FF147 - The Seawolves

Intro by John Roderick

I remember 1980! I remember it because I turned 12 years old that fall and I had already been in love and had my hopes dashed because of stupid Brian Nemany and I had seen a Penthouse Magazine by then and I had made my own fireworks and I was old enough to think: "Maybe having a siren on my Schwinn Stingray wasn't as cool as it used to be!"

I thought the Stingray was still cool, mind you, even though everyone else got into BMX, because at that point I was losing my grip on what was cool and I never learned to Skateboard properly and I wasn't very good at Missile Command and I wouldn't kiss a girl for another 4 years. But 12 years old is old enough to remember pretty much everything, and unless you are some ding dong with feathered hair and a Goody comb who is into BMX you are old enough to know what adults are talking about on television.

And even though by 1980 we as a culture had 15 years of solid heyday of Boomer youth, Beaver Cleaver and Annette Funicello and seven generations of great Rock'n'Roll crammed into four years, but Vietnam and Watergate and Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Bay City Rollers and Punk and Disco and the beginnings of New Wave and all that other stuff the Boomers have dined out on for the last 50 years, the fact is that their parents still wouldn't give them the keys to the culture.

The Greatest Generation was rounding the corner into their 50s and 60s, but had not yet relinquished their grip on the world. I don't just mean their grip on political power or their seats on the boards of directors, I mean their tastes still mostly determined what was on television, what was in the grocery stores, what it meant to be a grown up, how big an Oldsmobile was, all the important shit. And even as the Boomers moved into their 30s and were already trying to force nostalgia about their own childhoods down our throats, their folks were still watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon and not letting them hold the clicker.

But the cracks had started to show. How did this movie, The Sea Wolves, get made in 1980, where a 53 year old Roger Moore was the sexy young guy? Well, there was demand for this kind of: "Let us fight World War II one more time, please! Let us sail back to when things weren't so complicated and our kids hadn't turned out to suck so bad and the bad guys were blonde and war was a caper!" There was demand for that kind of content!

There was demand for sassy 64 year old Gregory Peck and 70 year old David Niven. They were exactly the kind of adventure star you wanted to see, I guess, if you were 59 and still thought you would live forever and hoped that you would have sex again. Well, the following year Indiana Jones became our preferred Nazi shooter and Tempest was released and I was good at Tempest. The torch was passed. "The fumes alone are getting me tiddly!" on today's Friendly Fire: The Seawolves.

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