Monday, August 12, 2013

Things I miss and don't miss from growing up in the 70s and 80s

Things I Miss

Fantasy Island
There have been some good shows on TV in the past 30 years, but none have matched the awesomeness that was Fantasy Island. Saturday nights at 10, as I recall. ABC aired it right after The Love Boat, and I have to believe they dominated the ratings. Mr. Rourke ruled the island with an iron fist ("Smiles everyone, smiles...NOW."), but it was Tattoo who got the girls. Something about that Hispanic dwarf was apparently irresistible. 

The Sony Walkman
I could walk around and listen to music outside. OUTSIDE. Without carrying around a 14-pound boom box. I could go running and listen to music. Or cycling. Or whatever it was we did back then (I can't quite remember how we filled our days, to be honest.) Of course, the music was on cassette. And you had to fast-forward and rewind to get to different songs. And that fast-forwarding and rewinding drained the life from your double-A batteries. But it was revolutionary, darn it! Don't you understand?

This version of Michael Jackson
The one who was still African-American. And wore one glove. And could dance in a way no one had danced before. And, for that matter, was still alive. I miss that guy.

Things I Don't Miss

People smoking...everywhere
Good Lord, it was terrible. You kids have no idea how good you have it in this department. People just lit up all over the their homes, in their cars, in their offices, in church, etc. OK, maybe not in church. As far as I know. I mean, I didn't go to church in the 70s. The point is, the world smelled like cigarettes. Which is to say the world was disgusting and it stank. The fact that there are still people who smoke amazes me. I just assumed we all collectively came to our senses round about 1997 and that everyone was going to quit. What did I miss?

Four channels of TV
After the iPod and the Keurig coffee maker, I say cable television is Western Civilization's greatest contribution to the universe over the past 40 years. When I was growing up in Cleveland, you had channels 3 (NBC), 5 (ABC), 8 (CBS), and 43 (independent). And at some point there was channel 61, too. And that was it. The reception was bad during storms AND YOU HAD TO GET UP TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL. Who does that? Not us now. Which is why we're all fat. But still...

Rubik's Cube
There wasn't anything intrinsically wrong with Rubik's Cubes, other than the fact that I could never solve one. Ever. Even bought a book explaining how to solve it and couldn't understand it. Yet there were people appearing on "That's Incredible" who, given a randomly configured Rubik's Cube, could solve the thing in, like, 12 seconds. Maybe less, I don't remember. All I know is that I was bitter about it then and I'm bitter about it now. DARN YOU AND YOUR DEMONIC INVENTION, ERNO RUBIK!

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