Why did the 70s seem so miserable? Were they actually that unpleasant to live through?
This was sent to me recently and I was asked for my opinion.
Scroll down and read my response.
I remember the 70s. First we had a big oil shortage that tripled the price of gas and diesel fuel. This made everything cost more that was shipped by truck, and in the US that’s about everything. Which drove the highest inflation we’d seen in a while. Then we ended the war in Vietnam. But the war had brought massive government spending, and that was supporting the economy. When the war ended the spending ended abruptly, and the economy collapsed into the worst recession since the Depression. Yeah, I know, today EVERY recession is the worst since the Depression, but this was the first worst. This caused a condition that was called ‘stagflation’. Economists couldn’t explain how we could have high inflation during a recession! To show you how bad it was, President Nixon actually established wage and price control. Can you imagine a REPUBLICAN president pulling a socialist stunt like that? Anyway it didn’t work. When Carter took office in 1977 we already had unemployment, inflation and interest rates all in the double digits. The situation was finally eased by Reagan through massive government spending to stimulate the economy, at the cost of tripling our entire national debt. I think it was just a weird decade in our history. Look at the fashions from that time. The music. What we watched on TV. Look at the crappy cars we made then. Just a strange time.
JB Responds In the UK we had - Edward Heath and the 3 day week - Power cuts - Miners on strike - Shortages - Trash piled up in the streets, Only 2 channels on TV and almost no one had colour TV yet.
No double glazing - No microwave dinners ( no microwaves ) Women plucked their eyebrows and then spent an age pencilling them back in again - Back combing was in fashion for women's hair - High heel shoes for men and women - Tight trousers that showed your religion - we lacked Social Media and Instant news from around the world the second it happened and because we were all so more naïve - the world actually seemed better back then than it does today.
We had D.I.S.C.O. and Donna Summers - and some of the most iconic bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and so many or who paved the way for music to come. We had Pans People and Jimmy Saville on Top Of The Pops - We had the Rolf Harris Show on a Saturday night and he was a big star and the Queen was in her 40's and The Godfather movie in 1972 showed us a horses head in a mans bed.
We had Andy Williams and Shirley Bassey - young and vibrant and M&S were inviting us to try new foods for the UK - Prawn Cocktail - Chicken Kiev and Black Forest Gateaux.
Nana Mouskouri and Demis Roussos were huge and Dana won Eurovision in 1970 with 'All Kinds of Everything.' We were watching 'Upstairs Downstairs' and Eastenders hadn't even been thought of yet.
Men had long hair blow dried - Flared trousers and patterned shirts. Moustaches were in as was Medallion Man and hairy chests.
We had decimalization - Sean Connery as Bond and a loaf of bread was under a shilling.
Bars closed between 2 - 5pm and women were fighting for equal rights just as gay men were doing the same. In 1972 the first Gay March was held pioneering the way towards a slow Equality Bill ( which took over 45 years - ) and it had a political agenda for equal rights
Gay bars began to open and disco's on a Friday and Saturday evening - where everyone went to meet friends and cruise for someone new, and gay B&B's were opening up and down the country.
Colour TV was new and really expensive.
Historians have increasingly portrayed the 1970s as a "pivot of change" in world history, focusing especially on the economic upheavals that followed the end of the postwar economic boom.
The 1970s were the years of Watergate, the Vietnam War, - The Beginnings of the Digital Revolution -
It was the decade of the Space Hopper, the Ford Cortina, Raleigh Chopper bikes, the record player and cassette recorder.
It was a decade of strikes - postal workers, miners and dustmen. It ended with the 'winter of discontent' in 1979 when ITV went off the air for five months. A three-day week was imposed during February 1972 to save on electricity at the start of the miners strike.
During the summer of 1976 the weather turned so dry that water supplies reached critical low levels.
In 1977, the whole nation celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee with street parties.
1978 - VHS video recorder went on sale
1979 - Sony began selling the Walkman personal stereo 1971 - Population of Britain = 54 million
The first big new sound of the 1970s was “Glam Rock”, the main figures of this were David Bowie, Elton John and of course Gary Glitter. In the bleak political backdrop, these larger that life British bands and characters brought a welcome relief with their platform boots, sequins, nail varnish and colourful hair.
Punk The punk movement of the late 1970s began in England. Great British bands of this scene were The Sex Pistols and The Clash. The Punk style was Mohicans, bondage clothes, safety pins, piercings and bovver boots.
I came out in 1971 aged just 16 and compared to the kids of that age today - GOOD GOD I WAS NAIVE - and the kids of today are so much ' in tune' through Social media about - well - anything and everything.
So was it bad times - no of course it was not - but then again, of course it was, but then, all times have their ups and downs and - we are at war in Ukraine, there is global terrorism and the biggest fascist state is slowly creeping its ugly face into existence in the United States and we have a fat red cunt trying to regain control of being President who is a criminal, women abuser, LGBT hater, women's reproductive denier - fake Christian and a white supremist - and this is the way the world is headed in the 2020's.
So who had it better.
Us back then - or us today ?
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