Thursday 28 August 2008

Where Were You When ...

At the moment I'm caught between writing some PhD and mulling over the next post on History and Class Consciousness (previous here and here). Then Jim had to go and tempt me with the latest meme doing the rounds. After flapjacks, memes are probably the closest thing I have to a vice, so "where were you when ..."

Princess Diana Died - 31st August, 1997

Sleeping. I remember waking up at about quarter to nine and hearing the TV on downstairs, which was a rarity at my parents on a Sunday morning. I knew something was up. I went downstairs, watched the TV a bit and then went and did something more interesting, so overwhelmed with indifference was I. But as the days went by I got angrier and angrier as the media and government contrived to shut as much of Britain down to enforce North Korean-style mourning for our departed Queen of Hearts.

Margaret Thatcher's Resignation - 22nd November, 1990

I debated for days in the lead up to it with my Kinnockite sparring partner (hello Kirsty if you're reading!) about whether there should be an election or not. In those days I was a Tory you see, and quite fancied Heseltine over Thatcher. Anyway, the news came to us in my third year woodwork (sorry, Craft, Design and Technology) class. Mr. Needham produced a radio from somewhere so we could hear the historic occasion as we were sawing and hammering our planks of wood.

Attack on the Twin Towers - 11th September, 2001

I was walking home from my shift at a well-known supermarket in Newcastle-U-Lyme, when one of the regular visitors to my till pulled up and offered me a lift. She had the radio on and said there'd been some hijackings. I rang home and told Cat to put the TV on - something was afoot. I managed to get in just after the second plane hit, and spent the rest of the day glued simultaneously to News 24 and the internet. I remember you couldn't get on the BBC or Ananova (remember that?), but comrades near to computers managed to get a running commentary going on the UKLN. I think it's hard to convey the stunning effect it had.

England's World Cup Semi-Final - 4th July, 1990

I was at home with my family for this. We were never big footy fans, but we did always watch the World Cup. I can remember feeling a touch disappointed and not wanting to hear World in Motion again :(

President Kennedy's Assassination - 22nd November, 1963

Conspiring with the lizards.

I can't be bothered to tag anyone, but feel free to fill the comments with your memories of these watershed moments.


Citizen Steve said...

Hi Phil,

Have had a go at this one myself. Thought it'd be a useful way to get back into the blogging habit. Also found it fun.

Phil said...

Good stuff, Steve. I hope you stay with blogging too, the more SP/CWI bloggers, the better IMO :)

I've popped you back on the old blogroll.

AndyB said...

"In those days I was a Tory you see"


Phil said...

Tis true Andrew - a section of the working class is Tory, and that was my background. I'm sure you can find it in your heart to forgive my youthful transgressions - I was but 13 when Thatcher resigned, and had left my Tory Boy days behind me by the time I was in my final year at school.

Anglonoel said...

Sun Aug 31st 1997: I remember waking up just before 10am that morning to listen to the news on Radio 5. I remember a silence then sombre music. My first split-second reaction was that Portillo et al had organised a coup d'etat and had started rounding up people who had stayed up until the early hours of May 2nd to laugh at the destruction of most of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. Then I thought the Queen Mum had popped her clogs, before the news from Paris was announced.

thinkingdifference said...

I remember September 11 - I was in Turkey for a holiday. We were just coming back from visiting the ruins at Ephesus, when the bus stopped in front of a coffee shop and I saw the images on a TV hanged somewhere outside. I didn't think too much about it, could be a movie... But back in the hotel room I saw the news. There was mass-hysteria on CNN and all other news channels. And all of a sudden the hysteria fell upon me and I felt overwhelmed, so I started yelling for my partner to join and we glued ourselves to the TV set for a while. I remember the feeling of panic.

Anonymous said...

September 11: Some loons hijack some planes and fly them into some office premises.

Media Reaction: "The End of the World"

Phil said...

I'm blame the shape-shifting reptilians from dimension X myself.

Anonymous said...

Well Phil, at least you recall the England's world cup thingy against Germany.

All I remember from the summer of 90 was the start of the Gulf War and also a start of a "beautiful relationship" with a SWPer (and before you ask, nah, it didn't last... state capitalism v degenerated workers state kept getting in the way..!!)

But I do recall, World in Motion by New Order ("We're playing for En-ger-land"!)

Phil said...

Lol, I've often wondered how relationships between comrades from rival tendencies work. Did your partner try recruiting you all the time? And are they still involved?

Stephanie said...

I was baby-sitting in a neighbours house and the TV people interrupted Crapston Villas to say Princess Di had been in an accident. By the time I’d got home she’d died. I remember waking my mother and telling her, to which she responded, “Oh shit there’ll be nothing but that on telly for the next week.”

She was wrong of course - there was nothing but that on for months after.

Anonymous said...

Phil: Yeah, he did try and recruit me but gave up when I kept saying that it was a better way, tactically, of building socialism in the mass organisation of the working class as opposed to the revo party. Yada, Yada!

But he never really gave up as I once said, "Oh, you have the Cliff bk on the LP"... and he would say, "Do you want to join"? And my reply would be: "Look, I read the bk doesn't mean I want the t-shirt, the paper and the membership card"....Good grief.

And it happened to me everytime I had a thing/relationship with someone from another grouping (maybe it's me...!!!!) with the, "my group is better than yours" to "If you join, we could have a relationship" (my response: "Oooooo, lucky me...But NO thanks"..)

I wasn't interested in recruiting anyone really (I was, to be honest, crap at it along with paper selling)and was more interested in them as a personal as opposed to their position on the (former)Soviet Union (yeah, right!!).

Regards to the ex-from 1990. He is still (I think) in the SWP (I did say at the time he had no political staying power...I was wrong!!).

Sorry about the length of the reply, Phil.