Most of us have a decade we relate to more than the others: the hair, the clothes, the music, the movies, even the commercials. Friends would say I'm stuck in the '70s and, although I never want to see platform shoes again or go back to teasing my hair into a strawberry blond afro, I don't fight the label. I'd rather wear bell bottoms than acid-washed or jeans that sag to your knees. I'll gleefully listen to one of the most banned songs of the decade, startle my dogs with my Arnold Horshack laugh and doodle smiley faces while craving a Kojak lollipop.
Somehow I've managed to move forward even if I'm never quite current. I blame technology. I can't keep up. I was so proud of myself when I gave up my landline and relied solely on a cell phone. At the time, I was one of 8% of North Americans to do so. Cutting edge! But then BlackBerrys and iPhones became the rage and I failed to board the trend train. I still don't see the need for 24/7 communication and accessibility. (I regularly turn my cell off and forget to turn it back on. No withdrawal symptoms.) Knowing how much I love music, colleagues bought me an iPod when I left my last job. They thoughtfully preloaded it with "Mandy" and "Shannon" and "Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves". Still, it sits in a drawer somewhere in my home office. My name is Gregory and I am technologically stunted. I don't own a flatscreen and one of my TVs doesn't even have a remote.
Yeah. Stuck in the '70s. (Where are my tube socks?)
I'm not calling for a techno burning. I do see value in some of the latest devices. It just seems we're too gadget driven and some very rich ADD developers and marketers are mocking us saps who buy into the buzz that every new upgrade is a need, not a want. It's like we're going from vinyl to 8-track to cassette to CD to iTunes in the course of four years instead of four decades. Yesterday, I read an article telling me that my four-month-old netbook would soon be obsolete. (Same with Kindles, digital cameras and, gasp, iPads.) Why shell out money for soon-to-be landfill fodder? Why can't we put something on the market and stick with it for 7-10 years? Products that last...am I talking blasphemy? How long has the stapler been in existence?
Help me, Rhoda Morgenstern! Gosh, I miss those lines of beads hanging in the doorway of your apartment. I need to calm myself with a tall glass of Tang—it was good enough for astronauts, it's good enough for me. I need Olivia to restore myself with "Have You Never Been Mellow" and then shake things out with a little "Boogie Oogie Oogie". Ah, good times, J.J., Good Times.