Sunday, January 27, 2008

Comment From Sky Clearbrook

I do think there is a distinction to be made between invention and association.

On the one hand I completely agree with you (and Maria) about "nostalgia" shows/articles innacurately banging on about the 1970s being the decade of inventions such as flares, spacehoppers and Raleigh Choppers. There is no excuse for lazy researching - researchers should actually... er... do some research!

On the other hand, those who were born in the very early 1970s will forever associate that decade with such things because they are old enough to remember the flares they really did wear and spacehoppers/Choppers they really did play on.

What I enjoy about your blogs, Andy, is the way you bring these decades to life by sourcing those wonderful adverts and articles from journals of the time. I also like the new layouts of your '60s and '70s blogs

Thanks, Sky. I do take your point, but my own findings indicate that things are rather more complicated than simply "poor research". It seems that the likes of the BBC and Wikipedia are playing "heroes and villains" with past decades - hence '60s and '80s pop culture turns up in the '70s and the '70s are made out to be wonderful, while the '80s are made out to be the absolute pits.

The '80s were a far more complex decade than Greed Unlimited!

I feel concerned that the '80s are used as a scapegoat and that all these smug chortlings about the pretend '70s are rather worrying. People now seem happier to live in a fantasy past rather than examine the issues of NOW.

As you note, the blog is based on actual articles and ads from the decade, and with the title "REAL 1970s", it was my aim from the beginning not to write a subjective retrospective.

Thanks for taking the time to comment - I thoroughly enjoy Avenues And Alleyways, and it is good to have feedback!


Anonymous said...

The trouble is that a lot of the 70s fans were under ten years old at the end of the decade. A lot of their "70s" recollections are pure fantasy, gleaned from internet or BBC inaccuracies.

Or, in reality, their recollections date from the 80s.

After all, a lot of people were still wearing flares and playing on spacehoppers in the first couple of years of the 80s - and neither were originally 70s inventions/trends anyway - they were 60s.

I barely remember the time up to when I was eight years old. It's amazing that so many 70s born kids profess to have such memories!

Tessa Wilde said...

It's like a fetish really, assigning things to decades and foaming at the mouth about your chosen decade. We need blogs like this for reality.

When I was a kid my grandmother used to talk about her youth and you had to guess when it was because she'd say "I was fourteen" or "There was a Charleston dancing contest". She hardly ever mentioned the words "nineteen twenties".

Recently, I was reading a draper's magazine, which was looking at coming fashion trends and it slobbered all over the '70s - it was "70s flares", "70s psychedelia", etc - both in reality 1960s. Punk, which WAS 70s, didn't get a look in.

And for the 80s, these mags say: "We're doing 1950s from a 1980s perspective."

And yet 70s fashions, just as influenced by the past (platforms were from the 30s originally) are simply called "70s". Weird double standards indeed.

It's like a sickness. So, I think you do right with this blog.