The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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8:41pm on Monday, 12th December, 2011:
I found this the other day:
It's my Film Society card from when I was a postgraduate in 1983. As Essex University is a campus university, there wasn't a lot to do in the evenings back then.You could go to the Top Bar and play pinball, bar football or maybe one of those new-fangled arcade games — Missile Command and Battlezone. I guess you could drink, too, but that was no good for me as I didn't/don't drink alcohol. Watching TV alone in your room was an option if you were antisocial and had a decent TV set (mine was a black and white portable); watching on a normal-size screen with a group was possible if you went to the TV room and it was showing something you wanted to watch (and its colour guns weren't misaligned) (and there weren't couples making out on the floor in front of it). Small wonder I spent a lot of time writing programs for fun on the university's barn-sized mainframe.
The exception was Friday nights, when everyone on campus would descend upon LTB 6 to watch the movie. It would begin with a short from the 1930s/1940s such as Flash Gordon or Captain Marvel (Shazam!). Then we'd get the main feature. These were all fairly new releases — so new, in fact, that in one memorable case we got a movie that was still on general release in cinemas: Superman. The traditional Computer Society movie-watching meal was a Mars Bar and a can of Cariba (which isn't made any more but was a bit like Lilt). There were two screenings on Friday evenings; we'd all go to the earlier one so that afterwards we could head back to the Computing Department for some more hacking before it closed.
The FilmSoc cards were punched when you went to see a movie, so you couldn't go to the first showing then give your ticket to your identical twin for the second showing. Occasionally, they'd punch the wrong square and then you'd have to explain next week why you'd already seen the movie they were about to show for the first time. Friday evenings were the populist films, which is why I went to more of those than the others. Sundays were more cerebral (often documentaries) and Wednesdays were foreign language (although I seem to recall that the only film FilmSoc ever showed more than two years in a row — Célineet Julie Vont en Bateau — was on a Friday). There were also some special seasons of films shown on other days; I note from the scan of my card that I didn't go to the women's film season (not because I didn't want to watch any of the grim, patronising pieces of propaganda they put on of course; more that I didn't want to be accused of oppressing the women in the audience by being male). Looks like the season they had on over Easter was a hit, though.
As for why I kept this card all those years, well, that's easy: I spelled it B-A-R-T-L-E and they wrote it B-A-R-T-E-L. One day, Claire, I shall have my revenge, whoever you are...
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