My son sent me this link with the question, "Seriously? Was this what people considered entertaining in the Seventies?" No. We considered ABBA entertaining in the Seventies. :)
In my own defense I stated that I have never heard of this band, Showaddywaddy, before. They're... pretty horrible.
However, I think the benchmark for this sort of thing is the Finnish video "I Wanna Love You Tender" from about the same time. The choreography is what one might call intrusive.
It's kind of hard to describe the Seventies to people who didn't live through them. They were ugly years, hideously ugly. Back then we used to think that the all time nadir of taste was the Fifties; little did we know we were creating it and bottoming out just then. You see, we didn't really see or appreciate the ugliness at the time. We thought that stuff was au courant. As James Lileks writes, "All eras have some bad taste, of course – but it took the 70s to make bad taste triumphant and universal."
In shame, however, I will admit that I have always have a guilty appreciation for that 1970's yard sale-organic-rustic style. The kind of thing where you gather cable reels, power line insulators, big pieces of iron and semi-rotted wood as home decor. (I'm living in a rail yard!) This is a suggestive representation of the style. But I married a woman who has a sense for classic home decorating, and I'm getting over it. I meet bi-weekly with others who share my problem and we talk it out.
But looking back is always therapeutic, if a little gut-wrenching.
Last night, based on a recommendation from my German speaking pal Chris, I saw a funny little German comedy, Schultze Gets the Blues (2003). (That's him, above. Schultze, that is, not Chris.) It's about an East German who lives in the most dreary town in Germany, bar none, whose life is transformed by Zydeco music. He travels to Louisiana to follow his Muse. It's not a ha-ha-isn't-this-funny? comedy. It's slow-paced and deadpan, and the film invites you to find the humor in it. In his review, Roger Ebert drew the same comparison I did while watching it, with the work of the Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. (Longtime readers will know I'm an Aki fan. See 10 October 2008 entry here.)
So... "Schultze Gets the Blues" - recommended.
It wouldn't be a current blog entry without a hobo reference of some kind, would it? Here's a good one, from that book I'm presently reading, describing the various hobo train riding styles - and dangers therein. Sliding boxcar doors can slice off legs? I didn't know that. Yeech... death and dismemberment wherever you look on one of those things.
Finally, the other night, while watching an episode of the Big Joe Polka Show, some ensemble (the Czechaholics?) sang the classic "Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie Polka." I was amused with the lyrics. Why is Frank smiling and going to the bank, and why are people playing hide and seek? It all sounds a bit lascivious to me.
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