“Good evening. I’m Dougal Stevenson and this is TV1 news.”
As a kid growing up in 1980’s New Zealand, there were only two channels available on the box, TV1 and TV2 (highly original names, I know). There was no argument between my brother and I over which channel was the best, it was TV2 all the way. Mum and Dad, naturally, were keen TV1 viewers – it had the nightly news and current affairs along with other programmes we felt were ‘boring’ and too serious. TV2 on the other hand was home to the imports – all the American shows (our favourites were Dukes of Hazzard, The Six Million Dollar Man and CHiPs) as well as local must-watch Kiwi music show, Ready to Roll. Compared to all that glitz and glam, the news didn’t really rate as important with us as teens.
We felt very hard done by when the grown ups had control of the telly. There was only one television set in our house (I told my kids this and they thought we were SO deprived) and every night come 6 o’clock, Mum and Dad would switch it to TV1 for the news. We were gutted. Bo & Luke Duke were up to their necks in an awesome adventure with the General Lee on TV2 and we were missing it! Life was so UNFAIR! Wah!
|Such good ol’ boys…|
Fast forward three decades and how things have changed. Now it’s me who’s the grown up watching the news. And my boys? Are very bloody lucky, is what they are. They’re in the other room either playing on a variety of Apple devices at their disposal or watching one of over a dozen cloned-TV2-style channels on another TV set. What a blessed life they lead.
But news has been fairly intense viewing this week. The horrors of the Boston Marathon bombing, the fertiliser plant explosion in Waco, Texas, earthquakes in Iran. I’m conscious of trying to shelter the boys from the more graphic aspects of news as best I can but my attempts are flawed at best. One thing my parents didn’t have to worry about was uncensored social media!
Thankfully though, you cannot have ‘darkness’ without a determined little light. YES! It’s the light that COULD, people. And a certain light in particular is shining brightly through all the crap and just so happens to come from the land of my birth. I could not be more proud of my New Zealand heritage than I am right now.
Yesterday the New Zealand government legalised gay marriage, making them the first nation in the Asia-Pacific to do so (and the thirteenth nation worldwide). Good on them. The Kiwis are leading the way again. While I am not holding my breath, I sincerely hope the Australian Labour Party take note. Come on, Julia! NOW IS THE TIME. You have the power. JUST DO IT.
What shows did you watch as a kid? Who else is a news junkie? How do you get it? Internet, newspaper, TV or radio? How do you feel about NZ’s decision on marriage equality?