The 70’s: New Series and Index
Various surveys have shown that that reported levels of happiness in the United States peaked in the early nineteen seventies, and have declined, or at best remained stable since then. This is interesting to me for a number of reasons, and ties in to several other things I’ve been thinking about of late.
As the seventies began, I was midway through the first grade; and as they closed, I was a junior in high school. Thus, my formative years were spent in that decade. Now, as I spend my last year as a forty-something, during a time of economic decline and general national malaise, I can’t help casting my gaze back to that long-vanished decade. Therefore, while I’m still working on a couple of other ongoing series (the going is slower now that school’s back in session), with this post I’m beginning a new series on the 1970’s.
This will be a much more periodic, haphazard, and informal series than some of the others. I don’t have any overarching thesis; I just want to use looking at things then–and now–as a helpful lens for thinking about the important issues of today. I won’t claim that a patina of nostalgia might not slip in now and then. At the same time, I agree with Billy Joel that “the good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” I’ll try not to let middle-aged crankiness get too much in the way, and I’ll try to be as clear-eyed as possible in looking at the lost decade of my youth.
Finally, to avoid being wasteful, since this post is basically an intro, I’ll let it serve as the index page, too, below the break.
Meanwhile, stay funky, keep in the groove, and love and peace to all!