Sunday, October 25, 2009

The 70s: Bring Out Your Dead, Part II

More reverb, mid-1970s cut. Dig the old breed, Old School, nifty-fifty, 23 skidoo. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead and Saturday Night Live is still aired. Anne Sexton still needs a biopic and Elvis still plays ping pong with Chairman Mao in the ethersphere between sightings throughout the cosmos. Sue Kaufman's Diary of a Mad Housewife's movie version needs re-release, and Alice Paul a renewed salute. Not quite the end of the 70s, the End of the Century, but it was The End for these folks. Let us now remember what we can of them, to the tune of Howlin' Wolf's "Moanin' at Midnight" and then, and then, and then, "Goin' Down Slow." Let's remember anything we can . . .

Anne Sexton (11/9/1928-10/4/1974). She's so cool, so nutty; I'd rather have a drink and shop poetry with her than with Sylvia Plath, in the realm of surreal dreams.

Here's a surreal nightmare: Stiff-armed Adolf Hitler with a jolly Francisco Franco. Things are much better in Germany and Spain these days. God, let's hope so. Francisco Franco (12/4/1892-11/10/1975).

Howlin' Wolf/Chester Arthur Burnett (6/10/1910-1/10/1976): How Many More Years, Evil, Forty-four, Smokestack Lightnin', I Asked for Water, Sitting on Top of the World, Wang Dang Doodle, Back Door Man, Little Red Rooster, I Ain't Superstitious, Three Hundred Pounds of Joy, Hidden Charms, Built for Comfort, Killing Floor, and more, and more and more.

Mao Zedong/Mao tse-tung (12/26/1893-9/9/1976). Or as Mrs. Cunningham/Dr. Ruth Bishop used to say in modern Chinese history class, Mousey-Tongue. She was joking. He was not. Scary dude. Andy Warhol, Don DeLillo, overrun by a Chinese line, Cultural Rev, you say you want a revolution . . .

Sue Kaufman (8/7/1926-6/25/1977). In "Summer Librarian" she notes the passing of time, the changing of the old ways into new that have since become old again and the pages keep on turning and she kept on seeing for miles and miles and miles until she couldn't take it anymore.

Alice Paul (1/11/1885-7/9/1977) Lives On with her crazy egalitarian notions about women and equal pay and a National Women's Party and Equal Rights Amendment that scared so many for no real reason save fear itself sort of like today's push for equal marriage rights, but ah -- so many things to change, so little time . . .

Elvis Presley (1/8/1935-8/16/1977), the King. In Tupelo, a Child was Born to outlive his Twin and the rest is History and Fable and Legend and Myth and Cult and Religion and Poetry and Hope and Glory and Archetypal Hero of the People of of the Realm of the World of the Earth of the Open Heavens, bound for The Promised Land Beyond Time . . .

Today's Rune: Flow.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

MAO. 1986. WE SHUFFLED PAST HIS GLASS COVERED COFFIN IN BEIJING. WE SAW SOME AUSTERE LOOKING MEN. CANTON, NOW CALLED GUANGZHOU, WAS FAR MORE RELAXED, MORE COLORFUL AND PLEASANT. HOW CHINA HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN.....

Charles Gramlich said...

Hitler and Franco. Man that's still a scary thought.

jodi said...

Erik, what a cool flashback for all of us 70's types! I remember reading "Diary of a Mad Housewive"! I had to sneak it, of course. I was always reading "outside the lines."

the walking man said...

Honestly? Brutally honestly? Although it is the generation that I came to adulthood in it is the generation that has taken the world to the place where it resides now. It is us who have robbed and stolen and turned and destroyed the wealth, the environment and now sit in the boardrooms that could but won't change or undo a goddamn thing that we have created.

This generation of ours won't even turn back the pollution of it's stacks to save the very environment we live in for fucks sake because there is still profit to be sucked out of the last of the clean air.

This generation that turned the word greed into a mantra and sucked the opportunities for a better life for them after WWII into a profit stream that now has gone out of control and will be uncontrollable until we take back the governments of the world from being run by the boardrooms containing them who also came of age in the 70's.

I am not now, nor have ever felt much pride in anything accomplished in this generation of mine. Equality is still a pipe fucking dream, one world for all a myth, freedom from oppression a lie that has never been and will never be because we are the animals that defined it and now do it.

I will not glorify the 60's and beyond because we have proven again and again to history that we are mere bent on societal destruction through subterfuge and cleverly designed mouse traps that exist for only one thing and that is to separate them without from the little they have to be further piled into the accounts of the few who have.

The hippies and protesters who gathered in the last and final mass rally's went to party not to protest and now they are dead and gone to corporate capitalism.

You may say I have painted the mass with a brush designed for a few but the truth is we all bought into it and to this very day are marinating in our apathy and refusing to stand up against what our peers have done.

I could go on forever but the present result repudiates all of the art and cultural output of those days.

Erik Donald France said...

Appreciate all the comments! Mark/WM, I don't think reality repudiates art. We can still enjoy a good soundtrack, even in Purgatory or Hell.

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