Earth Shattering Events

  • A funny one this one.
    What were the events that growing up had a major effect on your psyche?
    I ask because while browsing through the library - I look through the reshelving as that's where the good books are - I came across a book called 'Operation Thunderbolt' reading the title on the back spine.
    I kind went 'meh, doesn't grab me" but turned the book over to check what it was about. It was subtitled 'Flight 139 and the raid on Entebbe Airport'. Bam! I was hooked. I'm only 27 pages in so far - I'll let you now what I think of it in the Book Club thread - but that word "Entebbe" had me just like that.
    I really can't recall all that much about Entebbe. It did occur on my 10th birthday. It did contribute to the legend of the Isrealis being the ultra awesome military commandos (27 pages in that's already questionable .... they had plenty of practice...).
    But "Entebbe". It was a word that resonated from my childhood. A single word that sent shivers down my spine but I wasn't sure why.
    It was "important" even if I really couldn't put my finger on it.
    It made me think of other major events from the past that had similar effect. For me off the top of my head I could think of:

    • Entebbe
    • Jonestown
    • Erebus
      If you were alive in the 70s and 80s the single words should rattle your memories. I'll think of some others and post them, but wondered what yours were?

  • Nyngan Floods
    Hoddle Street Massacre
    Challenger Shuttle Disaster
    Moscow Olympics being boycotted by Yanks
    Los Angeles Olympics being boycotted by Soviets
    Cold War in general - after seeing Threads, nuclear war freaked me out in general as a kid.

  • I was born in the 80's so most of the above were before my time. The first two to come to mind for me were:
    Eion Crossan leaving Bay of Plenty to play rugby league for the Rabbitohs.
    I also remember my brother crying inconsolably when John Gallagher went to league (we led a sheltered childhood)

  • Berlin Wall and 9/11 internationally, Canterbury earthquake locally.

  • Erebus & Mt St Helens were probably the first two big things I can remember.
    Erebus because it was "and this is how planes crash" and St Helens because it was "you know volcano's? there are some you can see from your house! this one is just like them!"
    Both contributed to a world view that is sort "me'h, whats the worst that could happen? This seems better than that, I'm sure it'll be fine" & being quite fatalistic, like "there's nothing the people on the Erebus flight could have done so there's zero point in stressing while flying".
    I remember John Lenon & Elvis dying, but I just never gave a shit. Its not like Big Ted was dead or anything.
    I remember not caring about the Columbia disaster as I couldn't see the point, they were going to go up, fly round the earth, come back. They weren't even going to the moon or anything, more than anything I thought "well, thats embaressing for them"

  • Munich Olympics. Erebus. Queen St Riots II. Bok Tour.

  • Cold War in general - after seeing Threads, nuclear war freaked me out in general as a kid.

    I'd never really read much about the Cold War or taken a lot of interest in it, but I've recently started a Masters Degree and one of the papers was quite heavily centred on the cold war. I wrote and essay about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fuck me, it's kinda scary how close the world came to a nuclear war during that 2 week period. I don't know if they gave that 1 Russian General who vetoed the missile strike on America a medal when the other 2 had given the green light, but he sure as hell deserves it. Probably saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

  • Another description wiuld be the kind of spooky, kind of frightening, kind of awesome stuff you remember.
    9/11 fits the bill definitely, as does Chch, but they happened in my adulthood.
    Crucial: I forgot to include the Tour.
    And you must be older than me ... Munich slips out of my list as I couldn't be absolutely sure I remember it happening at the time (being 4yo).
    Nick: wasn't Threads god awful scary?

  • The only thing I remember about Erebus is a newsreader saying they still hadn't been in contact and all their fuel would have run out by now. I was pretty young so my sister had to explain it to me.
    9/11, challenger , the 87 crash, the Berlin Wall coming down and Aramoana all stand out.
    winning the 1987 rwc , thinking that was predictable and s big pointless . We are going to win it every time aren't we?

  • I was pretty young for Munich but I do remember all the adults talking about it and how big a deal it was.
    The prospect of nuclear war in general was probably the biggie though. Kids today can't understand how that was a very real and very scary prospect.

  • Not a "world" shattering event but the start of something in NZ for me as a young guy at primary school was the Land March and Bastion Point.

  • I do mean it is stuff that rocked your world.

  • Rainbow Warrioir, springbok tour in 81 (was 7)
    For some reason Muldoons snap election....also still recall for some reason the moment I heard on the radio that Diana had been killed...9/11 as I was in the UK and my boss told us about the first plane and I thought he was joking (notorious joker) even though it woulda been a daft joke.
    Recall the AB v Italy game in 1987 better than the final.
    My first shag, although surely it was more earth shattering for her, surely?

  • Mum getting rid of my pram. I had to fucking walk everywhere after that.
    Being forced to go to school at the age of five. Why couldn't I stay at home and play with my toys? Why did I have to play with other kids?

  • Robert Kennedy Assassination
    Apollo 11 Moon Landings piped live over radio at school
    This photo

    Remember picking up a paper in Brighton that was folded in half top half of page headline reads PLANE CRASHES IN ANTARCTIC. Turn paper over and see the photo of the tail in the snow.  Felt very alone. Didn't know anyone in the northern hemisphere to talk about how I felt.
    Russian invasion of Afghanistan - was living in eastern Netherlands. There was a lot of fear. Jets being scrambled constantly. Tank traps on motorway
    Biafran Civil War - for about a year calling a kid at school a biafran was the biggest insult. TV was new and scenes of malnourished kids with flies crawling all over them shocked NZ
    Norm Kirk dying
    Listening to Munich 8 win gold on a "trannie"  in Coromandel
    Nadia Comaneci
    The phenomenon that was the Muppets
    The Soweto riots / 1976 AB Tour / African boycott at Montreal / Walkers gold
    The fall of Saigon
    Thatcher and the Winter of Discontent
    and that's just up to 1980!!!

  • I'm a bit younger than most of you being born in the mid 80s, but I remember being told about Erebus constantly as a young kid - it seemed more recent and still very raw in the NZ public even at that time (early 90s).
    For my generation Princess Diana seemed like a big deal, 9/11 for sure, in a sporting sense I don't think anything has ever come close to holding the national psyche hostage like the '95 America's Cup challenge.

  • The first day i found out how much fun getting on the piss was.
    The first day i found out how much fun getting with ladies was.
    I spent the rest of my life in pursuit of both of those things, to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Definitely life-shaping.
    I really wanted to write a serious answer to what is a pretty good question, but i found i couldn't, and be sincere. While i have watched those events unfold (i was unemployed on 9/11, so watched the day unfold), i can't honestly say they have affected my view of the world. While i can be shocked or moved by events, i have found that they don't really shape my thinking in any way (on a tangible or noticeable level anyway). I find myself to be very micro in my thinking, focused on stuff immediate to me, and that i have some ability to control. 
    However, in the spirit of the thread, i guess on that resonates in my family is the Ranui disaster at Mt Maunganui, as my grandmother's first husband, the therefore the father of half of my uncles was the skipper. I stop at that memorial every time i walk around the Mount

  • Wahine disaster.
    Moon landing.
    Munich Olympics.
    Norm Kirk dying - "The Press" headline was "Death of a Statesman".
    Christchurch Commonwealth Games - after Dick Taylor's run I went down to the local rugby ground and ran laps until I'd done 10,000 meters - or an approximation of - started my running "career" .
    French nuclear testing at Mururoa.
    Springbok tour.

  • The Falklands

  • I remember the 81 tour only because the old man and my granddad wouldn't take me to the Maori v Boks game in Napier, and then my Dad came home with a massive scratch on his head where some dude through a tomato can at him.
    Snap election, remember at the time but likely my memory has been augmented by reading about it.
    Rainbow Warrior was a biggy too.
    Edinburgh Commonwealth Games as we split into teams for school and I got Jersey. I was hoping for Canada, or Jamaica, or even Wales and I got frikkin Jersey.
    Halley's Comet was huge, I think my whole school year in 1986 was devoted to Halley's Comet.
    1987 WC, yeah we won, where'd that Jones fella come from, that guy Zinny has a cool name, Gingas play rugby, same as Jegga - first of many, yay MJ and that skinny white fellow with the paedo mo brought the WC to school.
    Princess Di was actually one of those remember when moments - in a car driving down Peachgrove Rd heading towards Chartwell to go to the food court. It was announced she was in an accident, all the tane said yep she's dead, all the wahine said nah she's fine.

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