The Story of 1989 and Other Things

This is one of my favourite times of the year., when the BBC archive gets mined and either Mel or Sue narrates The Story of:, or “we’re about to show a lot of Top Of The Pops from this year, so we should probably put it into some context whilst we’re cutting out all the Mike Smith bits — _wait, is that Gary Glitter?_” Anyway, we’ve reached 1989. Soul II Soul, Happy Mondays, S’Express…and The Bunny That We Will Not Speak About. Oh, and The Reynolds Girls fleetingly glimpsed in the Fall of SAW montage, which is normally a cue for me to launch into a stirring defence of I’d Rather Jack. But it has been a long week and I’m alone on the couch shivering with a mild fever, so it’s more of a wistful watch as people talk about how 1989 seemed to be heralding a promise of a better world.

The President interrupts, threatening to bomb cultural sites and other war crimes.

And this is why I’m watching the first episode of Time Team. Escape to the past. Hence all the contemporary documentaries reporting on the Three Day Week and Militant, plus all the new (old) books lying about the house. There’s no way out, and no future except for what we can excavate from the past. A nice bit of flint and a regeneration programme for the masses. Against the classes.

But there’s also time for simple nostalgia:

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I seem to remember that there was a spearmint version. And that it was disgusting. But my mind might be playing tricks on me there…