I’m watching old commercials from the 1970’s. The men have haircuts that look just awful. Think John Kerry, who hasn’t changed his style since he testified before Congress in 1971. Why, John, why?

Then there are commercials for Kodak cameras, pantyhose, Sears. This was even before VCRs caught on, or compact discs. You could go buy a TRS-80 computer at Radio Shack.

You could buy McDonald’s gift certificates. Burger King had this annoying “King” character, who, by comparison, imparted to Ronald McDonald the dignity of the Pope.

There were no ATM machines to speak of. Nor internet, cell phones. The technology is one thing that is different, but using media to promote consumerism is the same. We just think different stuff will give us fulfillment now. Why just change your hair colour, when you can change your whole damn gender?

But everything was presented in a familiar context, or maybe not. I just remember this stuff.

There was Farrah Fawcett, Ricardo Montalban, Hervé Villechaize, Gavin MacLeod, James Garner, Marriette Hartley. I was busy getting divorced during a lot of this, pursuing jobs in work I hated, trying to deal with the conflict between the values I was raised with, while I lived in a culture that was rejecting them, like a baboon heart, transplanted into a human.

The women’s hairstyles were as dated as the men’s. The styles all looked like hair helmets you could pull over a bald head. Nobody had tattoos. I never thought I would view that as odd. Today I can see a woman cutting hair, waiting tables, fixing lattes, sporting a full sleeve and not even look twice. The world, superficially, is very different.

It was a nightmare relived, like instant breakfast, instant coffee, instant oatmeal, instant grits, instant pudding.

Dear God, why?