Here's my take on the "Back in my day" arguement

Someone sent this to me and left me howling

"When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning uphill both ways through year 'round blizzards carrying their younger siblings on their backs to their one - room schoolhouse where they maintained a straight-A average despite their full-time after-school job at the local textile mill where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death!

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up there was NO way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it! But… Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of twenty-nine, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so damn easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a fuckin’ Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you don’t know how good you’ve got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn’t have “The Internet” --we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves! And there was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter with a pen!-- and then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the fuckin’ mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

And there were no MP3’s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to go to the record store and shoplift it yourself! Or we had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and fuck it all up!

You want to hear about hardship? You couldn’t just download porn! You had to bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of “Hustler” at the 7-11! It was either that or jackoff to the lingerie section of the JC Penney catalog! Those were your options!

We didn’t have fancy shit like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal! And we didn’t have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was it could be your boss, your mom, a collections agent, your drug dealer, you didn’t know!!! You just had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

And we didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation videogames with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like “Space Invaders” and “Asteroids” and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square! You had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens! No saved games! It was just one screen forever! And you could never win, the game just kept getting harder and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! A tall guy sat in front of you, you were fucked!

And sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 20 channels and there was no onscreen menu! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! And there was no Cartoon Network! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning… …D’ya hear what the fuck I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK, you spoiled little bastards!

That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You’re spoiled, I swear to God! You guys wouldn’t last five minutes back in 1983!"
Exactly how they pegged me down in the eighties remains to be seen

:smiley: :smiley:

1983? 1983???

Back in my day, bucko, there was a breed of person called the “Encyclopedia Salesman.” He went door to door offering this wonderful set of books that held (to my young mind) ALL the knowledge in the world!

You wanted to tape a song off the radio, you had to THREAD a tape recorder with open reel-to reel tape, then put a microphone up to the speaker!

A copy of Hustler? Heck, legal porn in my day couldn’t even show pubic hair!

Phones? You had to actually DIAL a phone, not push the little buttons! Yes, you had to put your finger into a dial hole, pull the dial around to the stop, and let it go! And long distance calls still had to be made by an Operator!

Atari 2600? I had to write a program to play “football” in BASIC on a teletype machine hooked up via a 300 baud acoustic modem to a downtown computer! And the game was TEXT only!

Movie theaters? Heck, I WAS the tall guy!

And to watch TV your Dad would put up an antenna on the roof and spend hours turning it around to get the best reception from 7 VHF channels. And your TV was black and white and to change the channel you actually had to get up off your ass and turn a knob - then fine tune the channel in. Same with the volume control!

1983? You kids had it so EASY!

OK, who’s older than me?


7 CHANNELS!!! In my day we had three channels, and they all sucked.

And the radio in the car, which was an extra - thank you very much - was AM!!! If you drove ten miles you had to find another channel.

A great retort- But lest you eighties kids thought that was bad,and you probably heard it before but- games?-we had to invent the goddam things.I’m not talkin’electronics crap- electricity was for stuff like lighting and vacuuming.We had to go kick a can,mumble a peg or something to get our recreation.

Cartoons on tv? We didn’t even have tv.Saturday matinees at the local sardinecan packed with screaming kids,and floors slippery from spilled sodas and sticky dissolved candy.That was our cartoon watching menu.Plus we had to sit thru those dreary previews of coming attractions for the adult releases to be played that week on the night’s theatre bill.

How’d you like to be forced into watching clips from some John Loder/Vera freakin’Hruba Ralston flick while anticipating the Merrie Melodies’ jingle.All the while having to dodge spitballs and thrown foodbits at the screen if you were unlucky enough to have to sit in the upfront seats,because you got to the theatre a couple minutes later and you were like 100th in line?

And the owners,sadistic types they were,left you either shivering or sweltering outside
because the doors would open ** precisely ** at 11 AM,not one minute before.

And after finally getting in,your place in line guaranteed you cold popcorn or soldout Jujubees,so you settle for a tootsie roll.

And **finally ** after suffering thru another Leon Errol short and the aforemenioned previews,just as the M M jingle starts,your little brother,who you’re forced to take along, wails: “I gotta pee”,and you’re torn between watching the little brat’s back in the john (who knew what lurked in there?) because of some misguided sense of responsibility and Elmer Fudd going after Bugs with a shotgun.

I gotta tell you some times that decision was tough.

Don’t even think about your generations’ hard times,we had it much tougher :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Humph! Back in my day, sattellie dishes were roughly the size of a swimming pool, and had to rotate to change channels.

Back in my day, cell phones could not be hidden in the palm of your hand, and were so rare that talking on one in a movie theater would have been shocking.

Back in my day, there were no DVD players in mini-vans. Hell, there were no DVD players, for that matter. We had large, clunky plastic tapes that sometimes tangled in the machine.

Back in my day, there was only one type of bottled water: Evian. And you got laughed at if you drank it, by Gawd, you pretentious yuppie. Paying for WATER! Sheesh! We nodded knowingly when Jenean Garaffolo stated that Evian spelled backward was “naive.”

Back in my day, computer disks were roughly the size of a paperback book. We didn’t have CD-Rom. 3.5" diskettes seemed sleek and cool.

Back in my day, you had to buy a printer, AND a fax machine, AND a scanner, not one of these three-in-one contraptions.

Oh, yeah, and politicians were honest, children well-behaved and polite, you didn’t have to lock your doors, and the American Family was still sanctified. Ah, the good ole days . . .

Does it help that I still had to make phone calls this way until just a few years ago?

I used to know Integer BASIC and Apple BASIC! You had to so you could use my computer!

And I had an Atari 2600! A joystick with ONE FREAKING BUTTON! And games like Pac-Man that sucked ass!

We had a satellite dish big enough to get SETI signals on, too.

When was this, you ask? 1995. :smiley:

(I’m from Western Kentucky. We’re a few years behind, folks.)


It seems I was a little hasty in my reply,so I’ll fess up.We did have one tv show-but it was looking at your footbones in a machine at the shoe store.I guess we did have some advantages.We would try to scrunch our toes up to make silhouette type pictures,sometimes, after the Saturday matinees.If we could have somehow put pebbles in our socks we might have invented pong,or ping,or whatever that name was of the 70s spoiled rotten generation kids game played on the tv screen :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Back in my day, you didn’t just burn CDs left and right. It took a good 15 minutes or so! DVDs didn’t have all these special bells and whistles and easter eggs, either. They had two sides, one for widescreen, and one for fullscreen. And we watched them on CRT monitors, you spoiled brats!

There was a time there were only 150 Pokémon, and we liked it that way! We had to make do with regular old PlayStation; none of this PlayStation 2 business.

I still have the first cell phone I ever bought, and it’s only got four lines of LCD text for text messaging! And the display is black and white! No games, either.

We used to think that the special effects in The Matrix were pretty cool. That was before you saw them in every action movie ever made. And we couldn’t purchase our tickets online, either. We had to print out the showtimes and then get the tickets at the theater. There used to be something called a box office!

You kids wouldn’t last five minutes in 1999.

Telephones with rotary dials? Hmmph! We had to hold a receiver to an ear, put our mouths close to the mouthpiece, turn the crank and wait for “central” to answer. Then we had to tell her to whom we wished to speak and wait while she plugged the phone card into the right hole in her switchboard. We had to be very careful about what we said because everyone was on a “party line” and “listening in” was a valid form of entertainment.

For TV, which we didn’t have until I was eleven, we had a big choice: Milton Berle or professional wrestling.

Video games? FM radio? Stereophonic sound? Air conditioning in an automobile? Automatic transmissions? Central air conditioning in a house? More than one bathroom in a house? (Some of my friends didn’t have that many)

Any of you guys ever chopped cotton? Picked cotton? Pulled cotton? (bonus points if you know the difference)

Kids today wouldn’t have lasted a day back in the 40s and 50s.

Back in my day, Nintendo 64 was the hippest thing out there! None of that ergonomically-designed controllers crap for you; we got fucking arthritis from the damn things, and we liked it!

You kids have your Crane 3 Supercomputers in every classroom. When I was a young one, we had only apple things with a green monitor and text in our classroom. Eventually, we moved on to Macintoshes! And we liked it!

Back in my day, the internet was just porn! Nothing else! And no variety, either! None of your vomitphilia you kids these days have, it was all basic hardcore! Hell, not only that, but we had to invent the concept. And we liked it!

Back then, people didn’t engage in sexual activities or recieve/perform sex on one another, we had fucking sex! That’s what it was called! And we were scared to fucking death of the thing too! It scared the holy hell out of us kids! And we liked it!

Feh! Back in my day we had pinball. No video games until I was a teenager. Four TV channels only because we had a local station. It had the Marshall K-GUN show (later the Uncle Bob show with the same host) for kids in the afternoon and local rasslin’ matches before the taint of big money.

This story is told with great hilarity in the Weird Al original “When I Was Your Age”. The whole song is great, but here’s a sample of the lyrics: