Saturday, August 21, 2010

American Swing

Sex in the 1970s. I have blogged before about the pre-HIV, post-birth control pill era as the era of peak sex and Plato's Retreat was a wonderful example of that peak. American Swing is a documentary that looks at the rise and fall of Plato's Retreat. I laughed quite a bit at different points, whether the inspiration was the situation, comment or picture on the screen. It shows the driving force behind PR, Larry Levenson, in an objective light. They explain his rationale for the club, his honest charm, his sleaze and how he believed his own bullshit too much. HIV/AIDS really did destroy so many fun and good things. PR did give people the chance to enjoy sexual freedom in a safe & open setting. Personally, it is all a bit gross from a hygiene perspective. If I had been a young adult in NYC in the '70s, I would have spent time in discos not in rooms made entirely of mattresses.

I'm not talking about any of the politics and Mayor Koch closing the club down. AIDS hysteria had schools in small town America telling kids that they had just as good of a chance of catching AIDS as big city drug users. The hysteria of the day, including inflated infection rate stats to scare people into spending money on it, will never sit right with me.

The 70s seem so hairy...or is it that the 2000s are so hairless.

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