“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nostalgic for the past

I've been listening to a "classic rock" station on the commute home from work now and then. It makes me miss the '70s. I was just a kid, but people seemed happier, and more rational. Just listen to ABBA's Dancing Queen, and how could you not smile? I had a rainbow print top and listened to Supertramp. I also listened to my brother's Van Halen and Ted Nugent records. Unicorns were popular. I watched the Muppet Show, Fantasy Island, and the Love Boat. After the gas crisis, I learned in school that petroleum was a finite resource, and the planet had a carrying capacity. The shift to alternative energy sources seemed like the way of the future, a logical no-brainer. What happened to our dreams?? Kermit, I miss your green frog face. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) may not have been our best president ever, but he did win a Nobel Peace Prize. No one is going to be giving one to our current demagogue, GW Bush.
The 80's happened: Reaganomics, the Iran-Contra Affair, the AIDS crisis, and disco was dead. Yuppies were snorting cocaine and Miami Vice was a highly rated television show. Madonna and Michael Jackson rose to the highest level of popularity. Americans became obsessed with money and consuming like never before. The space shuttle Challenger exploded after take off, in front of our eyes, on the TV in our classroom. We used to watch every launch. The 80's gave us televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Oral Roberts, and Jimmy Swaggert sucking millions of dollars out of stupid people, all the while behaving like the opposite of a "good Christian". OK, to be fair, the 70's had its share of cults, most notably Jonestown. Worse was the hysteria over daycare sex abuse, some going so far as to claim satanic ritual abuse. Ah, the good old days, ha ha!
The 80's did give us some good movies though. Here is a list of my favorite 80's movies:

and of course, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2.
As evidence of my nostalgia, I went to see the performance of We Will Rock You at the Civic Theatre in Auckland. It is based upon the music of Queen, and was written by Ben Elton, who is a very funny British writer. I've read This Other Eden, and Stark is on my shelf, to be read after I finish the other books I'm currently reading.
I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which came highly recommended by my sister. I have started Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier for the second time, but the Kingsolver book is more transportable. Both are good so far. I also have from the library The China Study, which has been criticized for over-reaching, so I may get disgusted and return it early. The other library book I have is a compilation of essays by Joan Didion, a California writer from the 1960's (futher evidence of my nostalgia) whose central thesis is, "things fall apart; the centre cannot hold" (Yeats)- referring to American Culture.
The photo of the horse with the foal is Fleur and her not even 1 day old colt. So cute. The bloke at the grill full of fresh asparagus is Slade, our Kiwi friend who recently hosted a lovely BBQ and gave us fresh juicy oranges from his tree.