Comedian Greg Proops suggested the wave of liberal inevitability survived another decade longer than Hunter S. Thompson famously lamented in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
Where the gonzo journalist saw the energy sparked in mid-60s San Francisco crest and roll back in the Nixon years, Proops identified the Reagan presidency as its cause of death.
“The 70s had such promise, that’s why I’m so reverent about them,” Proops said during his “Smartest Man in the World” podcast published Monday.
The comedian said he was 10 years old at the start of the decade, which promised women’s liberation, the Equal Rights Amendment, racial equality, and the assertion of rights by various oppressed groups.
“It was on like f*cking Donkey Kong in the 70s,” he said.
He said the Vietnam War continued into the mid-1970s, costing more American lives and funneling illegal drugs into the U.S., but Proops said the decade’s promise lived on.
“Along with it being a depressing time full of corruption and hideous machinations by the U.S. government, it was also an amazing time for individual rights and the awareness that everyone had their own identity, and that we all deserve to be at the same f*cking table, and then that sh*t went away when Reagan became president, I’ll be very f*cking honest about it,” Proops said.
“I’ve said it before on this show because people always ask me, and young people who didn’t grow up during the Reagan administration – Reagan really did his best to put the f*cking brakes on that – the gay liberation movement, the women’s liberation movement, the Latinos, Asians, black people – everyone you can think of.”
The Reagan revolution’s toxic effects lasted for much longer than just the eight years he was in office, Proop said.
“There were so many things that were going to happen that didn’t happen because right-wing white guys took back over again, and that carried on and carries on until today,” he said.
He said the promise of the 1970s lives on in some forms of music, which reached a certain peak during the decade.
“The funk movement gained extraordinary momentum in the ‘70s, as did disco, which was the most egalitarian, in my opinion, of many kinds of music that came out, which evolved into house and dance music and the drug culture of the 90s and groovy culture of today, and because it included women, and because it included gays and because it included everyone,” Proops said.
“That’s why there was the disco sucks movement,” he continued. “‘Disco sucks’ was nothing else but a white guy reaction to a little too much negrotude on the dance floor, a little too much f*ggotry near me. I’ve got a uterus all up in my face, and I’m not ready for that sh*t. I still want to wear a baseball cap and swing my d*ck around and drink Cokes out of a giant cup and be a f*cking c*ck. Why don’t you go to the disco classics playlist, man? See if you can find something groovy.”
Listen to the entire podcast posted online: