It’s really great to know I’m not alone living in my 70s world era. I found this article written by a really great writer, Anthony Sharwood who writes for Perth Now. The article refers back to the days of the Kerry Packer cricket war but it goes deeper than that and he makes some great points. My favourite being “Food was served horizontally, not vertically” That really sums up today’s pretentiousness.
Anyway I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
TWO million Australians took a freaky trip back to the 70s last night with Howzat: Kerry Packer’s War. The drama about cricket’s turbulent, revolutionary years followed hot on the gaudy high heels of Puberty Blues, which sucked a million people along on a nostalgia trip.
The ’70s are big right now. Bigger, perhaps, than they were in the actual 1970s, and you don’t need a fancy schmancy cultural theorist to tell you why.
The ’70s were an era when Australians felt free to be themselves. An era when you had a crack and did your thing without second guessing yourself, or the Nanny State doing your second guessing for you.
There were obviously some distasteful aspect to seventies life.
Pretty much everybody drove home from the pub after a few too many slurps of the moselle cask. As Puberty Blues graphically reminds us, under-aged teenage sex was the only avenue to social acceptability for many girls.
It was then, as now, a time of hostility towards certain ethnic groups. There was also the Vietnam War, and the shameful failure to acknowledge or treat the stress of returning servicemen.
No, the seventies were not perfect. But they were raw and they were honest and they definitely weren’t manscaped, focus-grouped or tailored to meet the needs of the “stakeholders”.
The seventies were a time when…
There were few public health messages yet almost no one was fat.
Everyone ate white bread, people wrapped their prunes in bacon, and salad on a McDonad’s menu was as unthinkable as the idea that the Australian cricket captain may one day model underwear.
Shorts were short, hair was long and lunches were even longer.
In the era when cargo pants had yet to be invented, pockets were real pockets. And that’s just one very trivial example.
Everything was real back in the ’70s, from women’s boobs to men’s chest hair. And if you felt like nicking off work for the arvo, off ya went.
People made decisions without focus groups.
The genius of Kerry Packer was that he acted on instinct. He made decisions on gut feel and he usually got them right.
Cricket was slow and formulaic and in need of an overhaul, so he did that.
The Whitlam government was stuffed in 1975 so the governor general sacked it.
These are two extreme examples, but in general, this was a time when people didn’t need the HR department to vet their decisions.
Guilt didn’t rule our lives
Everywhere you go and everything you do these days is riddled with guilt. You fill your car, you’re polluting the world. You buy the 3-ply toilet paper, you’re destroying the Amazon.
You buy your kid a lollipop, you’re promoting obesity. In the ’70s, nobody felt like a villain for daring to consume products.
Food was served horizontally, not vertically
When you ordered a steak in the ‘70s, you got a huge slab of meat with Diane sauce overlapping your dinner plate.
Today’s chefs compete to pile petite morsels and porcini mushrooms atop tiny medallions of veal. Then it’s drizzled in jus. No one had jus in the 70s, it was called gravy. And no one drizzled anything. They squirted.
There wasn’t Beckham hair or Bieber hair, there was just hair
There have only been two bloke haircuts in the last 20 years. There was Beckham hair, where your hair met in the middle in a Mohawk, or Bieber hair, where it is swept over the forehead.
Many men now wear a combination of both. In the ’70s, there was just hair, and you let it hang where it damn-well pleased.
People sung with their actual voices
The ‘70s unearthed real rock stars, who were mostly a lot better than most ’80s groups and mostly not as good as the best bands of the ’90s. Either way, at least they sang with their voices. Give us out-of-tune rather than autotune any day of the week.
TV was real
Shows like Prisoner and Number 96 ruled the ’70s. They were raunchy, they were crude, they were a little bit rough around the edges but they represented a much more accurate version of that thing called “reality” than today’s so-called reality shows.
Australia had real characters
Seems like every coiffed TV personality these days is like every other. In the ‘70s there were people like Graham Kennedy, Hoges and Molly Meldrum with their own gloriously unpolished quirks and idiosyncrasies. Can you imagine a TV exec employing Molly on a cool music show for young people now?
You lived in the moment
There was a great scene on Puberty Blues the other night where the girls were playing records in their bedroom. No mobiles, no iDevices, no distractions. Just two mates hanging out, living totally in the moment. Perhaps that’s the biggest reason of all we pine for the ’70s. At least you didn’t have to be in three places at once back then.
If you want to read more of his musings go to Perth Now or you can follow him on Twitter @antsharwood