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Old 06-28-2009, 07:24 PM
11,902 posts, read 32,960,859 times
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Originally Posted by skinem View Post
Lived through the '70s (and 60's and part of the '50s) and there are things I liked better in the '70s than now, and vice-versa.

Someone above talked about how respected militarily we were then...don't know I'd agree entirely. We'd just left Vietnam, and despite Nixon's and Kissenger's "peace with honor" line, it didn't feel too much like it--it felt like a defeat. Morale in the military was terrible then and quality of the soldier was not what it is today. We also were made a laughingstock by Carter in the Panama Canal give-away and the US Embassy takeover in Iran and the hostage crises and the horrible tragedy of the aborted hostage rescue.

We appeared at times as weak and ineffectual.

We were still under the threat of a real nuclear war with the USSR; it was a world of two superpowers. Terrorism as we know it today was still in it's infancy.

The economy struggled through most of the decade with inflation, but in general, people were better off at the end of the decade than at the beginning.

Personally, I preferred what I guess you could call the "social norms" of the 70s to today. IMO, we as a society have been in a long slow slide that is just picking up steam as time goes. But, obviously, some things are better today than then...race relations, more equal treatment of women, etc.

It's funny, crime was at higher rates in much of the country than today, yet children were freer then...not every waking moment scripted, scheduled and supervised as they seem to be today. Back then, children ran neighborhoods, roamed the woods, fields, countryside during the summers from light until dark, and if you were lucky, didn't hardly even have to see an adult, much less have one constantly warning you of "stranger danger" (which in many ways is just sad). But in the '70s you just didn't hear, or rarely heard, of the pervy dangers that seem more prevalent today.

Children seemingly were more capable of entertaining themselves than today and no one had the 24 hour cell phone umbilical cord. If you were with your friends, you were with your friends. You weren't beside your friends texting someone else while the friend you are physically with played a video game existing in your own separate, yet weirdly parallel worlds. It is weird to me to see a group of young people together/yet not quite and often they are paying zero attention to each other but are focused on their phones "talking" to someone else out there in the ether while madly clicking buttons.

In the '70s many cars still didn't have seatbelts, most kids rode standing up in the back seat, drunk driving was a national sport and children were issued cartons of cigarettes at birth. Ok, maybe the last one isn't true, but smoking was much more common and smokers hadn't yet been relegated to being treated as if they beat puppies.

There weren't as many governmental intrusions into personal freedoms yet, taxes were lower and the huge majority of people were still church-goers. People in general seemed to be more trusting, open, friendly, helpful, courteous and less cynical and sour.

But that may be my filter on things.

That being said...I loved the '70s. I was young, healthy, single, had money, few responsibilities and absolutely, positively loved just about every minute of it.

...and I wouldn't go back to it for anything. The past is the past. Each time has it's own troubles, and as Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun." I've always been pretty happy and content no matter where or when I was.
BRILLIANT!!!!!! I have to spread the love before I can rep you again.

I remember those carefree days in the 70s when people actually talked to each other and wrote real letters. Today's generation doesn't know what it's missing.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:38 AM
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A few 1975 memories...I was 8-9, but I remember a lot.

I remember that the upcoming bicentennial 1976 was a really big deal...people were openly patriotic...red white and blue clothing was very popular.

Subcompact cars were just catching on...this really cool high school girl down the street got a green Ford Pinto and it was all the talk. My sister bought a white Dodge Colt with red and blue pinstripes - bicentennial and all.

My family watched television freely - 3 stations plus PBS - and we had just gotten a color tv...the old black and white Philco got moved to the basement rec room. All in the Family, MASH, The Waltons, Happy Days, The Partridge Family, etc. Lori Partridge was my first crush. I remember a couple of black sitcoms - Sanford & Son, Good Times - but my parents weren't enlighted as of yet and we weren't supposed to watch those...couldn't watch Maude either - women's lib.

I got Atari for Christmas...Pong. It was just as addictive as the current games.

We got our first touch tone telephone - a wall model for the kitchen in avacado, to match the appliances.

My older sister took me and my friends to see Jaws. It was my first film with nudity...we giggled uncontrollably.

Hated: KISS, ABBA, Donna Summer, KC/Sunshine Band, BeeGees, Olivia Newton-John, anything disco.
Loved: Fleetwood Mac, ELO, Eagles, Elton John, Steely Dan, Queen, Linda Ronstadt...I liked the music my older sister liked.

Paddling was still very common in schools...I never got one, but I remember watching quite a few. The teachers used those fraternity-style paddles, in front of the whole class. It was really embarassing when the student was a girl - they always cried and cried. I was terrified and almost always did what I was supposed to at school.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:18 AM
3,970 posts, read 11,847,729 times
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A few random thoughts from someone who was 15 at the time:

There were 4 or 5 tv stations to choose from, but the quality of shows was better.

People still listened to music on AM radio.

You could buy a nice house for under $45,000, and a nice car for under $5,000.

The threat of global nuclear war was real.

The national speed limit was 55.

Many states allowed alcohol consumption at age 18 or 19.

People had no trust in government or politicians. (Oh, wait that hasn't changed)
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:06 PM
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,868,533 times
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Pot and coke was cool.
The Lords of Flatbush, The Warriors - street gangs were prolific and fearsome.
Graffitti, litter, smashed windows, projects, urban decay.
Post-Nam economic collapse. Broken Nam vets. Post Summer of love peacemongers hangover.
Disco, afros, hair. The advent of disposible society - including american cars.
Cities were very tough. White flight in full effect. Downtowns collapsed.

What was good about the seventies? Can't think of much honestly. MASH, Archie, KISS, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Star Wars.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:36 PM
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,884 posts, read 10,587,260 times
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I'd take the early 70's any time. I spent the first half of the 70’s in the Bay Area of California. I was quite young at the time, but I loved the era. Contrary to some of the other posts:

I loved the fashions. Nobody wore potato sacks for pants unless they wanted to be made fun of. Nobody’s ass was showing (except for fat old guys--plumbers and TV repairmen). Bellbottoms were the thing for both men and women. Jeans and tee shirts.

The hairstyles rocked. Well, for guys it was just sort of long and shaggy in the younger crowd, but women's hairstyles were the best in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

I don't listen to much rock anymore because I can't take it. Rock from the 70's was good stuff (both hard and soft). The funk from the 70's was great (I love 'black' music from the 70's--funk, R&B, Soul). Even much of the pop and disco from the 70's was good stuff. TV was WAY better.

There were far fewer annoying gadgets like cell phones (something I wish would never have been invented), text msg, mega-blue-berries, no ‘Borg’ walking around with junk connected to their ears, etc. I don't know that anyone would have cared to have that kind of garbage at the time. That’s back when people talked when they stood next to each other rather than texting. Everything was less automated and more ‘human.’ Of course, no PC’s and internet. But I’d still swap times if I could.

People were 'freer.' The time wasn't perfect, but at least to me, the 'average Joe' seemed friendlier in general. I was young and lived with my parents, but we knew everyone in the neighborhood (Evergreen, south bay area California) for blocks around. It was safe to wander the neighborhood as a kid. And that’s back when kids were allowed to be kids. I loved being a kid at the time. I’d hate being a kid today.

... and Wacky Packages were cool.

Last edited by ChrisC; 06-29-2009 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:50 PM
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Back in '75, nobody cared what you did. People seemed more laid back and free spirited, but, at the same time, informed of things around them. Today, well we all know the story. Our rights are being chipped away at left and right and you'd wind up in prison if you tried to do half the things that people did back in the 70s. We are being scared into submission by the government and by the PC mob.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:57 PM
Location: West Hollywood
2,225 posts, read 4,140,550 times
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I guess we could draw a lot of parallels between the country in 1975 and the country in 2009.

In both periods, the United States were in a period of economic turmoil (more-so now than back in 1975, although the recession back then was significant as well).

In both periods, the United States were in the period of withdrawing from major wars (Vietnam in 1975 and Iraq in 2009).

I would overall say that the United States is better now because we have developed better, have discovered alternative energies to gasoline that can be developed, and have better medicine and scientific technology.

Crime nationwide is WAY down to what it was in 1975 (despite what the media would like you to believe).

The only threat that we now face that we didn't so much in '75 is water shortages, global warming, and an overpopulation threat that we all need to deal with.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:22 PM
Location: NorthEast
258 posts, read 248,481 times
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70's by far. Back then, babies weren't looked at as getting a new television set, and the term babies mama wasn't invented. There are 750,000 teenage pregnancies in America today and 1 out of 2 babies is born out of wedlock. The values today pale in comparison to the 70's and the values of the 70's pale in comparison to those in the 50's where less than 5% of babies were born to married parents.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:00 PM
1,249 posts, read 2,992,702 times
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Originally Posted by JMT View Post

Most Americans didn't have color televisions
I would check statistics on that. Most Americans probably did have color TVs by 1975, although black and white sets were fairly common. The state of the art TV would have been a 36-inch color behemoth console on your living room floor that weighed approximately 2 tons. An upper middle class family of 1975 would also have enjoyed playing Pong on their TV, or perhaps an early Atari. You would also have a big stereo that had dual tape decks, 8 track deck and turntable and it would have cost you $500-$600 in today's dollars since there was no such thing as buying cheaply made stereos from China back then.

There was no reality TV: the only "reality" shows were REAL PEOPLE (which came along a little later, in 1978 I believe) which was considered revolutionary because it was just an hour of nutty human interest stories presented in prime time, and as for celebrity reality, there was BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS. Of course, there was also CANDID CAMERA which was on the air in 1975.

TV miniseries became very popular in the '70s, they'd be on every night for a week or more (like CENTENNIAL or RICH MAN, POOR MAN) and everyone would watch them and talk about them endlessly at the water cooler or to friends on the phone the next day.

In 1975, HBO was just beginning to be made available on more cable systems (and if you had cable in 1975 you were ahead of the game). Watching uncut movies, that had only recently been in theaters, with no commercials, was revolutionary and amazing... not to mention comedy specials featuring foul mouthed Richard Pryor, Robin Williams or George Carlin...

One thing that has really changed since the 1970s is that back then, kids wrote on school desks a lot. I mean, massively. You would leave messages for your friends (and enemies) there, draw pictures, whatever. Some of the desks in the backs of the classrooms would be absolutely covered with writing and pictures. They'd get washed and then you'd just start over. Today, I doubt that goes on to the same extent, since everyone just uses the Internet for the same purposes.

Last edited by Jeromeville; 06-29-2009 at 07:16 PM..
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
22,389 posts, read 27,614,342 times
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Originally Posted by skinem View Post
In the '70s many cars still didn't have seatbelts,
Shoulder harnesses (belts), along with seat belts, were required equipment on all cars sold after Jan. 1, 1968.

Unless you mean all cars on the road, meaning pre-'68s.
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