. East is the new West
3. Life is digital
4. Some contemporary terms are already obsolete: LP, CD, VHS, U-matic, Top of the Pops, Magnum PI
5. GM food is the new organic
6. Rockstars are old
7. French people speak English (sometimes - horror of horrors - amongst themselves!)
8. It's hard and getting harder to tell the baddies from the good guys
9. Hedgehogs ans sparrows are on the endangered species list
10. Have you noticed how no one really wears watches anymore?

And, getting slightly ahead of myself, here's my top 10 of what the 22nd century may bring:

1. Cancer iradicated
2. Reversal of the ageing process
3. No more pollution
4. Food for everyone
5. Water for everyone
6. Permanent world peace
7. Concrete/asphalt replaced with water and greenery
8. goodbye metric! 8 (or vertical infinity) is the new 10...


MuMuGB said...

Time flies. That said, the older I am, the happier I feel. Something to do with being at peace, I suppose...that's my wish for the 22nd century: being happier...
Et parler Francais entre francaises!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Echoing your wishes for the 22nd century and adding that I hope for the day when people are truly "colorblind" and when diversity is the norm. Have a great weekend! :)

Elizabeth Young said...

Top of the Pops is gone????!!!!

Kenya D. Williamson said...

What the heck's a U-matic? :) I went to a screening of Hereafter and sat about 20 feet from Clint Eastwood. If I'd known you then, I would've told him to hire you. ;)

isabelle gregson said...

@Kenya and everyone else who wondered about it: a U-matic is/was a tape format (think an oversized grey VHS tape) that was used extensively in the advertising industry. It's been superceded by the digital download...

Claire Vorster said...

What a fabulous post. I never thought about time like that until I read this Isabelle.

Love your new 140 character story blog too

Good one you creative wonder xx