Just to talk about Ann-Margret, she was so adorable and that really includes everything about her, but in this case especially it was her voice that caught my attention. She has this very sweet soft voice that reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Taylor as far as how she speaks to people. Which I’m sure was driving Johnny Carson crazy ( at least inside ) with him thinking something like she’s too cute to also be this sexy. But that is Ann-Margret who is this very sweet, adorable, soft, and yet sexy and gorgeous woman. Very similar to Raquel Welch or Rita Hayworth from a previous era.
As far as The Cheap Detective, it could’ve been called The Cheap Movie as well. Not a great movie, but with a great cast including Ann-Margret, but Louise Fletcher, Stockard Channing, ( talking about beautiful, adorable women ) Peter Falk who is the star of the movie and someone who if anything might have been even funnier than Johnny Carson, even though they would’ve made a great contest. It’s a pretty funny movie similar to Columbo as far as the humor and funny people in it, but this is not one of Humphrey Bogart’s great film noir humorous movies, but more like play on those movies.
The flat tire commercial where it’s automatically assumed that the woman can’t change a tire, certainly wouldn’t play today. Back in 1955 or the ( the Utopia for the Christian-Right ) it was consider unfeminine for women to be involved in any form for physical work that’s traditionally done by men. And since gays were still living in the closet including lesbians, gay masculine women weren’t even around at least in public, so no woman back then was expected to do physical manly work. ( To make a politically incorrect joke ) So no changing the flat tires on the cars, or fixing appliances, home improvement, working on cars, construction work, nothing that would be considered manly. Women were expected to stay away from all of those activities in America.
The commercial with the beautiful sexy women that looks like it came out in the late 1970s just from the color picture and how the hair and everything else looked, as a straight man I don’t have any problems with that commercial. I could see why radical feminists would have a problem with it because they would view it as sexual exploitation. Taking advantage of women’s sex appeal and beauty. But they probably see professional cheerleader squads as sexist as well even though none of these women are expected to participate in any of these activities. I could see why a commercial like that wouldn’t play in San Francisco or New York or Boston, but don’t know why it would be a problem anywhere else in the country.
The cigarette and tobacco commercials, are not politically incorrect in anyway, because they’re simply not offensive to anyone. The problems that they have with especially chewing tobacco is that tobacco and even tobacco cigarets are so unpopular today because so many Americans at least now know what tobacco does to you and the health risks that come from it. Tobacco unlike alcohol which is still very popular is becoming taboo in America. Even smokers won’t smoke in their homes anymore especially if they have kids or if their spouse doesn’t like tobacco. But back in lets say 1975 or whenever that commercial came out practically every American was smoking. You almost had to back in the 1970s to be considered cool or groovy, far out, hip, whatever the hip term was then.
The commercial with the office secretary, kind of looks sexist to me, but in a funny way. Apparently the woman in the commercial is looking for a lunch date with her boss ( of all people ) and believes she can get that simply by wearing the right perfume or deodorant. Sort of implying that she’s trying to move up in the company by being nice to her boss. If that commercial came out 10-15 years later or was part of a sitcom from let’s say 1975-79 or even later, the commercial would’ve implied that the woman was trying to sleep her way to the top. I would see even as a hard core supporter for free speech who believes in almost no limits on it why that commercial could be seen as sexist.
We just live in a very different world now as we did in 1955. In some ways free speech and personal freedom is even more popular now where women aren’t expected to stay home and where couples aren’t expected to get married before they move in together or have sex, or even have kids together. But in other ways even though our constitutional right to free speech is just as strong as it was 60-65 years ago, it’s become less popular with young people. Who believe anyone who isn’t a straight, male, Christian, Caucasian, has some artificial right not to be offended. Which of course is obviously not true, but you wouldn’t know that from our current pop culture and even political culture. One of the reasons why Donald Trump is President of the United States, because you have millions of Americans probably tens of millions who are fed up with political correctness.
Burt Reynolds, the master of action/comedy who was a basically a comedian himself who didn’t do standup ( except when he was sitting down being interviewed ) being interviewed by the master of the late show the King of Late Night Johnny Carson. What could possibly be funny about two masters of the wisecrack and improv who play off each other perfectly because they have similar sense of humors? And then throw they were both somewhat immature when it came to comedy as far as not afraid of looking silly when they do their comedy.
I didn’t get much out of this interview other than Burt’s wisecracks about Hollywood parties and his trip to Florida for his summer vacation and how commercial the towns that he went through have become. But with Carson and Reynolds you didn’t need a script for these two guys to have a funny interview, because they played so well off each other. Sort of like Whose Line is it Anyway, Saturday Night Live, any Cary Grant movie where the director trusted his cast and let them do their things and be themselves as performers, because they director knew it would work out.
There have been a lot of great soap operas both in the movies and on TV. The big ones of course today are The Young And The Restless, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, but back in the day you had great prime time soap operas like Melrose Place, Dynasty, One Life To Live, Guiding Light, and movies that were soaps like Where Love Has Gone with Susan Hayward and Mike Connors, Love Has Many Faces with Lana Turner and Cliff Robertson, Strangers When We Meet with Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak. But if I had to choose one over every other I have to choose Dallas because it represents soap opera at it’s best, which is what I’m going to explain.
When I think of great soaps I think of dramatic comedy at it’s best where you have really serious scenes and situations, but people and characters who are exactly that who do crazy things and seem somewhat out of control and yet always seem to know what they’re doing. Like the JR Ewing character ( played by Larry Hagman ) on Dallas. Where you have serious situations with serious people, but doing crazy funny things. Like two adult women getting into cat fights and throwing pillows at each other. Happened multiple times between Linda Evans and Joan Collins on Dynasty.
Or two grown men getting into a fist fight at a restaurant because they’re interested in the same woman, with one of them saying, “look, we’re both adults here no need to fight for her.” Even though that’s exactly what happens two guys getting into a fist fight over a girl the kind of thing that happens in high school, but on Dallas or on another great soap opera it happens between two middle age men in public at a popular restaurant. Dallas, wasn’t a drama or a comedy, it was both because it was a soap opera. You had a lot of serious situations and serious people, but with crazy immature people doing a lot and saying a lot of funny crazy things. Like with Larry Hagman on the show, who was like an evil bastard, except he was so good at it and funny at it you almost had to like him or at least respect him because he was so good at being a bastard.
The 1980s was a decade of excess where Americans had a lot of money and seemed to be in a hurry to spend as much of it as they possibly could as if they’re was a national money going out of business sale and you have to spend all of your money before it becomes worthless. And Dallas perfectly represented the 1980s with the actors and characters that they had, as well as the writers. Similar to how Easy Rider perfectly represented the 1960s. It also represented a time when network TV was not only great, but relevant as well and where people wanted to watch CBS, ABC, and NBC every night and not just for sports and movies, but for programs as well. And almost 30 years later after Dallas finally went off the air after 13 seasons Dallas is still the best soap opera ever.
I doubt I’m the only person who has done this but for the last 10-20 years or so but I’ve been wondering why a somewhat normal seeming man like David Berkowitz would decide to go out and simply murder people in New York City or anywhere else. Not to look for justification for those murders and of course there are no justifiable murders. Murder by definition- the intentional taking of innocent human life by definition is a crime. The worst crime you could commit against anyone. Calling a murder justifiable would be like calling a cheeseburger a hot dog, a slice of pizza a peanut butter sandwich. Its simply not believable on its face.
But I’ve been wanting to know why would a somewhat innocent looking and normal intelligent man who had a good job and was able to support himself even if he was somewhat lonely and isolated, why would this person go out and decide to murder as many 10-20 innocent people and perhaps more. What would drive a normal productive man to go out and murder all of those innocent people for no apparent reason and why after being found sane and able to stand trial for his murders how would a serial murderer like David Berkowitz (the self-proclaim Son of Sam) avoid the death penalty. The death penalty is for people who murder multiple people and get some pleasure from that.
Again, this doesn’t justify what David Berkowitz did and I’ not anti-military or even anti-war, but David Berkowitz joined the U.S. Army right after high school in the early 1970s and discovered early on that he was very good with guns. He wasn’t even in the Vietnam War but instead was sent to South Korea to join the forces there that was protecting the South from Communist North Korea. I believe Berkowitz discovered that he was good with guns and good at shooting people and perhaps even discovered that he enjoyed doing it. He gets an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1974 and comes back to New York City where he grew up in the 1950s and 1960s and discovers that he’s alone and doesn’t fit in where he grew up.
What the Son of Sam means to me and I’m obviously not David Berkowitz’s biographer, is that he saw himself as the Son of Uncle Sam. This mythical character that is supposed to represent the U.S. Government and generally what most people believe and I’m one of them, represents what big government looks like in America. Americans who hate high taxes and over centralization of government, the War on Drugs, invasion of privacy, to use as examples. Not to say that Berkowitz hates big government, but I believe he saw it as his duty and was trained to murder people on the behalf of Uncle Sam as what he called himself The Son of Sam. Which is my little theory of why David Berkowitz did what he did.
To talk about Generation X (my generation born in 1975) it depends on how you define it. To put it simply we’re the generation that is now in our forties and fifties. The middle adult generation between the Boomers and the Millennial’s. Officially Baby Boomers are Americans born between 1946-64. So after World War II and during the civi rights movement of the mid 1960s. And I’m sure the U.S. Census Bureau does a lot of things very well, but defining generations is not really one of them. And as most Americans (who aren’t a Socialist) know government can get things wrong in this country.
Another way to look at Generation X are the people who went to school and grew up in post-segregated America. If you want to know why so many Americans are both color and race blind is because so many of us (Gen-Xers) went to public schools that were racially and ethnically diverse. So we went to school before we knew what race and ethnicity was. And got to see people as they were as people and not just how they looked. Why they had a certain complexion, why there hair looked a certain way, why they had certain names. Things that come with one’s ethnicity and race.
Which is why affirmative action has been losing support with my generation and in America broadly, because a lot of us now simply don’t judge Americans by their race or ethnicity and therefor don’t believe people should be rewarded or punished simply because of their race or ethnicity. I believe the more accurate way to define Generation X is Americans born between 1960 or 61 and 1979. And I believe a lot of Americans born in the early 1960s would agree with this since they have plenty in common as far as their own personal experiences with Americans born in the mid and late 1960s and even early 1970s, is Americans born between 1960 or 61, and 1979. Than they do with Boomer Americans born in the 1940s and 1950s and even in some cases late 1950s.
So everyone born in 1979 would be the last of the Gen-Xers. Which is what I’ll be talking about in this piece is Americans born in the 1960s and 1970s that are right between the two largest generations in at least modern American history. The Baby Boomers born in the 1940s and 1950s that are the parents of most Gen-Xers. And the Millennial’s born in the 1980s and 1990s who are the children of some Gen-Xers and a lot of Boomers. Even if you stretch out Generation X to let’s say 1961 or even 1960 to 1979, we’re still a small generation. Like North Korea surrounded by China and Russia.
Because a lot of Boomers especially men were vacationing in Vietnam in the 1960s (ha, ha) and the the economy was so depressing in the 1970s that a lot of Boomers weren’t having kids. They were too busy crying about the Vietnam War and the fact they couldn’t find a job, or at least a good job. But that is really for a different topic as far as why my generation is so damn small and we have to look up to the Boomers and Millennial’s as far as numbers.
The main reason why I still have some hope for America even with the oversensitive Millennial’s who can’t take a joke and want to outlaw everything they disagree with and view celebrity culture and new technology as need to know information and current affairs and public policy back page and unimportant, because it requires thinking and intelligence to understand, and history as so old school and yesterday and therefor not worth learning about and being interested in, is because what I laid out early in this article. Gen-Xers are the first post-segregation generation.
If you’re a Boomer or older chances are you went to a segregated school, especially if you grew up in the South or even rural small towns in the North. And therefor didn’t get to or have to socialize and learn with kids of different racial or ethnic backgrounds as yourself, until you probably graduated high school. And then maybe even in college you didn’t go to school with people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. Unless you were an African-American who is in college on let’s say a scholarship. That is not a problem that most Gen-Xers had and the same thing for the Millennial’s.
So Gen-Xers have got to experience America at it’s best and what we’re supposed to be as this great vast liberal democracy where everyone can succeed if they’re simply just given the opportunity to and then take advantage of those opportunities. Regardless of their ethnicity, race, or gender. And we’ve gotten to learn about America at it’s worst and to some extent experience racial and ethnic bigotry ourselves, especially racial and ethnic minorities, but in most cases not to the same extent as our parents and grandparents.
We know what works about America which is our ability to be individuals and at the same time celebrate what we all share and love about America. Which is the ability for us to be ourselves and not have to fall in line and be some big collection of Americans that all think, talk and act alike. And we know what doesn’t which is denying Americans opportunity and access simply because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds, or their gender. And trying to lump groups of Americans into one group and think they must all think, talk, and act a certain way, because of the group that they’re a member of.
Another reason why I have hope for America is Generation X in most cases are the sons and daughters of the Baby Boomers. We’ve learned from them about individuality and learned from the so-called Me Generation and that Americans are better off being themselves and taking care of themselves. That we’re only as useful and can help others when we’re doing well ourselves. Which is why I believe Gen-X is an educated generation and successful generation.
We’ve gotten ourselves the tools to do well in America and then have passed our wealth and knowledge down to others and have become a large volunteering generation. And enjoy volunteering for others and helping people out, because we’ve made it in America in most cases. And aren’t drowning in student debt (unlike another generation) and are able to take care of ourselves for the most part. (Unlike another generation)
The last reason why I believe America still has hope and will still be a great country 20 years from now when I’m in my early 60s (knock on wood) is because Generation X is the middle generation. We’re in our 40s and 50s and just had our first President in Barack Obama. (Born in 1961) We’re going to be around and in charge for a long time. And because of that will have the ability to lead and teach others what we’ve know and have experienced.
And hopefully the Millennial’s will grow up and learn that just because they don’t like a joke or criticism, doesn’t necessarily make that joke and criticism bigoted.
Hopefully Millennial’s will learn that just because they don’t approve of this activity or another like what people eat and drink like soft drinks and junk food, or meat because they view eating meat as animal cruelty, doesn’t mean those things are so bad that government should prohibit them.
Hopefully Millennial’s will learn that just because celebrity culture and new technology or are so like totally awesome or whatever, that maybe those things really aren’t as important as how government is spending our tax dollars, or are we going to be at war, or are our civil rights, civil liberties, and constitutional rights, are now in jeopardy, because of some big government action or actions.
These are the reasons why I still have hope for America and my Generation X is a big part of that.
At risk of stating the obvious, in a country over 200 million people back in the 1970s and in a major sports league like the NFL with 26 franchises by the time the NFL expanded to Tampa and Seattle in 1976, it’s hard to accurately say there was one Americas team in the NFL. America is not Jamaica or Iceland, we’re a huge country with a huge population.
Granted, the Dallas Cowboys were probably the most popular team in the NFL in the 1970s and a lot of that I believe had to do with their Hollywood pop culture appeal. Where a lot of their players looked like professional celebrities and entertainers perhaps as much or more as they looked like professional football players. But as one guy in this video said a lot of the promotion that was about the Cowboys in putting together the Americas Team film that was about the Cowboys was based on lies.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team of the 1970s in the NFL and I would argue the team of pro sports in that decade. They won 4-6 Super Bowls from 1974-79. Had never been done before and hasn’t been done since and perhaps never will be done again with all the parity in the league today. And if you just look at personal and the fact that the Oakland Raiders are also in the AFC along with the Steelers and had to play the Steelers three times in the AFC Championship just to get to the Super Bowl and lost 2-3 of those games, you could certainly argue that the Oakland Raiders were just as good as the Cowboys in the 1970s.
Sure, the Cowboys won 2 Super Bowls and the Raiders only 1. And the Cowboys won five conference championships and the Raiders only 1. But who was the other great NFC franchise in the 1970s? The Minnesota Vikings who lost three Super Bowls? The Los Angeles Rams who only won one conference championship? The Rams, Vikings, and Redskins, were pretty good in the 1970s. But the Cowboys were the only great NFC team in the decade. Which is one reason why they won 5 NFC Championship’s. The Steelers had the Raiders and Dolphins that they had to worry about every year and probably beat in the AFC Playoffs just to get to the Super Bowl.
The Dallas Cowboys on paper were probably just as good or about as good as the Pittsburgh Steelers and you could argue they had a better team in 1978 than the Steelers and should have won Super Bowl 13, which I believe is still the best Super Bowl ever. But they didn’t and to be the best, you have to beat the best and be your best when it counts the most. Like not dropping TD passes when you’re wide-open in the end zone. Being the most popular team and being Americas Team are two different things. Which is why Dallas Cowboys came up short in the 1970s.
Any guesses to what movie this is a spoof from? I’ll give you a clue, you need to be familiar with movies from the 20th Century and at the very least have heard of the 1970s decade. If that era seems like the Civil War, or old school, or whatever to you, then you’ll have no idea what this is from. And you’ll probably have no interest in this piece.
Carol Burnett, of course is playing off from Airport 1975. I at least believe is the best of the 1970s disaster movies and perhaps the best disaster movie of all-time. Where you have a mid-air collision in it and you have the head stewardess flying the plane for a few hundred miles at least and getting help from the tower in order to do that. Watching Nancy (played by the great Karen Black) fly and airplane and watching that little beautiful baby cutie fly that huge 747, was all the motivation I needed to see that movie. I saw it for the first time when I was 18 and it quickly became one of my favorite movies. This movie combines I believe the best of soap opera, with all the side stories, humor and people going through rough times, with how professionals react when they’re put in the worst possible situation possible with hundreds of lives depending on them.
Carol Burnett, not as cute as Karen Black, but who is and she’s a lot funnier and perhaps just as good an actress. And it was great to see her flying a jumbo jet as well. Especially with I don’t know, Carl Reiner (just to throw out a name) talking her through the experience. The 1970s, was a depressing can’t wait to get to the nearest ledge to jump off of Niagara Falls decade. But the movies were great and the genres and what people were interested in seeing from Hollywood was great. America, was interested in disaster movies, terrorism, cop movies, detective movies, soap operas, especially if the movie was well done with great casts and was also funny. And Airport 1975, was an example of that and perhaps the best movie from that genre in this decade.
The 1970s, was a crazy and very entertaining even with how gloomy and depressing a decade that it was. With the bad economy, Vietnam War, high crime rate and everything else. But one of few great things about that decade was the entertainment. Especially movies and TV. Terrorism was on the mind of millions of Americans, as well as what could happen if something went wrong with an airplane when it was in air and thousands of miles from a nearest airport. Soap operas were also very popular and common in the decade, as well as movies that combined several different genres and stories in one movie. Airport, isn’t a pure action movie, or action/thriller, or action/drama, or action/comedy, or soap opera. It was all of those things into one movie. With a great cast and a great director.
Airport, is essentially about what good decent intelligent people, who all have their own issues and problems outside of work, do when they’re all under extreme pressure. Like having a passenger on the plane who is so desperate, who is out-of-work and can’t hold onto a job, who needs money and believes there is nothing left he can do, but have himself killed so his wife can collect his life insurance. Van Heflin, plays a man named Guerro who manages to get a bomb on the plane. The General Manager (played by Burt Lancaster) of the airport, is no longer in love with his wife and as a result is now a workaholic who doesn’t want to go home at night, because he’s happier working all the time. Jacqueline Bisset, plays a head stewardess who is having an affair with a married pilot and is now pregnant with his baby. Dean Martin, plays the father of the head stewardess’s baby and his married and having an affair with that stewardess.
You have all of these decent intelligent people who are all very good at their jobs, but are all under enormous pressure and are all now dealing with an airplane that has a bomb on board by a man who is suicidal and wants to set the bomb off and the bomb does go. Off so you have all of these people who are already under enormous pressure now having to deal with a potential airplane disaster in horrible Upper Midwest weather in the winter, leaving from Chicago. And now also have to deal with the possibility of hundreds of people dying in a horrible plane crash. This is a very entertaining and very funny movie. Perhaps not so believable with all the side soap operas in it. But even great soap operas tend not to be very believable. And it is very entertaining and pretty funny movie with very funny people in it and a an all-star cast. Baltimore Movie Trailer Park: Airport 1970- Theatrical Trailer
If I was growing up, or an adult in the 1960s and 1970s, I might consider if I had access to, going through that decade on one big alcohol and illegal narcotics high. The problem with that is I probably wouldn’t have survived it and lived to blog about those experiences today. Which might have only been a problem for myself. But the 1970s especially, was a very depressing decade. As I mentioned last week about 1979, without Hollywood, America would have been a country of Fins. A very depressed country all in search of a tall bridge to jump off hoping we wouldn’t hit water as we jumped off. The problem with that is that there would have been lines of millions of Americans, not waiting for gas, but to all jump off the same bridge. Even escaping reality has its limits to it like taking the trip to escape reality and what it does to your body.
I think making a film, or book, (how about both and devote your whole life to the project) about George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, (speaking of marijuana highs) would have entertained and depressing enough. We didn’t need Dennis Kucinich, a former U.S. Representative and two-time presidential candidate who lost his House seat to another Democrat, because we had George McGovern. Whose 1972 presidential campaign made it appear that he wasn’t running for President of the United States. But Planet Utopia, where there’s no poverty, no discrimination, no hate and no anything else that good people tend to see as bad. And what also made Senator McGovern’s campaign strange, was that I don’t think the man even drank. Let alone smoked marijuana, or any other illegal narcotics. He was just out there, I mean out there as a sober man. Here’s a guy who lost a presidential election to a criminal. You can’t even beat a criminal in a presidential election, you’re pretty pathetic.
I think covering Jimmy Carter would have been interesting enough. Here’s a guy who was also a politician and yet he also seemed like a human being as well. Who didn’t try to convince people he was perfect, or cover up obvious mistakes and took actual responsibility for himself and people who worked for him. Speaking of Planet Utopia, imagine a country where politicians actually seemed like real people and not robots, or puppets. Where you have someone standing behind the politician telling them what to say when a reporter has the balls to ask the politician a real question that puts the politician on the spot. I’m not here blaming politicians, because they get elected and reelected and reelected and reelected, until they die, or people sober up and decide to vote them out, by voters who are us and everyday people. But Jimmy Carter, actually seemed like a real American, just a hell of a lot smarter.
Sometimes I wish I was born 20-25 years later and not born during the middle of one of the recession’s from the 1970s. Because then I would have gotten to grow up, or have been part of the civil rights movement and perhaps even the hippie movement. I think it would have been great to live during 1968, just to see if I could have survived that year. But then someone slaps me in the face and I wake up and think to myself, “what are you fucking crazy!” Coming up during that time period would have been hell I think. Sure! It would have been fun, especially if I didn’t get drafted to Vietnam and didn’t have a way to get to Canada. But a lot of that time period would have been so depressing for me. I mean, I got through 1979, 2001, 2009-10. I think that is enough trauma for one person who hasn’t turned 40 yet. (Knock on wood) But its a great time to write and blog about. Franken Splean: Hunter S. Thompson- Omnibus 1978