The world used to be a lot less uptight

Brighter, funnier and somehow more authentic, too

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • russelllindsey

    Anchoress -

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m just glad that I was born towards the end of that period instead of today (1980). At least I know how things used to be. I sincerely hope that things can change.


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  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    There is reason to hope –

    Desmond Hume has come unstuck in time.

  • Jayhawk

    Johnny Carson was forever there, funny relaxed everynight. Compare his guests with tomorrows Leno or Letterman’s guests. Carson did political humor.. mostly at the conservatives. But you never doubted he and nearly all his guests loved life in America. **Poof** he left. **Poof** he died, along with his generation.

  • smh10

    Thanks Anchoress for posting this.

    It sure was more authentic in the “good old days.” LOL

  • TheAnchoress

    Who is Desmond Hume?

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    Who is Desmond Hume?

    Who is Desmond Hume??? A one-time postulant to possible monastic life, enlisted in the Royal Scots Regiment, adventurer on a solo sailing race around the world, and man destined to “save the world” after being shipwrecked on the Island, who, more than anything else, loves the dear Penelope, and after three years of being thought to be lost at sea, was finally able to contact her, but not before “coming unstuck in time.” (He also looks a lot like Jesus)

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  • TheAnchoress

    I don’t watch much TV anymore…sorry.

  • HeatherRadish

    “The world used to be a lot less uptight”

    That’s a much more succinct way to express what I tried to express to one of my friends earlier this week…talking about the food police and the eco-nuts and how they all want to control my life so I don’t enjoy any of it–”Puritanism is a lot more invasive today than it was when it was just about sex.” It’s like “suppression of pleasure is a constant”, so once sexual activity became a free-for-all, something else had to become “wrong”* and it just happens to be stuff I like. Sigh.

    * I still believe, and I know you and most of your readers believe, that adultery and promiscuity are *actually* wrong, and driving my car isn’t, but that’s not the current zeitgeist.

  • russelllindsey

    WOW HeatherRadish!

    I never thought of things that way, but I think that you are certainly on to something. I especially like your last statement. As a younger woman who is very overweight, in a very committed relationship, and loves to drive, I suppose I’m very un PC. Oh well, I enjoy it. I actually enjoy life.


  • roro

    of course it’s no great challenge to appear relaxed while sipping hard liquor from a paper cup. doesn’t seem to me that these guys yuckking it up are anything but superficial. sure, johnny retained a cordial midwestern persona even while pushing the boundaries of good taste. but the show was a diversion, a safe visit before hitting the sack. If today’s tv disgorges an abundance of crap, it’s also full of great writing and acting, displaying the wide range of the human heart in a far more eloquent examination than more visually based movies. We are a nation that watches tv. It’s the home of our evolving mythologies, our campfire tales, our identity. It may well be an impure jungle if you believe all meaning can be located in a single book but I think it is a rich elaboration of those same unchanging rules for how to live and how not to. Long live tv!

    and i think Yale still turns out gentlemen and women. the politically correct disease is at bottom an excess of humility. a dis-ease with ones foundation. in some way what i like about americans is our willingness to learn. even though ironically we are always condemned for being provincial, insulated, naive, and somehow at the same time assertive of our ideology, itself a recipe for self-determination from within, which is why we are the evolving nation, more profoundly daring than the rabble of nations who envy our challenging enterprise.

  • driver

    I enjoy seeing these old Carson clips too, but what the heck was going on there with Dean Martin repeatedly flicking his cigarette ashes into George Goebel’s drink while he wasn’t looking? It was like some obnoxious frat-boy stunt on national TV, and I kept wishing someone would go Buckley on him and say: Dean, cut it out “or I’ll punch you in your goddam face, and you’ll stay plastered.”

  • roro

    well, I’m not being argumentative. I’m starting from the premise of cultural wasteland-my dismay at the business of ordinary public life- and saying I find impressive meaningful stuff on tv which is really our national town center. and also our ability to laugh at ourselves which really might solve the world’s problems if this cultural characteristic could take root in some of those somber places where respected angry smelly armpit elders rule the roost.