Shakedown 1979

When I was a teenager, the world was a simpler place. There were only four television channels and we all watched the same programs. Today, when I ask if anyone saw the episode of Psychic Kids last night, I get blank stares. This could be due to nobody watching it, or concern over my state of mind. When I was 15, and asked if someone had seen Happy Days last night, an entire room started talking about Fonzie or Richie.

In addition, we had reading material that supported this uniformity. Society was concerned about illiteracy and television, so magazines were developed that we would read. They needed to be entertaining, but not too taxing, like Omni. So they focused on television shows and popular culture. I recall thinking, at the time, that they were pretty vapid and squeaky clean. While Dynamite was promoting Mork and Mindy, the big news in the 9th grade was the story about one couple that had started having sex. As you can see, there was an incongruent reality. Looking back at these magazines now, I’m not surprised by the alarmingly blind content, but at the super groovy colors and mastheads. Dyn-o-mite!

Fly Me to the Moon

Space 1999, Groovy orange spacesuits

I’m willing to suspend disbelief for most television. I’m fairly certain that everyone on Gray’s Anatomy would be sued for sexual harassment in real life, and it’s clear that anyone visiting Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote would be killed. Everyone she came into contact with ended up dead. Seems to me that she should be the prime suspect. I couldn’t suspend that disbelief for Space 1999. Even at 11, I watched it and would say, “Yeah right. You’ve got to be kidding.” The basic plot is that a nuclear waste explosion on the lunar surface lodges the moon out of orbit and sends it hurtling through space. The hapless crew of Moonbase Alpha is forced to go along for the ride. The moon is racing along so fast that they pass through distant planetary systems and visit scantily clad aliens.

On the upside, the design of the show was super groovy and mod. Everyone had matching leisure suit uniforms in beige. The furniture was high gloss molded plastic. The typography, Countdown, was the future of all type. I can’t see myself watching an entire episode. The whole moon leaving orbit and flying faster than light speed is too much for me to accept. But I’m digging the leisure suits.

The leisure suit and evening gown attire

In space you must wear mesh shirts

Space 1999, see how fine brown and orange look together

Space 1999, I don't understand the elephant poster

I agree, this really does look like a hair-dryer

Silky pajamas at work? Why not?

In space, furniture is hard

The type of tomorrow