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Relive the good times

Despite the amazing technological advancements over the past few decades that have put the world in our pockets, there are still things we cannot achieve.

As much as we would like, we cannot go back in time. A time travel app would be the ultimate cell phone accessory, although, as sci-fi enthusiasts will know only too well, it should come with a warning to not disrupt the space-time continuum. by interfering in affairs that could mean your parents were never born.

The simple act of trying to understand these temporal paradoxes requires an advanced university degree. It’s the stuff of HG Wells, Dr Who, and Star Trek, and blockbusters like Back to the Future.

And yet, while we may not be able to physically materialize at the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi or the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch in 1974, there are many ways to get back, mentally, to the ‘good’. old times”.

We are surrounded by vestiges of the past. Besides things like photographs, newspaper clippings, diaries and letters and old clothes, it is enough to visit YouTube to be able to take us back to the past through clips of music or favorite TV shows or moments important to history.

It was joked that just flying from Sydney to New Zealand took you back 30 years. While this is a rather unpleasant rule of thumb, few would argue that, thanks to our geographic isolation, we have tended to lag behind the rest of the Western world in some matters of culture and culture. custom.

The Evening Star’s magnificent photographs of the Beatles’ concert in Dunedin 57 years ago, first published in Saturday’s Otago Daily Times, offered just such a portal through which to glimpse those bygone days.

It was June 26, 1964 when Beatlemania, which had been making a furious career around the world for nearly a year, burst into the city in the middle of winter.

City Hall that night echoed to the sound of thousands of hysterical, screaming fans drowning the Fab Four. Those who attended the concert and those who experienced the chaos surrounding the tour and the movements of The Beatles, believed that Dunedin had never seen anything like it before.

The very nature of black and white photos, frozen and capturing milliseconds for posterity, can only reveal a hint of the noise, chaos and energy of night.

The next day, the Evening Star said “chaos has broken out” at City Hall. “The four Liverpool guys did the impossible – turned Dunedin upside down.”

“Standard”? In other words, serious, dull, reserved, gloomy, or not very adventurous.

Sure, people could now look at Dunedin almost 60 years ago and pass that verdict. But it is interesting that a journalist then dared to use this word.

John Cleese’s comments about the clinking teacups of an unamused elderly audience at a morning performance in Dunedin from Cambridge Circus around the same time support this view of stillness.

Without a doubt, New Zealand was way behind half a century ago, and Dunedin behind the rest of the country. But is it such a bad thing to have a late bloomer?

New Zealand has certainly caught up with the rest of the world in many ways over the past decades.

It’s hard to believe that until the mid-1970s there was no color television, strict import rules on products like margarine and olive oil, and even in the 1980s , limits on the amount of local currency that can be taken abroad.

But there were advantages to looking first at how things turned out elsewhere. Take the Covid-19 for example.

We have seen where others have failed in their response and got some advice on the right way to deal with the virus.

Being on the cutting edge of technology isn’t always what you say you are.

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