Monday, May 22, 2017

it's the 1970s

A couple weeks back, this was shared on Metafilter:

It was offered up in the context of the Comey firing, and comparisons made to the (ahem) political events of the early 1970s. But I was a child in the 1970s and knew little of that, but hearing the song - wow, that takes me back. I don't think I ever heard that specific song, but it seems very much of a type of the era:

- vaguely patriotic (the Bicentennial was in 1976, of course, and I remember it)
- vaguely optimistic
- no real solutions but hope is offered up
- sort of folk-rock-y

And yet, even as a cynical and somewhat-embittered 48 year old, I still like it. And yes, it reminds me of the mood (at least, what sense I got of it, as an under-11) in the time: people hoped things were getting better (despite the economic hard times), people remembered there were good things about the country (The Bicentennial, again),

I think the same spirit sort of imbued the early Schoolhouse Rock pieces, especially the historical ones:

I can still recite the Preamble thanks to that (and yes, I know it is really "We the People of the United States...," Schoolhouse Rock took out the "the United States" bit so it would scan better).

I dunno. Maybe I was more innocent then but it does seem that there was oddly more optimism - even in an era before smartphones and the Internet and before cable tv was so widespread. (Hm, though maybe I wonder if the absence of 24-hour-news channels contributed to greater innocence and optimism....)

Oh, I'm probably wrong about that (there were riots, there were lines at gas stations), but....and I can't quite put my finger on it .... but there was a sort of hopefulness that better things were ahead, and I don't get that sense so much today. Even IF there are likely better things ahead (there have been remarkable advances in cancer treatment, we may be close to a treatment for spinal paralysis that will allow people a greater degree of autonomy in their lives....)

But yeah - I hear that song and I can remember being six or eight again, that song is very much the sound of my childhood years.

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