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Why were the 70s such a tacky decade?

LizzieMaine

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Lee, who still pitches regularly in senior leagues, outlaw leagues, and the old-timers' circuit, has an open challenge out to Nettles that he'll pitch to him anywhere, any time. I'd pay cash money to see that.

I once saw Bill Lee pitching in a donkey-baseball game, and he brushed back one of the donkeys.
 
Lee, who still pitches regularly in senior leagues, outlaw leagues, and the old-timers' circuit, has an open challenge out to Nettles that he'll pitch to him anywhere, any time. I'd pay cash money to see that.

I once saw Bill Lee pitching in a donkey-baseball game, and he brushed back one of the donkeys.

Fellow oddball Warren Zevon wrote a song about Lee. He said it was a metaphor for the banality of life and a salute to individualism. This from a man who's death bed advice to the world was "enjoy every sandwich." God bless them both.
 

LizzieMaine

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I've got issues with Bill -- his dope-smoking didn't go down well with me in the '70s, and even less so now -- but I never saw anybody who sincerely loved the game just for the sake of the game more than he does. There ought to be someplace in the Hall of Fame for the likes of him.

Don Zimmer: We've sold Carbo to Cleveland. I hated to do it, he was like a son to me.
Bill Lee: You don't sell your son to *Cleveland!!!*
 

ChiTownScion

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No love for the Dr. Seuss stuff...The Cat In The Hat?, Horton Hears A Who?, The Lorax? What about Bakshi's Fritz The Cat or Wizards? Rankin and Bass's The Hobbit version? Watership Down?

I was never a Seuss fan, even as a kid, but Horton had its good moments- although renaming Vlad as "Whizzer McKwoff" still puzzles me. A guy who bore an astonishing resemblance to Dr. Hoovie taught Sunday school to one of the kids who we adopted from Russia. I made the mistake of saying that in front of the kid and had to deal with the consequences (having the kid point out the teacher and exclaiming, "He's my friend! Remember? You say he looks like man in movie weeth elephant??")

Fritz the Cat
was all right, but Crumb hated it. I can see why: Bakshi never conveyed the edge that Fritz had in the underground comix.
 

LizzieMaine

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I was never a Seuss fan, even as a kid, but Horton had its good moments- although renaming Vlad as "Whizzer McKwoff" still puzzles me. A guy who bore an astonishing resemblance to Dr. Hoovie taught Sunday school to one of the kids who we adopted from Russia. I made the mistake of saying that in front of the kid and had to deal with the consequences (having the kid point out the teacher and exclaiming, "He's my friend! Remember? You say he looks like man in movie weeth elephant??")

Fritz the Cat
was all right, but Crumb hated it. I can see why: Bakshi never conveyed the edge that Fritz had in the underground comix.

The best Dr. Seuss adaptation remains the 1941 Warner Bros. version of "Horton Hatches The Egg." Seuss by way of Bob Clampett. Hut-sut rawson and a rillyra and a brawla brawla soo-et.
 

ChiTownScion

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The problem wasn't the people doing the work, it was the intended audience. With the exception of the DePatie-Freleng stuff for United Artists, there were no new theatrical cartoon shorts being produced after 1972, and that meant the vast majority of animation was being done for the Saturday morning kiddie audience, an audience that was entirely undiscriminating -- hence the mystifying popularity of "Scooby Doo". These programs for the most part existed only as a framework on which to hang the real purpose of Saturday morning -- turning the kiddies into good, obedient little consumers. That was a purpose entirely different from that of the animated shorts of the Era, and they can't really be compared because they existed for different reasons.

I remember even as a kid in the 50's being told that the cartoons I watched were originally written as trailers, and that they were really more for adults than kids. As I got older, I appreciated them on a greater level than the slapstick. There were references to World War II, the Depression, even Mahatma Gandhi. It got me into the habit of running to the library and reading up on the references: now days a kid might resort to Google or Wiki, but I think that the intent is just the same. I give kudos to the Simpsons for keeping that practice of topical references in animation alive: maybe South Park and Family Guy do it as well, but they're too morbidly cynical for my blood.

Glad that I was able to expose my kids, and those of my sister and my cousins, to the works of Tex Avery and Chuck Jones on video when they were little more than toddlers...because they learned that toons could be thought provoking and funny at the same time.
 
The best Dr. Seuss adaptation remains the 1941 Warner Bros. version of "Horton Hatches The Egg." Seuss by way of Bob Clampett. Hut-sut rawson and a rillyra and a brawla brawla soo-et.

Horton Hatches the Egg was WAY before the 70s though. :p I liked Horton in that cartoon as well. Seuss was not a 70s phenomenon. He was well established before that. :p You can't give the 70s credit for Dr. Seuss. You can give the 70s credit for making screwed up adaptation of him though. :p
 
Never understood the Hobbit thing, myself. Little Men With Furry Feet? Meh.

Agreed. They took the 50s troll thing too far. :p
trolls.jpg
 

LizzieMaine

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Horton Hatches the Egg was WAY before the 70s though. :p I liked Horton in that cartoon as well. Seuss was not a 70s phenomenon. He was well established before that. :p You can't give the 70s credit for Dr. Seuss. You can give the 70s credit for making screwed up adaptation of him though. :p

There were even some animated Flit commercials using Seuss's designs in the early '30s -- they're the Holy Grail of Seussiana, but no prints have ever been found. "Quick Henry, The Flit!"

I think the '60s Grinch adaptation was as close as modern-era animation got to capturing the real mood of Seuss. But even that had too many late-era Chuck Jones bits worked into the design -- there were scenes where the Grinch looked less like a Seuss character than a cousin of Wile E. Coyote.

Jones had an unfortunate habit late in his career of imposing his personal style on anything he adapted from any other medium -- he crossed the line when he did a theatrical short of Frank Tashlin's "The Bear Who Wasn't," and in Tashlin's judgement completely botched the essential element in the Bear's characterization. Tashlin was so upset about this that he never spoke to Jones again. There's a lot of that "I'm the cartoon master and I'll do it my way" in his Seuss work as well
 
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LizzieMaine

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I give kudos to the Simpsons for keeping that practice of topical references in animation alive: maybe South Park and Family Guy do it as well, but they're too morbidly cynical for my blood.

I outgrew the Simpsons somewhere around the late 90s, but I've always felt that what they did, they did well. While I thought the South Park movie was an absolutely withering parody of every Disney musical ever written, the show itself has always struck me as the cheapest sort of postmodern nihilism. It has no point of view other than to ridicule every other point of view, and that's basically the biggest problem I see with modern culture: if you don't believe in *anything*, what's the point of you?

And as I've said, Seth McFarlane's productions are about as funny to me as a colonoscopy. It's the same cheap nihilism as South Park, but without the intelligence. It didn't help that I spent a week in the hospital a decade or so ago with a roommate who did nothing but all day long but watch "Family Guy" dubbed into French.

The last animated TV show I particularly liked was "King of the Hill." Even though Hank was a parody of a certain type of reactionary baby-boomer knucklehead, it was never a malicious or cruel parody, and the show never lost sight of the fact that Hank was a decent, good man at heart. That sincerity was deeply refreshing at the time, and remains so today. Mike Judge is one of the few modern-era creative types who I think could have made a very good living in the Era.
 

Nobert

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I think I'll blame the whole state of Maine for the outlandish price of Rock Lobster, especially those who live in Rumford or Farmington. Those people completely destroyed my palette. ..............................

Um...I'm sorry?

Okay, old post, couldn't resist. To bring it back to topic, I'll say that I have very nice memories of the 70s, but to give fair shakes to objectivity, I spent them in short pants. My childhood was overall pretty good, so we can chalk that up to nostalgia, to some degree. Even with the benefit of adult hindsight, I don't hate the frig out of them as I do the 80s. There was something about the 70s that was less aggressive, not as harsh. Again, that's probably colored by my exit from childhood and stumbling into adolescence.
 
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Bushman

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Never understood the Hobbit thing, myself. Little Men With Furry Feet? Meh.
It's not about the furry feet, but the fact that Hobbits represented all that was good about the world: the innocence of childhood (hence the child-like height of hobbits), the lack of shoes, the enjoyment of the simple things in life. On the other hand, the forces of Mordor represent the Central powers (Tolkien having been a soldier on WWI, used much of his experience in "The Great War" to write The Lord of the Rings). Whereas The Hobbit was a childrens tale written in the spirit of the "ye ole' King Arthur" stories that many English children grew up being told, The Lord of the Rings was a much darker, more adult themed story. At the end, when Grima Wormtongue fled Isengard with an Orc army, and pillaged the Shire, it was an allegory to how War will leave nothing untouched, and that even the innocents may have to become soldiers eventually.

I give kudos to the Simpsons for keeping that practice of topical references in animation alive: maybe South Park and Family Guy do it as well, but they're too morbidly cynical for my blood.
Though I stopped being an avid viewer of The Simpsons around '05, I do love how there was often so much sociopolitical commentary in the older episodes. Unfortunately, much of that has been lost, as it has with South Park. Earlier seasons of South Park held clear social and political themes that were subtle enough for the comedy to seep through, but not too subtle that you didn't understand them. As a young teenager, you could watch the episode "Trapper Keeper" and all you would find funny is the fart jokes and crude humor, but as a young adult, you watch the same episode and notice the satirical play on the American election process. It was subtle, and that's what made it great. Now, it's just too blatant and too raunchy. It tries too hard to play on current political events, and tries too hard to be crude. It stopped being funny in the latest seasons because of that.
 
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