Monday, March 31, 2008

"Oh Yeah... That's How it Was..."

Being with someone over a period of years, you know they (and yourself) are changing, but it doesn't seem like so much - until you take a look at a picture taken fifteen years ago, and suddenly the contrast is quite stark. The first reaction is a kind of shock, and then as you stare at the photo, the previous time drifts back into present day consciousness and the huge change between then and now is inescapable, not to mention the way the forgotten ambiance of the old "present" time comes back to haunt you.

And so it is with the many videos I'm watching that I took from 1990-92. In the flow of time from 1990 to 2008, many momentous things have happened, but on a day-to-day basis, it was just time flowing forward, and major change is something I abstractly imagined for the future, but never perceived in the way a time machine blast to the future would have put the changes in stark contrast to what was (or "is" if it's the "future").

Not by way of illustration, but just because it happened to come up today - here's a video clip of a railway employee punching tickets by hand.

"Hand-Punched Ticket Gates in 1990 Tokyo at Shinjuku Station"

I don't how soon (or late) other countries automated their ticket gates, but with the trains in Tokyo, automatic ticket gates started appearing at one station after another in 1991, and the only line I can think of off-hand that still does it by hand is the Chichibu Line in Saitama, although I'm sure there must be branch lines here and there away from the major city centers that still get by without modern machinery for taking and issuing tickets.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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