1970s: Why So Dark?

Tigerhawk

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Zeke Newbold

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I'm genuinely quite surprised to find so many people on here posting about the supposed `darkness` of the seventies!.

For me quite the opposite was the case. If you were a child in that decade and had reasonably well off parents and lived in a reasonably peaceful area (both caveats applying to me) then...bliss it was to be alive at that time.

It seemed that in the seventies the world - the Western world I should say - decided to meet children half way. Everyone seemed to be indulging their inner child and license, playfulness and frivolity were the order of the day.

It was the time of the novelty product: spacehoppers, clackers, tic-tacs, DIY fizzy drink makers, plastic tubes which, when spun around, made an unholy wail, chopper pushbikes and so on and so on.

It was a time when you could talk of the `space age` with a straight face.

It was a time of hitherto unknown social mobility in the UK -since lost. (I believe there are statistics which can be found to back this up).

Fluorescent cagouls came in. Toys featuring luminous paint became common (I had `The Forgotten Prisoner` - a luminous skeletal man festering in a dungeon). People began to dye their hair green and blue. And of course it was the decade colour television arrived (and the early `In Colour` shows really milked that - `The Green Death` anyone?)

As for the weather: 1976 featured our first globally warmed summer.

I've posted elsewhere about how my Fortean interests are a direct consequence of my seventies childhood:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...r-fortean-interests.65434/page-2#post-2114897

All this having been said, I don't `miss` the seventies. It all seems very remote and more than a little ridiculous now. I reserve any nostalgia I have for the Nineties (although I try not to indulge it too much).
 

Bad Bungle

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I was aged 10-20 in the decade of the 70's - not all dark by any means. But what dominated the news in the early years were football hooligans, fighting on the terraces, ubiquitous stanley knives and Intercity trains getting their seats ripped up. It got more upbeat as I grew older.
 

Sabresonic

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I was aged 10-20 in the decade of the 70's - not all dark by any means. But what dominated the news in the early years were football hooligans, fighting on the terraces, ubiquitous stanley knives and Intercity trains getting their seats ripped up. It got more upbeat as I grew older.
I could never understood the fashion of the 70s Football Hooligan as at the start of the 70s say 70/71 and maybe 72/73 opp North but as I said at the start of the 70s it was still like the 60s with smart 3 button suits and the Skinhead, Suedehead look but then it went all flares, long shirt collars and long hair look of the Bootboy and the only thing they kept from previous youth culture was the DM's.
That look lasted longer then the so called Spirt of 69 and took up most of the 70s until the Skinhead revival happened.
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Giant R

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I was aged 10-20 in the decade of the 70's - not all dark by any means. But what dominated the news in the early years were football hooligans, fighting on the terraces, ubiquitous stanley knives and Intercity trains getting their seats ripped up. It got more upbeat as I grew older.
I was a similar age in the 70s. I remember the strikes, football hooligans and so on but for me too it was a good decade. I think it depends on age rather than era -I am sure my parents were more concerned with the headlines of the day but for me it was all about leaving school, getting my first 16er special moped, getting a job and freedom to get out in the world without having to go everywhere with mum and dad. Call me shallow but I certainly didn't go moping around worrying about the threat of nuclear war and so on like the talking heads on those TV shows like to tell us (even though many weren't even born then! )
Similarly, recycling was virtually non existant then but do we still waste more now I wonder? In my area each family had the one small galvanised dustbin which was collected weekly and which wasn't always full (and you didn't have to drag it to the edge of the kerb like now :) ) and that was it - I don't recall my dad burying rubbish in the garden but now we have 4 separate bins, three of which are twice the size of the old bin I reckon and certainly in my area these are often jam packed on collection day.
 

escargot

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Subcultures were big in the '70s. Not that most people walked around looking like the photos we see of them from the time

Football hooligan 'tribes', Skinheads, hippies/'freaks', music-based fan groupings - all were very popular with sociologists and photographers who made a living from describing and depicting them. :wink2:

In photos from the time we see advertising images, carefully organised and posed scenes, opportunistic shots taken with the subjects' co-operation and some rare truly spontaneous portraits.

Most 1970s teenagers dressed conservatively and had haircuts acceptable at school or work.
 
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catseye

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Subcultures were big in the '70s. Not that most people walked arming looking like the photos we see of them from the time

Football hooligan 'tribes', Skinheads, hippies/'freaks', music-based fan groupings - all were very popular with sociologists and photographers who made a living from describing and depicting them. :wink2:

In photos from the time we see advertising images, carefully organised and posed scenes, opportunistic shots taken with the subjects' co-operation and some rare truly spontaneous portraits.

Most 1970s teenagers dressed conservatively and had haircuts acceptable at school or work.
I wore skinny jeans and jumpers. Exactly the same as I wear now. And boots.

I also think it depends on the age you were in the 70's. I went through my teens, and therefore it felt like a time of impending possibilities - friendships, relationships, jobs, earning my own money and deciding what I wanted to do with my life. For the generation above it was probably quite frightening in the late 70's, as punk was so televised and hooligans and rioting were what made the news.

People quietly going about their usual business with no real concern as to which decade they were in didn't make headlines.
 

Giant R

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Subcultures were big in the '70s. Not that most people walked around looking like the photos we see of them from the time

Football hooligan 'tribes', Skinheads, hippies/'freaks', music-based fan groupings - all were very popular with sociologists and photographers who made a living from describing and depicting them. :wink2:

In photos from the time we see advertising images, carefully organised and posed scenes, opportunistic shots taken with the subjects' co-operation and some rare truly spontaneous portraits.

Most 1970s teenagers dressed conservatively and had haircuts acceptable at school or work.
If you were to believe the music programmes nowadays you would assume that virtually every teenager was a punk but certainly in my town they were a tiny minority, most of us wore 'normal ' clothes -jeans etc. You would see the odd little group of punk rockers but they were only like the Goth's or Hippy's and far from the norm.
 

escargot

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I wore skinny jeans and jumpers. Exactly the same as I wear now. And boots.

I also think it depends on the age you were in the 70's. I went through my teens, and therefore it felt like a time of impending possibilities - friendships, relationships, jobs, earning my own money and deciding what I wanted to do with my life. For the generation above it was probably quite frightening in the late 70's, as punk was so televised and hooligans and rioting were what made the news.

People quietly going about their usual business with no real concern as to which decade they were in didn't make headlines.
Exactly my point!

Our poor Dads had spent the '60s trying to keep the dreaded Permissive Society from the door and then the tabloids started with the violent sex-mad drugtaking '70s. :chuckle:

One of the music/dress-based crazes was the Rod Stewart malarkey.
He remains unforgiven here for ruining whole swathe of otherwise reasonable boyfriend material by inducing them to wear baggy blue jeans with tartan scarves and tam o'shanters. I was NOT walking down the street with someone who was dressed like THAT.

The tartan was a crossover with the Bay City Rollers fans who wore white denim with the tam o'shanters etc.
As a young teenager I'd look around and shake my head.
 

escargot

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If you were to believe the music programmes nowadays you would assume that virtually every teenager was a punk but certainly in my town they were a tiny minority, most of us wore 'normal ' clothes -jeans etc. You would see the odd little group of punk rockers but they were only like the Goth's or Hippy's and far from the norm.
Yup, it was all a moral panic. The subcultures were a tiny minority.

Can remember being asked at about 15 by schoolmates what cult I was following. (A few years before it had still been 'Are you Mod or a Rocker?')
My answer was usually a snort of laughter which earned me some derision back: you had to be something!
 

ramonmercado

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Exactly my point!

Our poor Dads had spent the '60s trying to keep the dreaded Permissive Society from the door and then the tabloids started with the violent sex-mad drugtaking '70s. :chuckle:

One of the music/dress-based crazes was the Rod Stewart malarkey.
He remains unforgiven here for ruining whole swathe of otherwise reasonable boyfriend material by inducing them to wear baggy blue jeans with tartan scarves and tam o'shanters. I was NOT walking down the street with someone who was dressed like THAT.

The tartan was a crossover with the Bay City Rollers fans who wore white denim with the tam o'shanters etc.
As a young teenager I'd look around and shake my head.

At leat Rod was a real R&B singer back then.
 

Giant R

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At leat Rod was a real R&B singer back then.
Yes, the Faces were a brilliant band and 'Stay with me' is still one of my favourites from the era. I hate it when artists like Rod Stewart and even (sobs loudly) Bryan Ferry bring an album out of 'Classic songs' or duets - to me it seems they have run out of ideas.
 

escargot

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Yes, the Faces were a brilliant band and 'Stay with me' is still one of my favourites from the era. I hate it when artists like Rod Stewart and even (sobs loudly) Bryan Ferry bring an album out of 'Classic songs' or duets - to me it seems they have run out of ideas.
Yup, Ferry's Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is very high kitsch even for him. :chuckle:
He was brilliant live though.
 
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