Wednesday, February 15, 2012

10 of the worst things to come out of the 70's

We live in wonderful times.  We have availability of technology at our fingertips for an affordable price, we have so much entertainment we literally don't have time to watch or do all of the things that divert us from our work.  All that we are now has come from what once was.  Both the good and the bad.  Well, the 70's were a piece of the past.  I'm not sure what we gained from the 70's but I can sure remember what we left behind!

10.  Disco - We should get this one out of the way right off the bat.  Disco was one of the hallmarks of the 70's  Movies were made about it,  Clothing was designed around it.  It was a whole other way of life.  The problem is that Disco sucked.  It says so on multiple t-shirts and I believe most things I read on t-shirts.

9.    Pet Rocks - In the early west there was such a thing as Snake Oil.  Snake oil was supposed to cure you of myriad ailments.  Later there were other devices created that claimed all kinds of spectacular results from hair growth to muscle physique.  The pet rock on the other hand had no pretense (except that it was a 'pet')  It was the first success of the 70's that proved that the American populous is willing to buy nearly anything and you don't even need a claim!  Ugh.  Now of course there are countless worthless things that we are probably better off without.  Thank goodness most of those things are on the Internet.

8.  Video Games - The Magnavox Oddessy was born in the 70's If you have never heard of it or seen it, it was the first. It was not anywhere like the games we enjoy today, think of the cave paintings being the pre-cursor to Davinci.   The first game system consisted of white blocks on a screen.  How many colors?  1.  Was it fun?  Like disneyland in a box.  Then came PONG also of the 70's.  Sounds too?!?  sweet!  Space invaders?  OOOOHh yeah.  The march goes on and on.  So were I guess they aren't bad at all really, but they are a productivity killer.

7.  Groovy - This term really only meant anything in the 70's.  It was the hip word for COOL.  It was groovy.  If things are good, they are groovy.  Now groovy means something that is kind of retro-cool, or something with a lot of grooves in it.  There was a time when people tried to revive Groovy into popularity.  It really only came back as goofy.  Optimally it's a dumb word only useful for friends with words.

6.  Astrology - No, this really wasn't born in the 70's, but it feels like it was.  The idea that the position of the Sun, the moon and the stars when you are born will determine not only what kind of person you are, but every event of your life was really attractive around this time.  Ever heard the hippy song 'Age of Aquarius'?  Well, it was huge back then.  The obvious question is of course does everyone born on the planet at the same time have the same future?  Pish posh, of COURSE not!  Everyone is born at a different location on the earth so they would have different destinies than other people born at exactly the same time.   Astrology has been around so long it has to be valid right?  So it wasn't born in the 70's, but it was the 70's that spawned the now timeless pickup line 'What's your sign?'

5. Johnny Knoxville - If you don't know who this is, he is the star of a show that was aired on MTV that used fame aspiring men to do stupid stunts designed to at least humiliate the participants if not harm them.  Young Mr. Knoxville was born in 1971 and while I don't bear any personal animus towards the individual, I feel like showing people glamorizing goofy self destructive behavior is just the perfect thing to come out of the 70's

4. Movies - Naturally movies did not originate from the 70's, but the BLOCKBUSTER did.  JAWS was the first movie in my recollection that had such a huge following and hype that followed it all summer.  Hollywood decided what bit of celluloid would be sufficient for the public at large and they would push it in every way possible.  Originally the blockbuster happened during the summer but now we have blockbusters any time of year (pretty much).

3. Keep on Truckin - Another term that lived and died in the 70's.  Usually accompanied by a person shown from the perspective of the ground with a ridiculously large foot stepping out as though they are really happy to get where they are going.  When I was a kid in the 70's I thought it meant keep on driving trucks.  I had no idea that truckin meant...It took till this blog for me to find out.  Keep on truckin was a cartoon strip that was very popular at the time but has since fallen into obscurity.  Robert Crumb was the creator.  It was a visual take on the song 'Truckin my blues away'.  Which I've never heard.

2. CB Radio -  Breaker Breaker 19.  What's yer handle c'mon? Citizens band had been around longer than the 70's BUT it was immortalized in the 70's with C.W. McAll's Hit song CONVOY.  My whole school bus would go quiet when that song would come on.  Those that knew the lyrics would put on their best non-descript trucker drawl and start talking along.  In my mind, this was the first RAP music I had ever heard.  There was no singing.  It was just CW telling his story about how he and Pig-Pen (the driver of another truck carrying pigs) evaded Smokey (the police) and went coast to coast delivering their payloads.  Trucker fever was alive and well in the 70's.  I don't know wether they were truckin when they did this or not.

1. Peace baby - The peace sign.  I always thought it looked like a birds foot in a circle, sometimes not.  It was made popular by Picasso.  Make love not war.  That was the idea.  The hippys were the long lost fore-fathers of the kids in the occupy movement and the peace sign with the accompanied index and middle finger sticking up in the air was their sign.  I remember seeing the peace symbol everywhere.  it was in graffiti, it was on stickers, it was in cartoons, it was everywhere.  Most kids now figure the peace sign to be something that an anime character will flash so everyone can see how cute they are.

Live in the now man!  See ya in another 15!  Thanks for reading...tell your friends!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10 things we would do if we could time travel

Many times the vacant hours of work are encumbered with the speculations of behaviors giving different fantastic situations.  Lottery winning;  What super powers would be best;  Time travel.  Time travel is actually the most likely of the trio.  What would we really do?   This blog will be difficult enough to write without tying myself down to any theoretical model so I'll accept all of them and apply them as I see fit.  So there.  I suspect that you would do some of them and not bother with others, but these are the things I would do.

10.  Get rich quick.  -  Sure we would but how?  What's the best way?  If you are really a time traveler, you really can't afford to make it all in one swoop.  Even if you are betting on the 1989 super bowl, you need to remember who it was that was playing and who won.  You assume that you could make a big bet for a one time haul, but people would wonder.  Stock market is worse, you'd have the SEC looking into your dealings because you aren't are part of the people that they know that make money.  On the other hand, all you'd really need to do is put your money into mutual funds etc the good old fashioned way and just keep going back in time and adding to several different funds.  by the time history catches up to you.  You have more money than Croesus.

9. Warn yourself - How many mistakes have each of us made in the course of our lives?  I for one can't really count that high.  Some are bigger than others of course and those are the ones I would do without.  in fact, I would very much like to go back in time and tell myself to NOT TAKE UP SKIING.  It's fine for all of you, but I damaged my knee in such a way that I really could have done without the experience.  Of course that is one among several mistakes made that I could sooner live without.

8. Look at where you used to live because it's not there anymore. - Going back in time for most people would involve going back to things that you find familiar now.  After my own father died, I had an opportunity to go visit his house when he was growing up.  The people that took ownership of it changed it to the point that it was hardly the same structure.  I did not have a lot of memories of that place, but the ones I have are dear.

7.  Give key information to the right people - The problem with being me or you is that none of us are so influential that we will put our mark in making life easier or better.  If we have a time machine, we could make a stop off to certain people that would prove very influential.  Take for example the supreme court's ruling the corporations are in fact people.  We could go back and tell some justices to pull their collective heads out and think about the future of what they are asking for.  We could go back and give all of our current science to companies we like and see if our current time becomes better.  Of course the problem with playing this game of second guessing is we have no idea what the other path would hold.  Sure many of us might think we have a good idea, but honestly we don't.  There is no way to know what would happen to current time if you change the past.

6.  Kill Hitler -  Sure who wouldn't?  Go back in time and destroy who is arguably the worst monster humanity has created.  But lets look at this.  Is it really Hitler that was bad?  or he just the catalyst for a bunch of people that were really pretty bad themselves?  Who knows.  Maybe if they didn't have him as a focal point, they wouldn't have been able to allow all the other atrocities to go on.  Hard to say.  Ultimately Hitler was defeated in a war he couldn't win.  but like a Terrorist with a nuclear weapon, even though he was doomed to failure, he did make his mark.

5.  Save an endangered species! - when I grew up I remember seeing a video where a farmer had killed what was the last male passenger pigeon.  Then the female died without any eggs.  I don't remember much but that scene from that cartoon.  But how many species could we save while we are looking to go back and right wrongs or at least change things.

4.  Make a KILLER Magic trick - Ok, so the trick requires you to find a spot of land that will be untouched by anyone.  Find a unique tree that would be fairly inviolate.  Now take a deck of cards and tell the person you want to impress to pick a card out of the deck.  random or not.  Take their card and go to the tree and climb up it and find caved and healed into the tree the card they picked.  After the trick is done and they are amazed, write yourself a note to make sure and go back in time and carve that card into the side of that tree about 10 years prior.  Oddly enough, this is also a good way to find out if time machines exist at all.  I already know the answer, but you can find out for yourself.

3.  Go tell Stephen Speilberg and Robert Zemeckis  how it REALLY is -  Most people have seen Back to the future.  To a lesser extent the 2 other movies that made up the trilogy.  At the time the movie was wonderful and had the most current clothing trends etc.  Now puffy hunter vests and cassette tape walk man's seem to be at best a little goofy.  But that second movie made some pretty direct predictions about how the future would play out.  well, now we can go back and tell them how to REALLY make the movie and people will be freaked out by the accuracy!

2.  Kill Hitler, but this time do it right. - Everyone knows if you go back in time and Try to kill Hitler, you'll mess it up the first time or someone will prevent you from doing it or something will happen that will make it not quite work out the way you thought it should.  So you gotta go back and correct yourself.  This will also test if you can talk to yourself in the past or if it will make you both explode or something.  I have a feeling that rule was put into place by script writers so their stories would work.

1. Make your mark - Ok, now that you've solved your problems, the worlds problems, you've become rich, and you've made the world a better place, it's time to get some glory.  Go back and find a discovery that would have been discovered by someone else and jump the claim.  put your name in the history books.  Sure this is cheating, but really what part of time travel wouldn't be?  I think I discovered Dinosaur fossils.  Or maybe relativity.  Not sure, but it will be something big.  Maybe I'll put some pipes in the side of a mountain that make no sense.  That sounds cool.

February already?!  Where has the year gone?  Why doesn't anyone say that?