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The Seventies
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I was just down in my cave watching the 1974 Ali-Foreman Heavyweight Title "Rumble in the Jungle" and it got me thinking about the seventies. I was born in 1973 so I remember the seventies. My memories are from childhood and enhanced by the review of recordings, but they're memories nonetheless.

Ali and Foreman make it easy to understand how Rocky got made three years later. That was a real fight. Really gritty. I don't think boxing is like that any more. I don't think anything is.

Let me tell you what I think the seventies were like and you can tell me if you agree...

High school kids drag-raced their fathers' big-ass Chevy Impalas down both lanes of North Avenue at three in the morning. They got high with their teachers at school and they drank beer in the cafeteria. There were huge drunken gang riots in Battery Park.

Everybody smoked everywhere. Men would smoke cigarettes in the delivery room while their wives were giving birth for Christ's sake. No wait a minute- the fathers wouldn't have been in the delivery room- but the doctors would be smoking, and the fathers smoked in the recovery room. The moms too. And the newborn babies.

People were openly racist and sexist. A woman with a job couldn't get credit without her husband, even if he was unemployed. Nobody had ever heard of being politically incorrect. Humor was raw. People cursed. Got physical.

People were slutty. The pill had just come out and AIDS wasn't invented yet. Everybody had scores of drunken one night stands. People made love in their Chevy Vans. There were VD and abortion clinics on every corner. There were all kinds of stains and fluids in those disgusting shaggy long rugs people had, but nobdy cared. Everybody was disgusting. Cheech and Chong were a hit.

Everybody was a radical Symbianese Liberator or Black Panther or Feminist or Anarchist or all of the above. And you could get a copy of "Steal this Book" or "The Anarchist's Cookbook" right out of the local library without any worry about Bush's Secret Police.

People drank Schaefer, Schlitz and Papst Blue Ribbon. There were no trendy micro-brew mead cooperatives or anything like that.

People listened to records that popped and crackled and gave raw analog rock and roll. The rock and roll was real. The rock stars were talented, insane drug addicts like Keith Moon and they made no bones about it.

The sky was a little brighter then. A lighter shade of blue. Less pollution. There wasn't a video camera every five feet. There was real privacy. Things were metal and strong and heavy and made in America. People thought the economy sucked, but they didn't know how good they had it. Unions still had clout. The middle class was a real thing then, not the lie we keep telling ourselves today.

People were smarter, better educated and more articulate. Watch Good Times. Florida and JJ are supposed to be representing the ghetto, but they speak the queen's English better than Raymond or the King of Queens or any of those idiots today. The actors had stagecraft. They could enunciate.

So to sum up- things were grittier, stronger, brighter and generally more visceral in the seventies than they are today. Things were more honest and more free. We have definitely lost a lot since then, not least the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Let's face it. America is asleep at the wheel right now. Do you even realize there's a war? That the dollar is falling straight to Hell? That most of our food is poison?

People lived in the seventies. Today we exist. Big difference.

Anyway. I watched rounds four and five of the fight before coming upstairs to write. Ali may have won the Rumble in the Jungle, but who would you rather be today? They guy with Parkinson's or the guy who's sold a billion barbecue grills?

You never know how things will end up in this crazy world.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:32 PM  
  • At November 30, 2007 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Boo! You SUCK!!

  • At November 30, 2007 2:00 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Yes, I suppose so.

    Thanks for writing in.

  • At December 02, 2007 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How dare someone use my identity to post something so useless....

    Here's the real question: if today is so bad that we see yesterday as so good, then how did we see today back then, and how will today look tomorrow?

    More importantly, when will then be now???

  • At December 02, 2007 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My constituents aren’t necessarily known for their syntax.

  • At December 02, 2007 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's funny. You're right tho. It's all moonshine and death penalty down here....

  • At December 02, 2007 8:42 PM, Blogger Cassandra Jupiter said…

    "I was born in 1973 so I remember the seventies." Um your 70s experience is based on your age of 0-7 during the 70s. You should try to make personal comments on the 80s, 90s or today. But unlike, Anon1, I don't think you suck. I like you.

  • At December 03, 2007 8:26 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    "the 80s, 90s or today?" What am I, a soft rock radio station?

    I have always been much older than is mathematically possible, Cassandra, and I'm not about to waste perfectly good material because of my age. This post on the seventies is brilliant.

    I like you too Cassandra. And please give Mr. Jupiter a hug for me.

    PS- Poopsie (my wife) has said several times how much she likes your blog... I'm going to give it a more prominent link here...

  • At December 03, 2007 12:34 PM, Blogger Cassandra Jupiter said…

    Mr. Jupiter likes his new name. For a moment there, I thought you wrote soft c(ock) instead of soft rock. Hahahahahah!!!
    I like Poopsie too. Why doesn't she have a blog?

  • At December 03, 2007 1:40 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Soft c(ock)! Hilarious! Oh Cassandra you are a dee-light. How do you come up with suck wit?!

    Poopsie thinks blogging is a waste of time. You wouldn't believe the shit she gives me... But of course the MyFace and the SpaceBook and all that... well that's just A-OK!

    Making sense is for other families, not mine.

  • At December 03, 2007 9:12 PM, Blogger Cassandra Jupiter said…

    Have you seen the latest pictures Poopsie has posted on her profile? SEXXXXY and RACY! Dude I am looking out for you, I asked her if you knew about her STEAMING HOT XXX pic, but she never replied.

  • At December 04, 2007 12:30 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I know, right? What's up with that?! I'm always telling her...woman, your pictures are way too hot, and if you plan on leaving the house, please wear a burka!

    Good try Cassandra!

  • At December 14, 2007 9:02 PM, Blogger Cassandra Jupiter said…

    The latest pic has your cute son in it, so that's nice. But you're nowhere to be found, so one jump to the conclusion that she's a hot, single sexy mom.

  • At December 15, 2007 12:55 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    I agree. I also think your profile photo is essentially a downblouse pic.

    Have a nice trip.

  • At December 19, 2007 1:49 AM, Blogger Editor said…

    Here's how I remember the 70's:

    There were no ATMs, you had to stress about getting to a bank while it was open and then fill out forms and stand in line. When you wondered simple questions like "what's the weather forecast" or "how many times has Johnny Carson been married?" you had to just wonder, because there wasn't any internet to check. And if you and your buddy disagreed, well you'd never know who was right.

    Writing had to be done on a typewriter and as the typed page came towards the bottom you got increasing stress that you'd make a typo.

    The library used card catalogs, and you had to go to the library and search them by hand.

    There was no email, and calling someone in another state cost a fortune.

    If you were expecting a call you had to wait at home by the phone. All plans had to be made in advance because there were no cell phones.

    Video games had just been invented and they sucked.

    You couldn't back up and share your pictures, you just had original over-colored polaroids that would fade in a few years.

    I agree about the TV... SNL was way better then. And Archie Bunker, The Jeffersons, Dick Cavett, and in England there was Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. But we also had to suffer through Hee Haw and Laugh In, so it wasn't all good. And today we have Family Guy and Conan OBrien.

    And finally, in the 70s there were no blogs!

  • At December 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your 70's thing was spot on, Haik. And as Homer Simpson once said, "Everybody knows rock n roll peaked in 1975!"

  • At August 13, 2008 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was born in 1971. My memories and my knowledge of the seventies is a little less visceral. I remember kids having respect for their parents, even when their parents were wrong. I remember kids obeying their teachers and not talking back. I remember having a clean house because we couldn't afford all the clutter and junk we can today. I remember spending alot of time with our neighbors, and alot of time playing outside. We had less than 10 channels on t.v., no computer, and a rotary phone.
    We had chores to do, every day, and I was expected to babysit my sisters when my parents were gone, starting at the age of 9. I remember feeling like my contributions to our home and family made a difference, because, I guess, they did. I'm only 37 now, but the world I live in today is so drastically different. I feel like something has gone seriously wrong. Yes, we have more technology, which in some ways have made our lives easier. But, I think there is one thing that many people today are struggling to acquire which seems very out of reach, genuine happiness.

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