Right around the time its workplace shootings made “going postal” a new catchphrase, I read something interesting about the U.S. Postal Service — that while Americans overwhelmingly disliked going to their post office, they liked their individual letter carriers almost as much.
I’ve found this to be true in my own case. When our last carrier in Fort Wayne would leave a package, he’d always put a dog biscuit on it for the member of the household who greeted him most enthusiastically. It got to the point Spriggy would recognize the uniform — I think it was the stripes down the side of the pants — and pull madly at the leash whenever we encountered a mailman or lady, expecting to find a treat in one of those pockets.
I thought of that when my former colleague Brian Tombaugh posted this picture on his Facebook:
Halloween was Mailman Mike’s last day of work before retirement. Yay, Mike.
How much sleep did you get last night? I got: Not nearly enough. So expect a train wreck today. And in that spirit, let’s reconsider a topic we’ve perhaps batted around here in the past, but is always worth another round, i.e. The ’70s: Haters gotta hate.
Rod Dreher takes a detour from his graphomania to throw out a little nugget to his readers:
I was watching the long “American Experience” documentary on Nixon the other night with my oldest son, and it was really something to see overripe crappiness everywhere. The hair, the clothes, the cars, the … everything. No wonder we got Nixon.
James Lileks has, of course, made ’70s hate a cottage industry, publishing at least one book and millions of words of irrational disparagement of the decade. I take issue, friends. It’s true that much of it looks preposterous in hindsight, but you can say that about all of them. And for every one of you cranks who reels off the list like an indictment — disco afros wide ties polyester leisure suits Loni Anderson metallic wallpaper hot combs — I can think of another. The Ohio Players, Ramones, Patti Smith, Halston’s cocktail dresses, the films of Martin Scorsese, the Washington Post Style section — all trends and people and institutions that got their start, or first flowering, in the 1970s. Show me a ’70s-hater and I’ll show you someone like Dreher, who apparently spent it in front of a television eating Cap’n Crunch, or Lileks, who spent it in North Dakota.
I wasn’t exactly twirling with Andy and Liza at Studio 54 myself, but I was young and attentive to the world around me, such as it was in Columbus and Athens, Ohio, where I spent the decade. The difference between Columbus and Fargo and whatever Louisiana hellhole spawned Dreher must be the watershed between love or dismissal of the decade.
So, with that in mind, I give you…my high-school yearbook:
I’m actually on that page twice. That’s me walking out the door of the all-night graduation party, squinting at the camera flash. Granted, those pants? Mistake. But I’ll stand by all the rest of it, including my Jane Fonda shag. (My high school was so large that I don’t recall a single other person on that page. The Superstars of 1975 numbered around 750, as I recall — the largest, then and now, in the school’s history. Damn baby boomers.)
OK, time to go. Bloggage?
No. None. (I told you I didn’t get any sleep.) Happy Wednesday to all.