Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grease Is The Word

One of my all time favorites! HBO ran the entire movie two nights ago, and since I hadn't watched this flick in such a long time, I decided to enjoy the entire nostalgic two hours. What I had never realized before, is this movie has some fantastic old one-liners ... "bite the big weenie" "eat your heart out" "sloppy seconds" "crusin' for a brusin'" ... on and on ... funny things we said in high school. (Well, they were funnier back then.) Still, I laughed harder this time, just taking it all in and processing it as if I'd never heard it before. "Bite the big one, Rizzo!" It still cracks me up.

Watching the movie this time was different for me. Although the story of Grease takes place in the 60s, it reminded me of the early 70s. And that, my friend, was one of the greatest times of our lives. Well, for us baby-boomers anyway.

Okay, okay ... the clothes of the 70s really, really sucked. I'll give you that. But the TV shows changed overnight. We went from the sweet, Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet to the controversial Good Times and All in the Family with Archie Bunker's loose lips and narrow mind. The hippies of the 60s led the way for the 70s and its painful changes. Especially for my mother's generation. Ouch.

For me, the best part of the 70s was the music. Clapton, Zepplin, even the Beatles evolved. Carol King and Fleetwood Mac ... just hearing any of these artists today throws me way back into a time when I drove my dad's red Mustang with the top down and felt like the Southern Belle that I was. Then. But the music plays on my Ipod today. Who knew that a tiny Ipod would someday replace my 45s?

Boy, if I only knew then, what I know now, huh? But the early 70s saw a ton of social change. The Vietnam war was ending, there were "four dead in O-Hi-O", and Nixon-we realized-needed a spanking. Women burned their bras, took over political offices, and demanded equal pay for equal work. (Not sure that's ever going to change.) But still, it's seems to me that in the early 70s we suddenly woke up from a very long nap. The generation that was in elementary school in the 60s and watched the Civil Rights movement on TV, suddenly came of age and began to change (slowly) the way future generations lived and worked together. God knows, there are a ton of changes yet to make, but from where we started ... my point is ... the 70s was the decade of twisting folks' arms. Change was coming, whether we like it or not. I love the fact that I was a part of that movement.

Watching Grease was fun. It's meant to be light-hearted and nostalgic. But it also serves as a reminder that although we've grown and changed in 30-some years, there still a lot more we need to do. Beginning with ourselves.

Then again, you can just watch a younger, thinner John and Olivia dance, make out, and turn Rydell High upside down and not think twice about it after you've switched the channel.

Grease is the word, is the word, is the word, is the word ...

Blessings to you and yours.

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