Old Days

CHICAGO 1975 Chart Position: #5

I have been young, but now am old
Psalms 37:25


Well, another year has gone by, and what a sorry one it was! It was no more interesting than the year before, and unless the Lord returns, we can expect little more from the next. Give them ten or fifteen years though,and we'll be fabricating enough lies about this miserable decade that we'll actually care about what ever happened to Seinfeld and Celine Dion. Can you imagine the teens of 2008 dressed as heroin-chic grunge rockers, doing the Macarena? Mark my words, it'll happen!

My pick of the week is a 70's supergroup's misty-eyed peek back at the "good old days" that is not particularly clever, catchy, or memorable for a top five hit. It targets the ultimate "nostalgia" decade, the 1950's. Its appeal is not in the melody, but in its ability to tug on the heartstrings of those born during or shortly after World War II. Lead singer Peter Cetera rattles off a series of so called "innocent" objects and activities that this generation holds dearly, including:

Comic books (Many of which were demonic in nature)

Baseball Cards (Idolatry)

Drive-In Movies (We all know what went on there!)

Blue Jeans (Much tighter ones than in previous decades)

Streetcars (I'm not too sure what these are, but I'm looking into it!)

Finally, the song makes mention of a popular figure, which is the topic for this week's review. Allow me to start from the beginning...

With the advent of television in 1947, "series" programming reared its ugly head and wreaked havoc upon millions of unsuspecting Americans. Many of these were children who were hungry for a new form of after-school stimulation. They tuned their hearts and minds to one "Buffalo" Bob Smith, a slick and persuasive merchandiser who was eager to exploit a generation of young minds for profit by way of this new visual medium.

Smith organized his system of control by way of a colorful entourage of costumed actors and a crude if not hideous collection of marionettes, with names such as "Flubadub" and "Howdy Doody." Positioned against a backdrop resembling a rodeo circus, these characters created the illusion of joy and merriment through action-packed sketches, story, and song. In reality, however, this was Smith's thinly disguised attempt to bombard the airwaves with his guilt-producing philosophy, which young viewers could not possibly live up to.

Smith constantly stressed absolute obedience to human authority, while hyping the proper execution of every common chore and good work as he saw fit. Rarely did a segment pass by without stern references to correct speech, posture, and personal hygiene. He also encouraged "thrift" by insisting that they save their allowance to spend exclusively on "tie-in" products marketed on his show.

Though "Howdy Doody Time" is fondly remembered by its viewers as great comedy, a simple examination of the original scripts prove the contrary. Old clips of this show are likely to appear only on "blooper" retrospectives due to the fact that the scripted material is simply not funny.

Tragically, in 1960, after mesmerizing his gullible audience into total submission, Smith up and walked away like a deadbeat father, never to return. A generation of bitterly betrayed young people, left frustrated and disillusioned, began rebelling against everything Smith had taught them. They stopped cutting their hair and cut down on bathing and brushing their teeth . Adorned in beads and tattered clothing, they promoted social disorder, free love, and permissive child-rearing. They ingested "psychadelic" drugs, and encouraged others to do so as well, while their music was little more than suggestive sexual innuendo set to a frenzied beat.

As a result, we have seen the progression of violent crime, family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, disharmony, and general confusion. Though elected officials and organized committees make feeble attempts to remedy these problems, they are largely comprised of Buffalo Bob's brainwashed "peanut gallery" generation, rendering them ineffective, if not incompetent in the face of our modern-day moral and sociological crisis.

As you may have guessed by now, I do not share the opinions of my fellow evangelists who continually work to turn the clock back forty years. To me, the 1950's ushered in a multitude of "gateway" activities that may ultimately lead to the total destruction of mankind. How wonderful it is to know that I will be taken into the clouds before this happens. Now that will be something that I will be happy to reminisce about....but not for at least 100 million years!


dick@negativland.com



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