For Once, I Kinda Disagree with Lileks!

Bless her heart – and I say that in the genuine Northerner sense, not the passive-aggressive barbed Southern sense – but how can you think A) there was broadcast TV in the TWENTIES, and that it looked like something from the SIXTIES?

Source: LILEKS (James) :: The Bleat 2016

I’m going to guess she’s 25, since it’s an OK midlin’ number for someone who wasn’t noted as looking very young.

So born in ’91.

Figure her mother was 25, since the average age at first birth in 2000 was 24.9 and they mention it went up, but I don’t know how many siblings she had.

So her mom would be born in ’66.  The Andy Griffith show would be a “something grandma watched” type show.  She probably thinks of MASH if she’s asked to think of something that a 60s show– I had to go check. (’72; it’s just like some of that music from the 90s that you’d swear is from the 80s, stylistic.)

Now, we’ll assume she does have a sort of vague understanding of history– this is a good thing, by the way.  A sense of “stuff happened during this decade” rather than “before me.”

Here’s a possible layout, assuming she’s had a little exposure but isn’t a fan of anything involved:

So: 70s would be “when mom was a kid.”

60s would be “hippies and Vietnam.”

50s would be “Grandma was a kid,” but would also be expecting Andy Griffith type plots/stories.

40s, WWII.

30s, the depression or something?  It was before WWII.

And so you’re left with the 20s for “heck if I know, it’s really old but it’s not, like, a Disney princess thing.”

She might even know that Star Trek and Batman are 60s shows, but not know enough to trip on the technology based advancements besides color.


6 thoughts on “For Once, I Kinda Disagree with Lileks!”

  1. Actually, there was broadcast TV in the 1920’s, in the UK and the US. Okay, it was still quite experimental… but so was the Internet — experimental and small-scale in its first decade or two. Mostly, though, broadcast TV was a product of the 1930’s in big cities only, and on a small scale.

    The world’s first TV station was started in 1928, and actually, “it came from Schenectady.”

    The first experimental color TV broadcast wasn’t until 1938, though, and it was in the UK.

    Television broadcasts in the UK were halted on September 1, 1939, as a wartime austerity action. By that time, there were already 23,000 televisions in use there.

      1. Nope, there were plays and even TV movies, but nothing like the Outer Limits. (Although the abridged live play of Murder at the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot must have been pretty darned surreal.)

  2. Something I didn’t know — The sf/fantasy/horror author Algernon Blackwood appeared on the first programme ever broadcast by the official BBC Television Service (as opposed to all the television broadcasting done before then, which was seen as being under the Radio folks). That was on November 2, 1936.

  3. Oh, holy crud. This UK television site has a story about how during the war, the big BBC TV transmitter was used to jam or override radio beams used for navigation by German bombers. On one of the few occasions when this jamming failed, the big Coventry bombing raid happened.

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