I spent the morning at the Enoch Pratt, reading issues of Time from 1979 and 1980, looking for things that would be very much on my characters’ minds (inflation was 18 percent, the hostage crisis, the 1980 presidential race) and things that might be more subtextual (Mount St. Helens, “Who Shot J.R.?” and an attempt to “normalize” the public view of incest.) Along the way, I jotted down a few things that sounded awfully familiar.
“The art of editing is in decline.”
“Is capitalism working?”
“First-hand look at Afghan rebels.”
“The credit vise tightens.”
“Public libraries are in trouble as they head cashless into the computer age.”
Oh, and from an ad: “We designed Apple to work the way you work.”
I won’t be so simple-minded as to argue that the cyclical nature of things means that we shouldn’t worry about the issues flagged here.” But it’s interesting, no?
It’s also interesting to note that issues of Time magazine used to run at least 100 pages, had local advertising inserts and covered books pretty extensively. I also had no memory of the fact that Reagan told a joke that managed to insult Polish people and Italians. And, maybe, ducks.
Memories of 1979-1980, if you care to share. To paraphrase the old saying about the ’60s: If you remember those years, you probably where there. And mildly depressed.