A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Small Thought: The 1970’s

I happened to see the old expression sex drugs and rock and roll on someone’s Facebook post this week and it got me thinking about how those concepts seem to have become emblematic of the 70s.  All three existed before the decade began, obviously, but in the 70s they seem to take on more meaning and purpose than ever before.

And we look at the generation today, heads down in their ipads, their every waking moment on how to feed their materialistic lifestyle, and then shake our heads at how effed up their lives have become.

Boy, do we have nerve!  

Sex has been around for quite a while; otherwise, none of us would be here now.   

Drugs also predate my existence.

Rock and roll? Well, we could probably place the birth of that music genre around 1955, but it has its roots in, shall we say, baser human desires.  See sex above.

In any event, I got thinking about my place in the generational scheme of things.  I’m at the age where most things I remember doing or having are obsolete, or at least no longer usable. 

Manual typewriters?  Electric typewriters?  Hell, typewriters period!  Imagine that, millennials: word processors that didn’t require a screen.

Somehow, vinyl LPs (long playing) albums have come back in style.  Yet society has no use for the listening technology that succeeded them. 8 track tapes?  They date back to the Paleolithic age, don’t they? Cassette tapes?  I’m embarrassed to say how many of those I still own. 

Telephone booths?  Sorry, they only exist in old Superman comic books. Oh, and while we are on the subject, phones could only be held as long you didn’t walk further than five feet from the wall where the phone was mounted, or the table it sat on.  Otherwise, you would be disconnected, or in the language to which you can relate: no bars!  (Cue Shakespearean peel of thunder here.)

Are you trembling yet, Millennials?

Yet I don’t believe I’m at the age yet where someone 30 years younger than myself can address me as “old timer”, and ask me about those bygone days way back when.  Give me another ten years and I’ll gladly submit to the old timer label.  Until then, I’m still middle-aged, and don’t you young whippersnappers forget it!

So what if a Millennial asks me today about the 70s and the triumvirate concepts of sex drugs and rock and roll?  What can I tell them?

I can only speak of my own experiences in that decade. I cannot speak for my entire generation and claim that my achievements equaled theirs.  I can only surmise, nay hope and pray, that everyone else in my generation had a helluva lot more fun than I did.

Take sex. In the 70s sex for me was, oh what is the term I’m searching for…hot? Steamy? No, hypothetical! That’s the term I’m looking to describe my sex life in the 70s. Sex for me in the 70s was an endless series of “What if’s?”  Yet I encounter people everyday that were born in that decade. Their existence is proof that somebody somewhere in the 70s had sex, but it certainly wasn’t me!

Drugs? I think the Constitution covers my butt when referencing drug use in the 70s. Let’s see, First Amendment, Second Amendment, Third Amendment…yes, here it is, the Fifth Amendment. I shall claim that if any Millennials prod me about my drug use.  (Hush, Janey.)

Rock and roll? Ah, yes!  I can look back upon my experiences and comment truthfully on this concept. I listened to this genre on the radio, collected the vinyl, listened to the stereo, and went to a few concerts. 

Country and western?  Polkas?  Ewww!

So, in regard to the tunes I heard in the 70s, I can answer them honestly. If they ever ask me about sex drugs and rock and roll in the 70s, then I can look them confidently in the eye and say: “Well, the music was good.”

(Thank you for reading. Seriously, we actually printed words on a piece of paper without a television screen in the 70s. Don’t shake your heads at me, you effed up Millennials!)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

I didn't even have the music.

April 16, 2016 at 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Janey, Goddess of Sex and Drugs said...

RTG has far more "dirt" on me than I have on him, so I really, really should heed his admonition to "Hush." But I cannot! Millennials, do ask RTG about an orange fun-fur-covered mushroom footstool, and just why he slowly slid from it onto my kitchen floor... :-)

April 17, 2016 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was kid in the 70s (born in October of 1970) so music at first was old skool country and western that my parents listened to (George Jones, Loretta Lynn - that sort of thing). In the mid 70s my older sister received a radio / record player for her birthday so we were finally able to listen to what we wanted and as kids it was Top 40 and Disco. R&B didn't exist in my Canadian prairie city. As an adult I discovered Soul Train on You Tube which I love. I would have been glued to the TV when that was on if it was available for us.

Not many drugs in my world other than a "hippie" uncle :) ... but the booze was flowing plentifully for the adults around me. Driving licenses were forfeited more than once!

I didn't experience the 70s as an adult but looking back that decade just seemed more "natural". If your hair was straight it stayed straight, if you had an afro you left it as an afro. No silicone anything.

Regarding typewriters, when I was a teenager in the 80s I remember typing up multiple copies of my resume on a typewriter whilst applying for part-time jobs. Good thing I didn't have much experience to put on the resume so that at least shortened the time for typing!

~ Freckles

April 17, 2016 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Sorry to hear that, Spo, but you are having a fabulous life now, right?

Dear Millennials, I must point out that Janey's memory is faulty. I did not slide off of a mushroom footstool in his kitchen. The stool was in Janey's living room. Now there was another time when I was sitting at Janey's kitchen table when someone handed me the phone because my brother was on the line. The drugs took effect just as the phone was placed in my hand. All I could do was giggle...oh, shit! Fifth Amendment! Fifth Amendment! Fifth Amendment! Thanks for the memories, Janey!

Hi, Freckles. Thank you for your reminisces. I didn't even mention that you had to use carbon paper to make more than one copy in the typewriter!

April 17, 2016 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

I still cling doggedly onto my Walkman and will NEVER give the contraption up. Essential beyond words for travel in bus, train or just out exercising my muscles. I'm about to invest in another THREE of them before they disappear entirely from stores. Have to have radio ('cos I'm a news junkie) AND cassette player 'cos, something like you, I must have over a thousand of those blinkin' audio-cassettes - music (classical, pop, musicals) as well as radio plays recorded over the decades, and language tapes.
Don't talk to me about MP3 players (I never did understand them) which are already 'so yesterday', and what-have-you, my Walkman will go to the grave with me - and with a very long supply of batteries!

April 18, 2016 at 4:00 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Walkmans? Wow! Now there's a blast from the past! I might still have my walkman laying around somewhere. Thanks for the memories Raybeard.

April 20, 2016 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

I can't imagine living without a Walkman, RTG. I'm sure that technology nowadays does all what they did and more, but when you've no one around to point you where to go we cling to what we know has worked in the past. Good luck on your re-discovery!

April 22, 2016 at 9:57 AM  

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