This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I Hate the 70's

When I was growing up, my basement was the place to be in the summer. The all-encompassing heat and humidity wafted up into the main floor of the house, leaving the basement a cool 68 degrees or so. Plus, there was all sorts of cool stuff down there -- board games, ping-pong, a pool table with bent cues that tilted slightly towards one corner, a stereo (later I added a "tape deck", which only added to the coolness) with cool numbers on it made of tiny green circular lights, a fallout shelter with enough Sun Drop to quench an Army's thirst, and a bunch more fun stuff. It was a treasure trove of fun. All through grade school and high school, none of my other friends had a basement that compared with mine, so my basement became the meeting place for our social events. And by social events I mean making each other laugh and later going to Pizza Hut.

One of the cool things in my basement was this chalkboard that my older brothers taped up so they could use it to score baseball games. I don't know where these baseball games took place, but the board was clearly a baseball scoreboard, at least on the top half. The bottom half was covered (at least after 1980) by a tribute to the 70's. My brothers and their friends had used colored chalk to list a bunch of stuff they thought was cool about the 70's (samples included "The Mod Squad" and "Peter Gabriel"). Right in the middle of all this they wrote "The 70s" in giant colorful hippie letters. It was beautiful, and we just left it the way it was after my youngest brother Russ moved to college in late 1981 and my friends and I officially took over the basement. Well, part of it was also not knowing if Russ and co. would be mad if we erased it. I don't think they gave it much thought, actually. At some point it was just a fixure in my basement, just as much as the ping-pong table and the Hippity-Hop and the nerf hoop and the stand-alone foosball-esqe hockey game.

The reason i bring this up, besides to tell you how cool my basement was (and continues to be, btw. Almost all of that stuff is still there. Every time we visit my mom nicely suggests we take some stuff home, but she's way too nice to just throw it out), is that just about everything on that board sucked. I know, I've seen all of it. All those venerated 70's movies sucked. Saturday Night Fever is not a good movie, as we seem to think these days. It is a joke. And I even kinda like disco. There are a few good things to come out of the 70's, like the development of rock and dance music, and All in the Family/The Jeffersons...and...that's all I can think of right now. An entire decade was lost to gas freezes, Watergate, bell bottoms, nappy hair, polyester, and the color brown. Thank the good Lord the 80's saved us from all that. People may hate Ronald Reagan, but that man had to pull us out of a vat of Jimmy Carter's peanuts and Billy Beer. Quite an accomplishment, even if he had to leave some homeless behind to do it.

MTV has dredged this whole 70's thing up with their little "reality" show, The 70's House. The house itself looks kinda like the Brady house, and the concept isn't totally horrible -- it's a bunch of 00's kids trapped in the 70's. They have to live with the things we had in the 70's, including the cars. They even have to talk 70's, and are judged by how often they work in terms like "groovy" and "peace" into casual conversation. Each week they are divided into teams, and the team that loses is judged by "Oscar", a disembodied voice across a Charlie's Angels-style intercom. I'm not sure, but I think Oscar is voiced by one of the original MTV Veejays, Mark Goodman.

So Mark Goodman sends the two members of the losing team who have been the least enthusiastic about the 70's into a game show situation where they show their knowledge of the decade. The loser of that goes home, the winner stays. In that way, it's like every other reality show. The 70's thing is really the only unique thing going on here.

The thing is, I would have liked the show if it weren't so bathed in the 70's. I hate the way they dress, the way they talk, they cars they drive, their stupid dance moves, and everything else so much I can't bring myself to look at the show positively even when a guy is kicked out for using the reprehensible and meaningless 00's phrase, "Keeping it real." Everyone should be booted off of everything for that! But still, it's unwatchable. Let's never speak about it, that accursed decade, or bell-bottoms again.


  • At 8:21 PM, Blogger YoungerP said…

    The basement's cool. I was there once with a girl who was alergic to sugar.

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger Lord Bif said…

    And don't forget guava, there was always plenty of guava. And if I recall correctly, most nights ended up in your driveway for about an hour and then we went out, Dennys more often than the Hut.

  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    Bif, I don't know. I seem to recall more Hut than Denny's. But my memory could be skewed by the fact that I worked there later on in life. You just liked Denny's because of the Dennyburgers.

    And Jeremy, I had forgotten about that. Poor Amber. I wonder what became of her? Can she eat sugar now?

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Bearded One said…

    Hmm. By the time I was in the club, it was definitely Denny's. I don't recall going to the Hut once. Of course, my folks had the Basement That Never Ended, but yours had more history.


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