November 16, 2021
That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.
One of the things my fellow seniors and me appreciate is our memories. The difficulty sometimes is that we do not realize that those younger than we are often don’t know what we are talking about since they don’t share the same memories. Years ago Marc Chernoff wrote the following piece that is a reminder that we all do not share the same memories.
There are several things this year’s incoming college freshmen don’t remember that most mid to late twenty-something’s will never forget. It’s a clear sign of the inevitable change in the times. I was recently reminded of this when I spoke with an 18 year old college freshman at my cousin’s wedding last week. We were joking around about the old-school selection of music the D.J. was playing. I made a sarcastic comment about the D.J. stealing my old 80’s – 90’s radio recorded mix-tape collection in order to construct his wedding reception dance mix. The girl looked at me with a puzzled face. “You recorded all your music off of the radio?” she asked. “Oh man!” I thought. “I’m getting old!”
In reality, most 2007 college freshmen were born in 1989 and probably barely remember any the following… it’s scary:
- The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster
- Ronald Reagan
- The Cold War and the Berlin Wall
- Hardback (Funk & Wagnalls) encyclopedia sets
- Getting tangled up in a long kitchen phone cord
- Setting the record timer on your VCR
- When Michael Jackson and the moonwalk were cool
- Recording music off the radio
- Desert Storm
- A floppy disk
- Windows 95
- The Nintendo Entertainment System (and Duck Hunt)
- The Oklahoma City Bombing
- The O.J. Simpson Trial
- Life before the World Wide Web
I’ve learned that good-byes will always hurt, pictures will never replace having been there, and words can never substitute action.
Steven Spielberg was filming his latest movie in the heart of the Amazon rain forest. The costs involved in transporting tons of movie making equipment into the heart of the jungle were enormous. He literally had a cast of thousands to feed and clothe. It was his most expensive production yet and he sank his entire personal fortune into the project.
The biggest expense was building a faithful replica of an Ancient city in the middle of the jungle. No expense was spared to make the city authentic.
The climax of the movie was to be the complete destruction of the city in a dramatic fire. As Spielberg planned to actually burn the city to the ground there was only one chance to film it.
He set up four cameras:
“Ok, camera one, I want you up in the helicopter to get an over head shot of the whole scene.”
“Camera two, I’d like you at the edge of the clearing for a medium range shot.
“Camera three, we’ve built a special fireproof hut in the center of the city. You can poke the camera through a hole in the side and get a close up view from the heart of the fire”
“Camera four, I need you at the top of that hill over there to get a long range shot”
Once the cameras and actors were all in place, Spielberg himself lit the match to start the fire.
It was an amazing sight, the fire raged and roared for over an hour as the entire multi-million dollar set was completely destroyed and reduced to a smoking pile of ash.
Spielberg radioed the helicopter, “Camera one, how did it go?”
“Sorry boss but the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see a thing. Then the smoke got into the engine of the chopper and we were forced to land. I didn’t get anything.”
“Damn!” thought Spielberg, “well I guess I can just use the footage from the other three cameras.”
“Camera two, how did it go?”
“Sorry boss but the down draft from the chopper blades fanned the flames and started the bush all around us on fire. We had to run for safety and the camera was burned to a crisp.”
“Crap!, I guess I’ll have to make do with two cameras”
“Camera three, please tell me you got the shot”
“Sorry boss, the fireproof hut worked fine, but the lens of the camera couldn’t take the heat and it melted. I got nothing”
“I can’t believe this!” cried Spielberg. “Thank god I sent that last camera up on the hill. The smoke didn’t blow that way, there was no brush fire or heat to worry about.”
He walks towards the hill, cups his hands to his mouth and yells…”CAMERA FOUR!!”
And the cameraman yells back…”READY WHEN YOU ARE!”
“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
Henry David Thoreau
The cruise director of a cruise ship was demonstrating to a group of young passengers how the ship manages to stay level at sea.
“Do you know what level means?” he asked the group of six to eight year-olds.
One boy replied immediately. “A level is something you need to pass to get to a harder screen in a video game.”
The only perfect science is hind-sight.
This guy goes to the doctor for an annual check up. The doctor comes out and says, “Do you want the bad news or the really bad news?”
The man says, “Give me the really bad news.”
“Well,” says the doctor, “you’ve got cancer.”
“Damn,” replies the man. “What’s the bad news?”
“You also have Alzheimer’s disease,” says the doctor.
“Whew,” says the man, “good thing it’s not cancer.”
I was always getting punished as a kid. Even at birth my mother put me on restriction.
She blamed me for breaking her water!
The police recently busted a man selling tablets he said gave eternal youth.
When going through their files they noticed it was the fourth time he was caught for doing this. He had earlier been arrested in 1794, 1856 and 1928.
The poor country pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought.
“How could you do this!” he exclaimed.
“I don’t know,” she wailed,
“I was standing in the store looking at the dress on sale.
Then I found myself trying it on.
It was like the Devil was whispering to me, ‘Gee, you look great in that dress. You should buy it.'”
“Well,” the pastor persisted, “You know how to deal with him!
Just tell him, “Get behind me, Satan!”
“I did,” replied his wife, “but then he said “It looks great from back here, too.”
Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.
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