The Forties were defined by war, the Fifties by rock and roll, the Sixties swung, but the Seventies?
This question has come about as a result of the Offspring’s big summer homework project on the Seventies. Everytime she’s been challenged to summarise ‘what she’s learnt’ about this decade, she’s been able to recite facts about what happened, but sum it all up? No way. But then neither could I. Grim? Badly dressed? Powerless (literally)? Economically challenged? Sugarless? Strike prone? Musically diverse?
Trying to get a handle on it was like trying to nail jelly to a wall. Narrowing things down to just one year, didn’t help either.
Lots of things happened that year. Heat. Drought. The Cod War. The Sex Pistols swore on TV. James Hunt became Formula One world champion. The Labour party were in power. Clothes were starting to feel the effects of disco, new wave and punk. But think about it, what’s it’s defining characteristic? No, still struggling.
Why bother? you might ask, but the ability to summarise a flavour or mood of a time helps in the business of communicating that history to people who didn’t experience it first hand. And that can only be a good thing.
The 1970s will be the first decade defined by punctuation. ???
[Picture credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk]