viernes, 26 de febrero de 2010

Que paso cuando yo nací?

In 1973, the world was a different place.
There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo. Or, for that matter.

In 1973, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was The Exorcist. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.
Remember, that was before there were DVDs. People were indeed looking at movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.
Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to The Sting. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Day for Night. The top actor was Jack Lemmon for his role as Harry Stoner in Save the Tiger. The top actress was Glenda Jackson for her role as Vicki Allessio in A Touch of Class. The best director? George Roy Hill for The Sting.
In the year 1973, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time wasJonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Oh, that's many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it? Look at the cover!

In 1973... Ohio becomes the first U.S. state to post distance in metric on signs. Following President Richard Nixon's visit to mainland China, the United States and the People's Republic of China agree to establish liaison offices. The United States Dollar is devalued by 10%. The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Tottenham Hotspur wins the Football League Cup final at Wembley, beating Norwich City 1-0. In a letter to Judge John Sirica, Watergate burglar James W. McCord Jr. admits that he and other defendants have been pressured to remain silent about the case. He names former Attorney General John Mitchell as 'overall boss' of the operation. The first handheld cellular phone call is made by Martin Cooper in New York City. Pioneer 11 is launched on a mission to study the solar system. Fahri Korutürk becomes the sixth president of Turkey. The LexisNexis computerized legal research service begins. Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, one of rock's landmark albums, is released. Six Irishmen, including Joe Cahill, are arrested by the Irish Naval Service off County Waterford, on board a coaster carrying 5 tons of weapons destined for the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The Greek military junta abolishes the monarchy and proclaims a republic. A patent for the ATM is granted to Donald Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain.
That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.
The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Patrick White. The Nobel Peace prize went to Henry A. Kissinger and Lê Ðu'c Tho. The Nobel prize for physics went to Leo Esaki and Ivar Giaever from Japan and the United States for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively. The sensation this created was big. But it didn't stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn't it?
The 1970s were indeed a special decade. Women's liberation continued. The hippie culture faded. There was an opposition to the Vietnam war, and nuclear weapons. The environmentalist movement began. Tom Wolfe coined the decade the "Me decade" due to a new self-awareness. Mao Zedong died and the market began to liberate in China. There was an oil crisis. After the first oil shock, gasoline was rationed in many countries. In Eastern Europe, Soviet-style command economies begin showing signs of stagnation. The Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, witness the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian Arab terrorists. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The Who, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Bee Gees, Abba and others play their music. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison all die at the age of 27. The space mission Apollo 13 nearly ends in disaster. Egypt signed the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. There was a revolution in Iran. The world sees its first general microprocessor. The C programming language makes its debut. Consumer video games show up on the scene. Microwave ovens become commercially available. Margaret Thatcher was victorious in the UK elections.
Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15?Twins. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was One More Try by George Michael. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?
In 1973, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song Bad, Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

Well the South side of Chicago

Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown

There's a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn't care about time. It doesn't know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.
When you were 9, the movie The Last Unicorn was playing. When you were 8, there was The Great Muppet Caper. When you were 7, there was a Disney movie out called The Fox and the Hound. Does this ring a bell?

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... it's 1973. There's TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV isSearch for Tomorrow. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There's The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on now. That's the world you were born in.
Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards to? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1973. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? Hybrid Rice. The Ethernet. The Personal Computer.

Denny was workin' it real hard

Down Sunset Boulevard
Back in 1973
Why would he bother going home?
His parents left him on his own
Who knows, maybe they were out gettin' stoned

That's from the song Glitter Years by The Bangles.

In 1973, a new character entered the world of comic books: Thanos. Bang! Boom! But that's just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1973,Adrien Brody was born. And Monica LewinskyLarry Page, too. And you, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life. 

It's 2010.

The world is a different place.
What path have you taken?

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