Lately, I’ve been dipping into past eras with my choice of entertainment. Musically, I’ve reverted back to records as discussed in past entries. TV wise, I’ve started watching Mad Men, which takes place in the 1960’s. All of it has really made me feel like decades of the past were way more interesting than the one we are living in.
Start with the 1930’s and The Great Depression. I guess that can be categorized as “interesting.” That first big recession pulled all trust out from under major corporations and banks. However, the sale of envelopes went up, because people were stuffing their life savings into them and taping them to the under side of the dining room tables.
Not to mention the introduction of the first color sound cartoon and ..umm… HELLO the RADIO! What you’re telling me is before this, people did what for music? Hired a bum or a creepy uncle to come in and play the violin? Like I said, we really missed out.
Although WWII technically started in 1939, the brunt of the war took place during the first half of the 1940’s. They also snuck a little NATO defense alliance establishment in there. But this is supposed to be why past decades are INTERESTING, so I’ll mention that this was a huge year for cool inventions.
A Stairs best friend, The Slinky!
Frisbees! This was a shocker, I thought for sure the hippies invented these.
TUPPERWARE!! Showing middle-aged house wives how to really party.
Not to mention VELCO and JEEPS!
Come….on….. That is a seriously impressive 10 years.
1950’s are way more lack luster. PSYCH! During this decade, they discovered the inner workings of DNA which now fuels every episode of Law & Order SVU. They also invented ultrasounds and NASA was formed!
Not to mention the king himself emerged as the scandalous heart throb of the generation. The original king, not the one that used his daughter as a beard (RIP love you MJ)
Pop culture started to play a more prominent role in the average American’s life.
Marilyn Monroe brought the Happy Birthday song to a whole new level. Elizabeth Taylor became a fashion icon, and made Egyptian queens most envied for their lavish jewelry. And James Dean ….well James Dean is hot.
The 1960’s, another doozie.
MLK and JFK
We even faked making it to the moon to piss off the Russians! Yea look at that flag a’ wavin’
The birth control pill was approved by the FDA and doctors performed the first ever heart transplant!!!
And one music festival will forever live in infamy. The three day Bethel NY music festival of 1969, WOODSTOCK!
Top that 1970’s….
THE HIPPIES! They took over the world and spread love, peace, and aids. Politically, this was a crazy decade. Between the Watergate scandal, the Munich Massacre, and the invention of floppy disks, and apparently narcotics, the people of America didn’t stand a chance! Also invented in the 70’s are VCRs, which really weren’t replaced until the 90’s, so way to go Charles P. Ginsburg.
The 1980’s are a bit of a sore subject for most. Everyone went crazy and started dressing like this:
Things that came to be in the 80’s included:
my little ponies
A sad decade for music as we bid an all to early farewell to John Lennon assassinated in 1980, and Bob Marley to skin cancer in 1981.
So I got to thinking yesterday about my generation. What inventions and advancements have set my lifetime apart from everyone else’s. Our parents were the infamous baby boomers. They grew up as hippies, the introduction to free will. But when we look back on our childhood, adolescence and adulthood, what will stand out and be the pinnacle of each decade?
From the top of my head, our generation screams technology. I started with a Paula Abdul tape that I won on the boardwalk (that I wasn’t able to listen to right away because it was called “shut up and dance” and that proved to be too scandalous for an 8 year old), and now have moved on to MP3’s and an iTunes/iPod driven lifestyle! Music coming from thin air and/or wireless moving from one place to another. Baffling.
Also just packed up my Little Monsters, Aladdin, and Annie VHS tapes. Mainly because I don’t have anywhere to play them anymore. Now we’ve moved on to DVD’s and Blue Ray players.
Among other things, we’ve been alive for the introduction of digital photography, smart phones, Lasik eye surgery, the internet (not a big deal), Facebook, HD and 3D TV, Electronic books, oh yea, and our first black president.
So after much thought, I suppose this is quite an interesting point on the time line of the US to grow up within. And yes I did skip the 1990’s on purpose. The best part of that decade is back, and its plaid flannel. Let’s leave it at that.
This blog entry really felt like a school paper, but I’ll treat you to this jam for all generations.