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JIM ‘PAPPY’ MOORE: Time for a 1970s Reboot

By Jim “Pappy” Moore

Ever since 2020 rolled around, I’ve gotten the feeling we are living through another era where angry, unhappy people have taken over the narrative of our lives and our country. It has reminded me of the late 1960s. Many of us remember those years. There were some good causes that needed addressing. There were some others that needed discussing. But there was much violence and arrogance, much like the trauma we have suffered the past three years at the hands of people who think they are entitled to commit violence against people who disagree with them.

The belligerence adopted by many of the teens and twenties toward all who came before them was a hallmark of those years five decades ago. We see much the same attitude now. You’re going to storm the streets, storm the highways, block all traffic, attack random vehicles and their occupants?! You’re going to assume everyone not with you in the streets is your enemy? You’re going to demand that others treat you with kid gloves while you treat them like dirt?!

We have seen this movie before. We have lived through it.

Race conflicts and Vietnam both required attention in that era. Both demanded that society decide to examine, study and choose a path ahead. That doesn’t mean a rabble of petulant teenagers and twenty-something collegians get to decide what we as a country will do.

As the 1970s rolled in we were still stuck in Vietnam, stuck in horrible random violence in the streets, and dealing with societal crises. A few years into the 1970s, however, the country got sick and tired of all the trauma. Suddenly people realized maybe we needed more fun and less dissension. Our clothes became lively. Television had comedies which poked fun at the excesses of all groups of citizens. Disco hit the scene. Dancing, singing, and generally having a good time took over. 

Guys started dressing like peacocks. Bold, colorful jackets. Paisley ties. Outlandish hats. Elevated shoes. Splashes of color became the norm. By 1975 standard dress for men and boys was wayyyy over the top. As a country, we were having fun and laughing at ourselves along the way.

We pushed aside the merchants of gloom and doom. We stopped letting them capture the spotlight and the headlines. We had fun.

That doesn’t mean serious events were not unfolding. They were. We had gas lines. We had OPEC. We had terrorism. We also had balance. Not yet victimized by the 24 hours a day drumbeat of cable news, we would still go about our business without the drumbeat of Fear Fear Fear.

In a few years CNN would emerge. It provided news around the clock, never letting us have stretches of time where we all watched shows like The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and What’s Happening!! We took daily breaks from the drumbeat of bad news.

We need a 1970s reboot in America. We need to turn off the news before 7 pm and not look at it again before 7 am. We need to put as much effort into having fun as we put into wringing our hands. We need to stop feeding our minds nothing but anger, hate, and sorrow.

Paisley ties. Leisure suits. Disco. Silly TV comedies. Come do your thing. Return us to the days when everyone got up to dance when they played Boogie Fever.

Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.

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