I lived through disco, boys and girls.
That means I lived through the seventies. And the title “lived through the seventies” is not a meaningless soubriquet. It was harder to do than anyone is telling you.
I see lots of movers and shakers in this world who are nostalgic for the 1970s because it was their salad days. Anyone surprised that Al Gore chose a year in the seventies as the benchmark for capping CO2 emissions isn’t paying attention. Like all really grim times, people who have money or a sinecure love it when times are crummy for the average folks. Poor people smooch bums and hustle to get the door and tug their forelock when people of quality go by in a depression. That’s why those seventies salad days types also like going to Europe on vacation. It’s a continent filled with elois for them to chat in prep-school French with, while the morlocks freshen their drinks.
I was a morlock in the seventies, in a big way. Sometimes you forget what that’s like. I attended a small gathering of people that scribble on the net, and mostly said nothing and listened. I found it fascinating to hear that one pleasant lady had lived in Boston, same as me, in the 1970s. But not the same as me. She took mild exception to my supposition that Boston was a grim, humorless, desolate, dangerous place to live in the mid seventies. She thought it was swell. I hadn’t thought about it in so long; but it never occurred to me that there was any other way to see it. I couldn’t even picture a route you could have navigated through it that would allow you the luxury of thinking it wasn’t a shambles, at least for many other people if not yourself.
When you are shipwrecked and swimming far from shore and grow weary, the beach sure looks like redemption. When you are sunbathing, it’s easy to think the water can’t be anything but inviting and refreshing. When life is bad, you want happy music. So, youngsters, were the seventies the shiznit or a travail? Should Jimmy Carter be put on Mount Rushmore, or in the stocks to be pelted with produce well past its fresh sale date? Did the musical hood ornament on that jalopy of a decade — disco — did it suck?. It was pointless and stupid and trite; and when it came blaring out of the nightclubs when you walked past, it sounded foolish and mindless and never once yelled at you how grim everything was.
Thank god for that.