Monday, January 16, 2006

A Lifetime Ago

Life on Mars is shaping up to be very, very good. Nineteen-seventy-three is a lifetime ago [I was born in November '72; Jo in June '73]. Even allowing for artistic licence, period drama gives a fascinating insight into the past; and the Seventies are a particular past that resonates with me, because it is my collective, cultural childhood [even though I didn't actually live in Britain until the late Seventies]. The clothes are great - I wore those over-sized collars in primary school; and I like brown and blue - as are the cars. Each episode is full of the absence of things we take for granted today - much pertaining to police procedure and resources; but also things like ambulance crews being paramedics, not just drivers, these days; mobile phones; and the ever-evolving English language...

Collective memory interests me. It isn't really about claiming to remember something that you didn't experience firsthand and at the time; more about being able to experience something second-hand and after-the-event. Not denial; but identifying. Collective memory is a key component in creating culture, because culture is shared. I wonder what collective memories will shape the future of the Church in England?

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