1959 in Melbourne

They start with something lovely and end with something ugly.

The first TV broadcast in Melbourne was in 1959. It was an opportunity to watch the world from within the family lounge room. Network crews were kept busy with the the Crusaders roadshow; the arrival and antics of American movie ‘stars’, shooting a major film and footy fans witnessed  Melbourne defeat Essendon, at the VFL grand final.

At the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, on what seemed like a balmy night, the great Billy Graham gave a sermon on ‘Truth’. After the opening prayer, he  read a letter from a local woman; she wrote:

“There are scores of people whose lives are empty, I know mine was till Friday night. There are hundreds of ‘Bodgies and Widgies’ in Melbourne with empty lives.Would it be possible to hold a special Bodgies and Widgies meeting somewhere central. For sure your message would be great value to all of us.”

The youth subculture in Melbourne during the 50’s were the Bodgies and Widgies, they were ‘rockabillie rebels’, operating in the alternative fringes of urban society.

Graham’s service explored the relationship between Truth and Freedom.

'... we're never in bondage to any man!    ...

Verily, Verily , I say to you, who ever has committed sin is 
the servant of sin.'

As Graham preached to packed audiences this historic year, an all star cast  of actors, that included Natalie Wood,Gregory Peck, Anthony Perkins and Fred Astaire , were filming On the Beach at the Mornington Peninsular, directed by Stanley Kramer (Man who came to Dinner). The storyline was set at the tail-end of WW3, an Atom bomb had been released and dangerous vapours had poisoned the earths air. Melbourne was the most distant outpost awaiting its contamination. Busy streets were deserted as the remnant of survivors, gathered together on the beach.

There is some fabulous footage of Bourke Street with locals riding bikes, old trams and a galloping horse. Outside the old Museum ( the State Library), the Salvation Army had hung a banner ,that states ‘There is still time Brother’. In the later part of the film these street are deserted.   (ironic of 2020)

1959 also marked the beginning of the ‘Space Race’ as Russia launched a rocket that they claimed hit the moon. This would mark the beginning of satillites and space trash fuelled with uranium falling into waterways around the Earth. (wormwood)

70 years can be a bench mark of a generation. 1959 was the beginning of TV for Melbourne, an electronic guest that moved in and became the focal point of the family. Screens have morphed from a lamb into a dragon, from Wheel of Fortune shows to Big Brother. Video games started with Donkey Com and Mario Bros and led to Assassin and now Doom Eternal.

Doom offers its players a bloodbath of pathological cruelty. Gamers are led to believe that Hell can be won, not understanding that they are the fodder. A fun lie, for some.

TV and its monitor family have enticed us to buy products such a cigarettes, soft drinks, and fast food. It has hosted pageants that set a beauty standard and morphed into pornography. Crime and brutal murders, hold prime time viewing and is often directed toward women. It sells magic to children and witchcraft to adults. Oddly people don’t question it, in-fact it’s not ‘Truth’ or ‘News’ until it’s on TV. The other monitors have taken over our money, in 1959 people were paid in cash. ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has become the new toy and if the current trend persists it will become the master. As in George Orwell’s 1984 (made in 1949) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 (made in 1968) the monitors are watching us.

"Dave , what are you doing Dave?" Computer asking the surviving astronaut.

‘…so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.’

Be kind,Rewind.

2 thoughts on “1959 in Melbourne”

  1. Hi April hope you’re doing ok in these difficult times. Yes, not only is TV our master, but also social media, which can be a hungry and vicious beast.


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