12:20:2003 Entry: "Ann : 1970-1971: The Review"
1970-1971: The Review
I watched the VH1 70s special last night...the first two years, 1970 and 1971. It was as sarcastically smarmy as I was expecting, with commentary from people who didn't seem like they were even *alive* or *born* in the 70s. Some experts recounting of the decade, huh? I was ultimately more disappointed than I was anticipating being. A total bummer, man. I noticed they did use Bauhaus font (which is what I use in the graphics on this site and at ann-s-thesia.com) for their display fonts, which in my case is because I truly love it and always have since I first became aware of typefaces in the mid 1980s. I'm sure in their case it was just a cold, calculated graphic decision, just like using the color orange. The thing is, Bauhaus, because it is more of a display font rather than a text font, needs to be either displayed large, or the graphic needs to be still for a while for the viewer to have time to read it. But when someone's name flashes by in Bauhaus demi with their title underneath it in a smaller size of Bauhaus LIGHT of all ridiculous weights, for ONE SECOND, it is impossible to read it. So since I wasn't acquainted with this new young breed of comedians they paraded as "70s experts", I have no idea who they were or what they did. I couldn't read their names. Not everyone has a 46" plasma display TV. I remember when we had a 13" TV in the 1980s and we could read all the text that was on it. Producers designed for small TV screen sizes back then, not for gigantic viewscreens. I'm not sure what our TV size is now...somewhere around 20" I would guess, but the text was unreadable. And it's not because my eyesight is getting worse, it is definitely a design problem on the show producer's end. But of course they wouldn't catch that in pre-production because they're probably all viewing it on high definition large screens.
One person that stood out because of his complete unserious approach to everything and his lisping smarmitude was Mo Rocca (I'm not sure if that's spelled correctly...thanks to VH1's poor graphic job, I couldn't exactly READ it). I remember one time about a year ago or so, Stan and I were watching something on TV which was a serious debate about something important...global issues...terrorism...war...the 2000 Florida chad debachle...my mind forgets just what the topic was, but it was a serious topic. I'm pretty sure this Mo fellow was one of the panelists, and everything he said was just a stupid childish mockery of the whole situation. It's as if the guy never grew up or had a serious thought in his head. Everything was ironic, but it wasn't good irony...it was just that silly gayboy constant commentary that drives me up a wall. Politics can be funny and humour can be political. I've always enjoyed Mark Russell's shows on PBS--it's light, but with a bite. But having Mo serve as a panelist for anything topical with a semi-serious side is showing a major lapse of judgment. I suppose the same can't be said for VH1's "I Love the 70s", since the whole approach to it is one of non-seriousness, so by that standard he fit right in. I nonetheless had this great urge overcome me to pummel him across the head...and I'm not a violent person. If I continue to watch this special, we may be in the market for a new television set, and not just because we need a larger screen to view the poorly done graphic text. No, I'm afraid a shoe will go through our poor boob tube, aimed directly at Mo's cranium.
Riddle me this...VH1 is (supposed to be) a cable music channel. Then why was music one of the lesser covered subjects? They sure spent a lot of time on tacky television shows, especially the ones created for children (Sesame Street, MisterRogers, Electric Co, Puff'n'Stuff, etc.). I was a kid during those early 70s years, but didn't watch those shows then, and am not interested in being reminded of them now. Show us the music, please...you ARE about music, aren't you? The only halfway interesting thing they showed was some Led Zeppelin footage, and that's pretty bad considering how much I do not care for Led Zeppelin! But it sure beats Tom Jones and Neil Diamond, the viewing of which produced an urge to rid myself of the night's dinner. What about the deaths of Jimi and Janis and Jim? Not a word was mentioned about them, in keeping with the gaiety of the mood. But even if the drug-related deaths were too heavy of a topic for such lite faire, certainly they could've highlighted other musical groups of the time...The Stones, The Who (oh, excuse me, yes, Roger Daltrey was shown for a millisecond when discussing something about Jesus hairstyles...how thoughtless of me to forget such a weighty, intellectualized topic) or a plethora of other acts that were around at the time. Instead, they went right for the jugular of pop culture: kids' toys, The Partridge Family, All in the Family, Hee Haw, the Carol Burnett Show.
Is it too optimistic of me to hope for something a little better tonight? The picture of David Bowie and Marlon Brando from 1972, and the 1973 picture featuring David Gilmour and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd gives a glimmer of hope for those of us who want more meat and less frothy fluff. But I'm not getting too excited, which is hard, as any bit on Pink Floyd I will await with devoted anticipation. Instead, I will look ahead to a week from today when I'll drop over to my local Best Buy and pick up a copy of the Classic Album Series Dark Side of the Moon DVD. Now that will be time well spent.