Last week I found this vintage Mountain Dew t-shirt at a thrift shop. While I hate the soda, I love old things, like the Adidas sneakers I paired with it. The same ones I always wear camping and hiking. The ones my friends make fun of like I should be in a Run DMC music video. I don't care that they aren't fashionable anymore. There's just something about the 70's that makes me feel connected to a simpler time. Maybe because it was my childhood.
And don't we all idealize the past? Like if we just go back far enough we'll find the part where it all started to take a turn for the worse. Which of course started with the Big Bang. But right now, sandwiched between ISIS and Ebola, what's the harm in a bit of reverie?
They called the 70's the "Me Decade", obviously no one could have foretold that the "Millennials" would take individualism to a whole new level, until everyone was so individualized that everyone kinda became the same again. Like Sneetches. But alas, this was the only epidemic in the 70's which was sandwiched between polio and the HIV epidemic. There wasn't a major health scare. In fact you could smoke anywhere and everywhere and no one wore a seat belt ever.
The biggest crises of the day were the oil embargo, stagflation and at the tail end, the hostage crisis. The hostage crisis which the charismatic Reagan gets credit for ending, when modest Carter was the workhorse behind it. Environmentalism from the 60's was picking up steam and Greenpeace and granola emerged on to the scene. And I had a pet rock, earth shoes and desperately longed to have my very own Sunshine Family complete with pottery wheel and jeep like my friend Lisa, instead of the hand-me-down metal roller skates that strapped on over my sneakers. Cause really how stupid are metal wheels? All I wanted was to watch roller derby on tv and own the new fangled all in one Adidas sneaker skates.
No, the 70's weren't perfect. Need I remind you of Nixon? And that Ford pardoned him in the same decade. The song Afternoon Delight was on the radio as was the group Wings. I don't care that Paul McCartney was in it, it sucked. Even as a kid without access to an ipod chock full of songs tailored to my own personal taste, I knew this.
But when things get stressful and look dire, this is where I go back to in my mind.
The 70's, a simpler time, if only in my mind.