Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sarah Says...

Sarah Weinman makes some interesting comments about the 1970s over on her blog. In essence she says that the decade sucked. There will, of course, be some who whole heartedly agree and those that vehemently disagree. I'm on the fence, an uncomfortable place to be... Here's what I said:

While I would agree we can't write off a decade as "not fun," it's not because the"70s were a blast". I was born in 1969. For me, the 70s weren't all that much fun - no, I didn't have to go to Viet Nam. But I lived in the South Bronx with a shooting gallery directly across the street (I sometimes have to remind myself that "shooting gallery" doesn't bring "heroin addicts coming and going at all hours along with the muggings and prostitution and vomit that comes with them" to everyone's mind). My parents were scared. My aunt and uncle spent a day tied up in their apartment, their hands and feet numb after thieves left them. Luckily their elementary school aged children came home and found them this way... They moved out of NYC soon after that. My parents disliked the 1970s in the South Bronx so much that in 1980, we moved to Puerto Rico.

So, I don't think it was the times that were bad - some had a blast, some were miserable.

Don't forget that the 1960s gave us Charles Manson and the Tet Offensive as well as the assassinations of Kennedy, King, and X. Not really great times when looked at from that point of view.

Of course, on the other hand, the 70s gave us bell bottoms, and that's pretty hard to forgive.

It is, I think, impossible to sum up any decade in a bon mot or even a few pages. Every person will have multiple ways of looking at a year or set of years (Or even a day or an hour). Were the 60s about free love and Woodstock? Or about attack dogs and water cannons?

Hell, even one issue can be impossible to define clearly - when you think of the Civil Rights movement, do you think first of the laws that were passed or of billyclubs and lynchings? Think about it. I'll wait. Now. Which is it? Which is the right answer?

And about bell bottoms, seriously, those who are older and, therefore, wiser, please explain them to me.


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