We, as a human race, love to live dangerously. It is our natural, enduring desire to be enthralled in a capacity that raises diffident probabilities with an ever-pleasing idyllic conclusion. Though thousands of writings have been posted to declare infinite jeapordies as a warning to us all – one thing remains certain: we want happiness, and we will chance at any item we can get our hands on to achieve that happiness, even it means imminent danger. I’m referring to such items as:
The Sony Walkman
Oh yes. I clearly remember back to a time where the media declared this weapon of happiness as a tool to diminish and desolate our hearing with continued use.
During my formative years, I always had a Walkman in hand. At night, it was my best friend. It was coddling to my every mood by giving me the choice of whatever I wanted to listen to at that moment. I had quite a collection of cassette tapes that stored an array of genres. Yes, the majority of them also stored music from one of my favorite bands. In those days, it was rare to watch the news, but in the instances I did, there was the occasional disquietude: listening to music through a Walkman meant impending doom; that there is no preset volume limit which would allow listening to music at full volume; that they will cause hearing loss at a premature age.
Over thirty years later, I can listen to the television with great contentment at the volume level of five.
The 1950’s brought us the delights of rock and roll. Parents didn’t understand its appeal, and was frowned upon because it’s “loud,” it sounds “angry,” introduced twerking in its infancy (thrusting hips brought to us by Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry) and may influence teenagers to start a sort of rebellion against school, their parents, and anything remotely political. In truth, rock and roll gave teenagers a safe haven, and that decade was considered to be the first to widely recognize a teen culture. Though rock and roll does have its subsets of headstrong qualities, it never caused the chaos of impending doom the way their parents thought it would be.
The sixties were a turbulent time, but also rebellious in a much needed way. We needed young people to speak up more than ever. The more they spoke, the more threatened the older generations became, fearing that the world was headed into a more dangerous place. In addition, those parents warned their kids about The Beatles, claiming they were “long-haired freaks” that reeked of sexual attributes. It would please them nothing more than to hide their little girls in the closet, and blast tunes from the big band era…..anything to get away from the evil that was The Beatles. However, The Beatles, as threatening as they were to some parents, were the very light this nation needed during this era.
(Side note: I feel that I shouldn’t have to include additional links for the Beatles. You should have at least heard of them. If not, you should be ashamed of yourself and you need to listen to some Beatles music right NOW.)
Well…..the Beatles broke up in 1970. Now there really isn’t to look forward to now…..is there?
Of course there is! That’s why there’s the pet rock.
The pet rock carries a mystique that many do not understand to this day. It’s just a thing, and it’s a thing that does absolutely nothing. Yet, during the Disco era, this became a prodigy unlike any other, and drew in big bucks. It made people happy.
Also what made people happy was disco music. Frowned upon by parents at that time,, disco music exploited sexuality by way of clothes, lyrics, makeup, and hair. The clothes became tighter, shorter, sleeker, and sexier. This was the age of drooling 12-year old boys eyeballing the shit out of a Farrah Fawcett poster with an outline of nipples trying to pierce their way out of a red swimsuit. Damn those nipples. The nipples just won’t go away. Just ask Jennifer Aniston and Janet Jackson.
There’s always going to be something or someone in every generation that will cause some sort of “uproar” that implies inevitable danger to society as a whole. This post illustrates how we’ve managed to survive all of these “dangers” through proper education and common sense guidance. As someone derived from the X generation, I don’t understand selfies, Pokeman Go, cell phones, auto-tuning, and Despacito. I’ve come to realize that as much as I hated my parents criticizing my way of life during my teen years, I will not make that same mistake to fall into that same trap. But I will reserve the right to question the need for Instagram filters. 🙂
I discovered this web site while researching crazy fads of yesteryear. I’m certain that the majority of these fads hinted at some sort of imminent danger in its own right. Yet, the world didn’t end. 🙂 We live to be “dangerously” happy.