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What were the 70s and 80s like for you?

rousseau

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I was born in 86', and as such the 90s were the decade of my youth. The 90s and 00s are where I root most of my identity. Interestingly, the internet didn't become a thing in my life until about 95/96, so for a brief window I used the phone a lot, knew all of my friends phone numbers, and showing up at people's houses unannounced and knocking on the door was actually a thing.

That being said I've always been drawn to the 80s despite not knowing much about it, or what life was like during that decade. I enjoy 80s music, and I even like the aesthetic that was going on around that time.

So I'm curious how people feel about the 80s (and 70s). In 'Western' cultures was there a significant difference between that period and the 50s / 60s? Do you feel like the internet caused a major schism that differentiated everything pre-90s from everything post-90s?
 

Keith&Co.

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To me, disco seemed a watershed.
The entire Magic Valley was split between, Country, Western, and Gospel venues, until one place tried to be disco two nights of the week.
I realize now that humans have probably always liked to split between US and THEM, but that was about the first time i'd seen such stark lines.
About the same time, sci fi was throwing out Star Wars, scifi fans were having conventions in my state, a few other things that made it seem like i'd gone from a weird misfit gleaning occasional nuggets out of a wateland to an actual minority with people sharing my interests somewhere out there.
None nearby, but it was nice to know they were out there.

70's was also Watergate. A major shift in how much of America was willing to trust the government, and who they were. Viet Nam on TV, Nixon on tape, don"t trust anyone over 30, don't trust anyone under 30....
Crazy time.

1980, i went to boot camp. My milage for that decade may likely be nonstandard..
 

James Brown

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I was just a dumb kid in the 70s. I graduated from high school in 1986.

My life involved attending private Christian school, not realizing how inadequate my education was until a decade later, and going to church a lot.

There was no World Wide Web, no DVRs, no streaming video. Bricks were the size of cell phones but you couldn't afford one anyway. Only hard-core nerds had computers, that they were constantly opening up to mess around with the innards or typing pages of code out of a magazine in order to play pong. If you want to play a game, you bought an Atari 2600 and plug it into your TV until your parents kick you off so that they can watch something else.

It would be easy to say the culture was more homogenous, but then how would you know? No doubt there were as many sub-cultures as there are today, but without the technology to easily find each other.

It was easier to ignore extremists and loonies.

The 80s were the Reagan years, when we collectively agreed that America was better than all the rest and if we want more oil we'll go get it, thank you very much. "Greed is good" as Gordon Gecko told us, and your riches were a validation of the means you employed to obtain those riches. Later, Rush Limbaugh would push back on that by arguing that charitable donations increased during the 80s--thus proving that wealth-generation is its own reward. But it was also the beginning of ramped-up privatization, when well-connected private firms could get exclusive access to public resources for personal gain. Which is better, to pay taxes to build a public road, or to be first in line to buy a toll booth?

Electronica and digital gimcrackery entered music in a big way.
 

fromderinside

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My first thought is most of you missed the beginning of the nuclear age, the jet age, the television age, the lazar, and even the solid state circuit age. You got nothing to remember.

By the seventies pop music had been recaptured by the avenues, Tin Pan, Madison, etc. Phones were about to be revolutionized by becoming the main instrument of the internet. The browning of humanity was recognized as the trend in social systems throughout the world. And migration from drying zones of Asia and Africa became a political necessity and the harbinger of future revival of tribalism.

WYSIWYG and the mouse happened and the beginning of the bio-parts revolution was at hand. Systems engineering had become the thing and Total Quality Function Deployment was born. By the seventies it became clear that operating systems could not be updated indefinably. Corporate Silos also began to blowup. In computing tagging languages were introduced in the eighties in computer applications beyond printing and graphical reactive programming became popular in the nineties.

Nothing important happened in politics in the seventies and eighties beyond ossification of petro business; and self centered became a social thing starting in the eighties.
 

Politesse

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I think it matters not just whether one was alive for a decade, but how old one was and where one lived. I was growing up in the dairy-and-almond country of Central California all through the late 1980's, and have a clear memory of those times but from a child's perspective. Less pop culture, more... wood-paneled and carpetish furniture and decor, funny giant hairstyles on the adults, everything analog. Fraggle Rock was my favorite kids TV show, and I was obsessed with our taped VHS copy of the two direct-to-video Ewok Star Wars movies that no one seems to remember anymore. Despite the recent resurgence of the franchise, it's now very difficult to find a copy thereof, and even Disney appears to have disowned them. I adored the Ewoks though, and had a little stuffed Wicket throughout my childhood. I never saw the actual theater movie Return of the Jedi until years later.

I was well positioned to observe the slow changes wrought by the internet, as my parents were well-educated and keen to adopt new technologies but most people in my small town were not. I was already in college by the time high speed internet arrived in our little burg of Waterford. There was always high technology that existed in theory, even not so far away by literal miles, but functionally did not yet exist in most of rural America. In elementary school, later on toward the very tail end of the 80's, I was "on call" at the library, as one of the few kids who could sometimes fix the computer when it wasn't working. Yes, you heard right. The computer, and they needed a third grader to trouble shoot the thing :) It did have Oregon Trail on it, though. And later, the Encarta Encylopedia. My parents had a full set of actual encyclopedias at home though, inherited from my dad's parents and living on a dedicated bookshelf in the office. I could often be found on the office floor puring through the collection with vigor and interest. The original Simcity was released in 1989, and my mathemetician grandmother came by a bootleg copy that very year. It was so different from games that had come before, and seemed like a sign of things to come. It was. I started dreaming up the future existence of something like Google Maps while playing that game, and only had to wait sixteen years for it to appear for real.

The 90's were a more optimistic time, and I enjoyed them more. I don't always connect with the version of the 1980's one sees in nostalgic TV shows and the like, which seems much more fun and funky than anything I recall experiencing directly. CDs were another thing that are starting to really date my micro-generation; we adopted them late in my childhood, and they are all but extinct now. Social media was after my time, and I am curious how it will affect the generation that is growing up now. When I was young, social media consisted of the nightly news, and telephone calls to family members and friends. Yes, before there were cell phones, people actually called up their casual acquaintances on the kitchen telephone, which was attached to the wall by a curly cord.

My students often seem to assume I was there for the 70s, too. Must be the moustache? I'm getting older, but not that older. :D
 

Tharmas

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The first half of the seventies were an extension of the sixties, at least for me. Political turmoil (Vietnam War still going on, Watergate and Nixon, Patty Hurst, etc.). Drugs, sex and Rock n’ Roll was still the mantra. I was living in Canada at the time, and have some strong memories and stories to tell about the Canadian reaction to US politics. Pierre Trudeau seemed like the hippest head of state imaginable, except I was living in BC, where the archaic Social Credit Party still had control.

Things settled down politically in the US with Jimmy Carter as POTUS. There was tremendous inflation. Interest rates were 13-15% for a mortgage, IIRC. Then the eighties. Reagan became POTUS. In many ways he was as corrupt as Trump. For instance it was pretty clear he had made a pre-election secret deal with Iran to kill the negotiations with Carter about the hostages. The Democrats couldn’t get any traction on that issue though, and barely got convictions on the Iran-Contra deal. Americans in general loved Reagan for some reason. Most won’t believe you still today if you point out that in terms of felony convictions alone, Reagan’s administration was the most corrupt in the late twentieth century.
 

crazyfingers

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I graduated high school in 1980, got my Masters in 1986 and started what would become my lifelong occupation as an industry analyst / consultant in 1988. So the 70's and 80's saw me go from a grade school squirt to life as an adult. As far as I'm concerned, any music from the 80's is new music.
 

rousseau

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I think it matters not just whether one was alive for a decade, but how old one was and where one lived. I was growing up in the dairy-and-almond country of Central California all through the late 1980's, and have a clear memory of those times but from a child's perspective. Less pop culture, more... wood-paneled and carpetish furniture and decor, funny giant hairstyles on the adults, everything analog. Fraggle Rock was my favorite kids TV show, and I was obsessed with our taped VHS copy of the two direct-to-video Ewok Star Wars movies that no one seems to remember anymore. Despite the recent resurgence of the franchise, it's now very difficult to find a copy thereof, and even Disney appears to have disowned them. I adored the Ewoks though, and had a little stuffed Wicket throughout my childhood. I never saw the actual theater movie Return of the Jedi until years later.

I was well positioned to observe the slow changes wrought by the internet, as my parents were well-educated and keen to adopt new technologies but most people in my small town were not. I was already in college by the time high speed internet arrived in our little burg of Waterford. There was always high technology that existed in theory, even not so far away by literal miles, but functionally did not yet exist in most of rural America. In elementary school, later on toward the very tail end of the 80's, I was "on call" at the library, as one of the few kids who could sometimes fix the computer when it wasn't working. Yes, you heard right. The computer, and they needed a third grader to trouble shoot the thing :) It did have Oregon Trail on it, though. And later, the Encarta Encylopedia. My parents had a full set of actual encyclopedias at home though, inherited from my dad's parents and living on a dedicated bookshelf in the office. I could often be found on the office floor puring through the collection with vigor and interest. The original Simcity was released in 1989, and my mathemetician grandmother came by a bootleg copy that very year. It was so different from games that had come before, and seemed like a sign of things to come. It was. I started dreaming up the future existence of something like Google Maps while playing that game, and only had to wait sixteen years for it to appear for real.

The 90's were a more optimistic time, and I enjoyed them more. I don't always connect with the version of the 1980's one sees in nostalgic TV shows and the like, which seems much more fun and funky than anything I recall experiencing directly. CDs were another thing that are starting to really date my micro-generation; we adopted them late in my childhood, and they are all but extinct now. Social media was after my time, and I am curious how it will affect the generation that is growing up now. When I was young, social media consisted of the nightly news, and telephone calls to family members and friends. Yes, before there were cell phones, people actually called up their casual acquaintances on the kitchen telephone, which was attached to the wall by a curly cord.

My students often seem to assume I was there for the 70s, too. Must be the moustache? I'm getting older, but not that older. :D

This reads largely like my life, except I believe you're a few years ahead of me. I have no memories of the eighties at all, I would have been about three and a half when the nineties hit. My first vivid memories of the nineties are trips my family took to the U.S. - Myrtle Beach a few times, Florida, Tennessee. I never thought of that decade as an optimistic time myself, but in retrospect it seems true compared to how thing have gone in the 00s.

And yea, the transition to the internet will likely be one of the more interesting aspects of my life. Like you, in high school I'd talk with friends on the phone for hours, which is unheard of today. We did have an unconnected PC in the early 90s, then one fateful day my dad brought home a machine with Windows 95 on it. I can still remember how fascinating those early days of the internet were for me - you can just talk to anyone... anywhere? It seemed incredible.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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The first half of the 70s really was an extension of the 60s. Great music and University life were a good mix. The second half of the 70s is a cultural blank because I was in the service and it seemed like I was always working. There wasn't any good music in the 80s that I remember :) but that didn't matter. I had just gotten married and started a family which kept me very occupied, not to mention that again I seemed to be working every waking hour, and lived in five different states. Life was just too busy to enjoy or even notice.
 

crazyfingers

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The first half of the 70s really was an extension of the 60s. Great music and University life were a good mix. The second half of the 70s is a cultural blank because I was in the service and it seemed like I was always working. There wasn't any good music in the 80s that I remember :) but that didn't matter. I had just gotten married and started a family which kept me very occupied, not to mention that again I seemed to be working every waking hour, and lived in five different states. Life was just too busy to enjoy or even notice.

The Grateful Dead were touring all thought the 1980's except for part of 1986.
 

Keith&Co.

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Keith&Co.

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crazyfingers

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Ok. I have the tapes to prove it... at least a lot :)

I didn't ask if it happened. I asked if they knew they were touring at the time?

I think they remember. They are selling the downloads.. The ones who are left.

Which reminds me, I went to a Dead and Company concert at Foxboro in 2019. It was just like what it used to be like. To bad the 2020 tour had to be canceled.
 

bilby

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The '70s I was a little kid. There were bikes, a ladybird plague and drought, Abba, and far too much school.

The '80s was the party before the end of the world. We all knew everyone would die at a few minutes notice at best, so we had fun.

The '80s was also, by definition, the absolute last word in modernity. Everything was the pinnacle of technological advance, and would obviously never be bettered. We had walkmans, Elite for ZX Spectrum, filofaxes, and betamax. How anyone could ever imagine anything more advanced I do not know.
 

Ford

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Well at the dawn of the 70s I was four years old, and by the end of the 80s I was 25, so it kind of encompassed my "formative years" to put it mildly.

Those early years is really just flashes of memory. Big events like the Apollo missions, watching Nixon resign, the evacuation of Saigon, and little things like our first house, my sister being brought home from the hospital, and lots of fishing trips with my dad.

The late 70s were marked by things like going to the theater to see Jaws and Star Wars, along with the time my brother and I got that clock radio we could listen to at night in our bedroom. See, my dad graduated high school before Elvis debuted, and he did not hold with "that rock and roll music." We had a really nice stereo in the living room, but were basically not allowed to touch it let alone play records. So the clock radio was where I listened to the Beatles and the thing we both stared at when the "album rock" station first played Van Halen's "Eruption."

(Side note...if you'd told me back then that just over 20 years later I'd be hanging out backstage with Van Halen I would have said "who are you and why are you in my bedroom?!")


Anyway, the 80s. Reagan. High school. Dungeons and Dragons. The Cold War. It was a foregone conclusion at the time that a nuclear war was going to happen. It was only a question of when. You went on with your life with this sword of Damocles hanging over your head and the realization that all the stuff you were working on had a shelf-life of about 45 minutes if either side figured a "first strike" was the way to go. Graduated in '83, got accepted to my second choice college, went there and learned a lot. Like the fact that you could actually make a living as a radio DJ. A college station where I worked had this crazy idea that playing this new "rap" music alongside top 40 records would become a thing. My senior year was extended a bit due to a personal tragedy, but I also learned about some new tech on the horizon.

High Definition television. This thing called the internet. "Wait...so you plug your computer into...the phone?" I also remember a professor in a film class insisting that "The Road Warrior" would become a seminal, influential work of art, and a history prof said (in 1987) "look, the world is about to change, and if you want my advice, you should go to business school and learn Russian." But Russia is still communist? "Trust me."
 

southernhybrid

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The 70s were one of the worst decades of my life. I was married to my first husband in 1970, and two weeks after our son was born, his father was drafted. I had been an antiwar activist so I was horrified at the thought that my own husband might be a victim of that war. I agree with the others who said that the early 70s were a lot like the late 60s. There was a lot of unrest. There was the Nixon impeachment. There were those of us who blamed the older generations for everything that went wrong. ( That never changes, does it? )

I agree that when Carter was elected, things did settle down a bit, although imo, this was the beginning of the Republicans blaming Carter and the Democrats for everything that went wrong. IN 72, I returned to school to study nursing so I was extremely stressed out and busy trying to raise a child, put up with an unloving spouse and engage myself in what turned out to be the most difficult thing I ever studied in my life. But, it was also a time when feminism was making a comeback. My nursing instructors were mostly fierce, independent women who taught us to be assertive and never back down to a physician, and to always question any authority. When I obtained my nursing degree, I finally felt like I had what it took to be an independent woman. I spent 1971-75 in San Antonio, Texas. The people I knew there were all into things like vegetarianism, and all kinds of newish health fads. Most of my friends were Baha'is, the religion of my spouse. They were more like left over 60s hippies and it was a refreshing change from my childhood religion.

Rock and roll, soul and funky music were the best that they've ever been. We were very idealistic about the future of the world, once the war was over. Then I moved to Virginia so my husband could attend grad school while I started working as a nurse. Oh the horror of that first job. It was on the night shift, relentlessly stressful and never ending. I spent my breaks alone crying and wondering why I chose such a stressful career. After six months I left that job and found a much better one on 2nd shift. I still had hopes that my marriage would workout, as I was still very young and idealistic.

In 77, we moved to South Carolina, which at the time was far more progressive than any southern state is currently. After another few months working in a horrible hospital, I found my first job in a public health department. I loved the work and my boss. I visited people in their homes, and saw unimaginable living conditions in both rural and urban areas. I saw extreme poverty, adult abuse, as well as some of the most loving people one could ever imagine. I still have both good and bad memories of some of those patients, including one who was abused by her family and another delightful one who lived in a low income housing project. I learned about ghetto life and had a patient who had lost an eye from gunfire during a gang fight right outside her door. All of those experiences impacted me, made me want to be more of an advocate for the poor, and the powerless. The public health department in SC, back in the 70s was amazing. The state was run by Democrats and we even had an environmental control department. So, if one of my patients had rats in her home, all I had to do was call that department and they would send someone to exterminate. The health department in Greenville, SC was probably the best run place that where I ever worked.

By the end fo the 70s, my marriage had finally come to and end. Disco was hot and I started hanging out in discos looking for Mr. Right, while usually encountering men who were looking for Miss Right Now. As I was about to give up, I met my current husband in a disco, just before the end of 1979, so my worst decade came to an end.

While I do enjoy my computer, life was simpler without so much technology and without having to be petrified of leaving home without your phone. We spent a lot of time enjoying nature and it seemed to me that people were far less materialistic during the 70s as compared to later decades.

The 80s brought in Reagan and social programs and public health began to lose a lot of funding. People seemed to become more conservative and things that we had taken for granted, like Roe v. Wade, began to be under constant threat. There was the idiotic war on drugs and more divisiveness than what I remember during the 70s. The 80s brought in the era of greed, which has only gotten worse in more recent decades.

I married in 1982 and moved to Raleigh, NC in 1983. I continued to work in public health on and off. I changed jobs frequently and considered leaving nursing quite often. Looking back, that was foolish. I was expecting the perfect boss and the perfect working conditions without realizing that such things rarely exist. Interest rates remained very high during much of the 80s, which was difficult for those of us who were still young, but great for my older patients who had money in CDs. We had a mortgage rate of over 13% at one time, which was refinanced to 9%. Can you imagine such a thing these days?

I was always too busy and stressed out from work to think about much else. I was trying to raise my son. I envied his generation, as they were the first to have computers and they never had to deal with the constant fear of nuclear war as my generation did during most of our childhoods, or being drafted into the Viet Nam War. There were a few scares regarding world war, but nothing like what I remember growing up in the 50s and 60s. I didn't like much of the music of the 80s but did enjoy a lot of the movies of that decade, especially the comedic ones. My husband worked long hours and we were always both so tired that we ate most of our meals out.

I think that the 80s was probably the decade when people started to eat out a lot. While we never did cocaine, it seemed as if everyone else did. Trivial pursuit was extremely popular, from what I remember. My husband had one job where the owners would send one of the night managers out to get some cocaine for them so they could all work through the night. No surprise that the company ended up bankrupt. The company made contact lenses and the joke was, "we lose money on every lens but we make it up in volume."

My son finished high school in 1986 and went to a local community college in the Raleigh area, then later he received a BS in computer science. I finally felt free of the responsibility of raising a child. Some mothers feel sad when their child becomes an adult, it gave me a sense of accomplishment and freedom seeing my son become an independent adult with the potential to always be able to support himself.
 

bleubird

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In 1963 I was in the fourth grade at a Catholic school. The nuns cried when JFK died. They even had the news on the PA.In 1968 I stayed up to see RFK win California,went to bed before he was shot.Went collage in '70,met some Vietnam Vets,who took me in and "woke" me up.Smoked a lot of shit pot,drank a lot of shit beer."72 started machinist apprenticeship. Worked the trade till "79,got married, moved to Alaska. Music:Still think '70 's & 80's had the best.
 

bleubird

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One more thing about the '60's.Every dad,and some moms were WWII vets in my hood and at school.
 

crazyfingers

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One more thing about the '60's.Every dad,and some moms were WWII vets in my hood and at school.

I was born in 1961 and my dad was only 9 years old when WWII finished. He only hardly knew his dad. He died in 1942 when as skipper of a. US submarine he was depth charged and was sunk in the Pacific.
 

excreationist

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I have fond memories of TV (mostly cartoons), movies, music, toys (Lego, Masters of the Universe, Transformers). Though I was about the only guy I knew who had Lego. Well I knew a guy that had this set:
8865-1.png
In primary school I had at least 4 (4.5 volt) motors... I was a bit jealous of the Transformers and Masters of the Universe my friends had.... one of my friends had the 6 figure "Devastator": In my 20's I eventually got one (a cheap knock-off).
Vintage_G1_Reissue_Devastator_g_2048x2048.jpg
Sometimes I'd fantasize about some MOTU figures that I'd never seen in real life: I liked the colors...
tung01_full.jpgdb-skeletor-01_full.jpg
I was a big fan of the Commodore 64 and my school had a lot and my friends had them too... the programs I wrote were from books and normally were very short (e.g. less than 5 lines).

In primary school my friends watched Porky's and violent movies. In about grade 3 a lot of boys went to watch Rambo 2 at a guy's house. I was a bit traumatized from this torture scene:
rambo2hung.jpg

My favorite movies included Gremlins, Ghostbusters and Back to the Future
 

Bullmoose Too

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I was born in 1984 so not much. Just soiling myself and breastfeeding until I was weened and toilet trained. Sometime afterwards I was being taught to speak.

Edit: Hey, excreationist. Have you ever watched Netflix’s Toys That Made Us?
 

funinspace

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Most of the 1970's are a blur even though I graduated from HS in 1981. I guess I was just too into playing, girls and some music to notice much else. We had 5 channels on TV. One of the things I liked about our rare trips to NE was all the channels grandma had on her TV. The Vietnam war was just something that didn't come up much at all once it was over. My dad served in WWII, and liked to dwell on 'hey this show is good history of XYZ from WWII'. He was an old fashioned economic conservative. But he seemed distant to the Vietnam war. I remember those liberals pushing "it's a sin to build a nuclear weapon" and found it weird. One time I brought up checking out the Air Force's ROTC program to help pay for college, and boy did my dad's very rare temper flare...oky doky, don't talk about that again. Decades later, I warned my dad that if Bomb Bomb Iran McCain won and got his way, we could end up with a draft, and we would literally be willing to leave the country to protect our son. And I made him answer if such a war would be worth drafting his grandson. He agreed that it wouldn't. Ironically, one of my dad's stories was of his 2 Iranian college friends (they went back to Iran when done), which told him that the US was foolish to get involved in the crazy shit of the middle east. My mom played the part of Harriot (Ozzy and Harriot) in our family, she was nice but naive of the world. My parents got a VCR a little before I graduated from college.

I grew up liking The Beetles, Queen, ELO, Jethro Tull, Styx, et.al. I wasn't a big fan of disco, but I didn't dislike it. I always thought Queen's 'Hot Space' LP was interesting even though Freddie dipped into what they weren't as a band. Other 70's bands released what I thought were great whole LP's in the 1980's from Wishbone Ash's 'Just Testing" to BOC's "Cultösaurus Erectus". I thought the 1980's had fun with other newish or new bands like Cheap Trick, The Cars, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, to Metallica among others.

Though I enjoyed the Star Wars movie, I was already into Frank Herbert's Dune books, so to me it was nice flash but didn't really stand out. A few years later, I liked Blade Runner more...

I remember my 11th grade math teacher having a TRS-80 in his class, which seemed so WOW. As a freshman in college I took my first programming class in the spring, and had to use punch cards to upload it. The next fall, they handed out a manual for the terminals and dove right into the next programs. We had computers at work when I arrived in 1986, and by 1989 we were using a Sun Microsystems computer to work on technical documentation over a network. By 1994, I was using Mosaic to find things on the internet. By 1996, I was helping to maintain a Radius secure dial in point to work. I also played with OS2 Warp on my first PC at home, when I was allowed to take home the extra memory it needed. Now I would throw out a USB flash drive so friggin small...
 

Playball40

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At the risk of sounding cliche' I felt like the late 70's and early 80's were a much freer time. I grew up in Miami with all it's history and diversity. We rode bikes everywhere. As I got older, we had (how do I say this) the best party scene. We had Star Wars and Space Shuttles, Rocky Horror and awesome outdoor concerts. I remember protesting Apartheid in S. Africa. I remember the Mariel Boat Lift and 'race riots' and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I naively thought Reagan was cool and voted for him the first time I ever voted. I thought 'greed WAS good' and that the 86 tax changes was 'an evil Democrat plot' to take our money (yes, I was stupid). As a college drop out and new single Mom in 1986, I started to learn how things really were and my views started shifting. Information age helped my enlightenment a lot.

The 80's put out some good music: REM, The Clash, The Talking Heads, U2, Ultravox, The Smiths.

One thing I do miss about the 80's is that you COULD get somewhere based on intelligence and ability, unions were still common (although not where I grew up - Florida has been a 'right to work' state for a very long time) and college and housing was still affordable. I think young people today, even with all the technology advances, have it MUCH harder than I did. Having low interest rates today doesn't matter if you can't afford to buy anything.
 

untermensche

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In the mid to late 70's in New York there was a movement towards legalization of marijuana. Getting caught with less than an ounce was a ticket. A small fine.

In 1980 Reagan, who said marijuana was the most dangerous drug in the world, wins and the insane drug war begins.

The 70's was a time of increased freedom. The woman's rights movement begins. You see the beginning of gay rights.

The insane crowd that voted in Reagan were as bad as the people who gave us Trump. They did not like woman having rights and they were anti-gay bigots.

In the 80's you begin to see the militarization of the police as the insane and destructive drug war grows out of control.

The 70's were not bad.

In the 80's you have the rise of the insane right wing, Limbaugh rises to prominence in the late 80's, that has been harmful ever since.
 

barbos

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I remember standing guard in school near portrait of Brezhnev after he died
Everybody thought America would attack Soviet Union.
I myself was not convinced America even existed. I thought it could be just fiction, nobody I knew has ever been there.

What else? School was a drag especially these celebrations/demonstrations when children had to learn to march in formations. Now, I can't believe how these teachers (99% women) could really believe and more importantly do all that crap without laughing.
 

bilby

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I remember standing guard in school near portrait of Brezhnev after he died
Everybody thought America would attack Soviet Union.
I myself was not convinced America even existed. I thought it could be just fiction, nobody I knew has ever been there.

What else? School was a drag especially these celebrations/demonstrations when children had to learn to march in formations. Now, I can't believe how these teachers (99% women) could really believe and more importantly do all that crap without laughing.

Yeah, everyone in the UK in 1983 thought the US would attack the Soviet Union, or vice versa, probably by mistake, and we would be obliterated in the crossfire. I lived fairly close to the USAF listening station at Menwith Hill, which was expected to be a priority target, so even a limited exchange would have been pretty bad for everyone I knew.

That WWIII really did nearly happen by accident a few times during the 1980s doesn't surprise me, but I am frankly glad I didn't know how close it got. It was worrying enough as it was.
 

barbos

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Well, in Soviet Union they thought US would attack because Brezhnev died. Not because of some real tensions which ordinary people knew nothing about.
 

funinspace

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I remember standing guard in school near portrait of Brezhnev after he died
Everybody thought America would attack Soviet Union.
I myself was not convinced America even existed. I thought it could be just fiction, nobody I knew has ever been there.

What else? School was a drag especially these celebrations/demonstrations when children had to learn to march in formations. Now, I can't believe how these teachers (99% women) could really believe and more importantly do all that crap without laughing.

Yeah, everyone in the UK in 1983 thought the US would attack the Soviet Union, or vice versa, probably by mistake, and we would be obliterated in the crossfire. I lived fairly close to the USAF listening station at Menwith Hill, which was expected to be a priority target, so even a limited exchange would have been pretty bad for everyone I knew.

That WWIII really did nearly happen by accident a few times during the 1980s doesn't surprise me, but I am frankly glad I didn't know how close it got. It was worrying enough as it was.
I grew up near a bunch of these, if WWIII came, we'd be vaporized in about 3 seconds, 5 times over:

MK6_TITAN_II.jpg

I guess it kind of just got to the point growing up that crawling under our desks was kind of a joke as an exercise. The whole threat seemed more of something from SciFi than anything else...
 

Politesse

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Which is funny 'cause, you know, the threat of nuclear annihilation is very much still there. I am uncomfortable about how close we apparently came to deploying nuclear weapons during the last administration. We're just not preparing kids for the realities of nuclear war anymore like we used to..
 

barbos

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Which is funny 'cause, you know, the threat of nuclear annihilation is very much still there. I am uncomfortable about how close we apparently came to deploying nuclear weapons during the last administration. We're just not preparing kids for the realities of nuclear war anymore like we used to..
Yeah, nuking Covid19 and hurricanes was a bad Idea.
 

jab

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The first half of the seventies were an extension of the sixties, at least for me. Political turmoil (Vietnam War still going on, Watergate and Nixon, Patty Hurst, etc.). Drugs, sex and Rock n’ Roll was still the mantra. I was living in Canada at the time, and have some strong memories and stories to tell about the Canadian reaction to US politics. Pierre Trudeau seemed like the hippest head of state imaginable, except I was living in BC, where the archaic Social Credit Party still had control.

Things settled down politically in the US with Jimmy Carter as POTUS. There was tremendous inflation. Interest rates were 13-15% for a mortgage, IIRC. Then the eighties. Reagan became POTUS. In many ways he was as corrupt as Trump. For instance it was pretty clear he had made a pre-election secret deal with Iran to kill the negotiations with Carter about the hostages. The Democrats couldn’t get any traction on that issue though, and barely got convictions on the Iran-Contra deal. Americans in general loved Reagan for some reason. Most won’t believe you still today if you point out that in terms of felony convictions alone, Reagan’s administration was the most corrupt in the late twentieth century.

in my 20s for most of the 70s and in my 30s for most of the 80s:
70s: sex, yes please, and lots of it; drugs--except for caffeine, I just said no; rock 'n roll: dies out during this decade--revived somewhat singlehandedly by Springsteen. I disliked disco and heavy metal and the Carpenters/ most "easy listening"--(as a young gay man) I felt both free and yet somewhat constrained and also wired up--all that caffeine, perhaps. People became somewhat more self-absorbed then in the 60s: Saw Ian & Sylvia, The Band, Crosby Stills & Nash, Dylan's Rolling Thunder Express, Bob Seger (wow!), Rod Stewart, the Persuasions, Loudon Wainwright, Joni Mitchell in concert. Began reading Margaret Atwood, Doris Lessing, V. S. Naipaul, Thomas Pynchon, Iris Murdoch. Also read Maria Campbell's Halfbreed and John Rechy's City of Night, which took nearly 30 years until I was experienced enough to get it--originally I felt a fascinated repulsion. Songs of the decade: the Kinks "Lola", Aretha Franklin's "Spanish Harlem" & "Spirit in the Dark", Neil Young's "Tonight's the Night"; Pointer sisters, "Fire", Loran bennet's "Breakfast in Bed" Movies, Cries and Whispers, , Alien, Dog Day Afternoon, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
80s: burgeoning of cable t. v. got my first laptop towards end of decade; working on computers at work before then; AIDS--the current pandemic had me singing along in my head to Springsteen's 'Street of Philadelphia"--one felt like a stranger to oneself, and every particular physical twinge was anxiously monitored as a possible precursor; neo-cons galore--an even more self-centred decade than the 70s. Was the least ageist period during my lifetime--elderly people in movies and on t. v. got worse in the decades after. Saw Springsteen, Aretha Franklin (wow!), Etta James (twice), Leonard Cohen, Bette Midler (twice--but the second time may have been in the early 90s) in concert. Saw Thompson Highway's Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing in performance, and began reading his other work. songs of the decade: Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams are Made of This"; Leonard Cohen, "The Night Comes On"; Bette Midler, "Beast of Burden" as performed on Johnny Carson; Joni Mitchell, "Cool Water"; Eddy Grant, "Electric Avenue": Movies, Do the Right Thing, "Women in the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown", "Marianne and Juliane"
 

TV and credit cards

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The late sixties/early seventies were a cultural period that can hardly be separated.
I remember my mom asking my dad if she could start wearing pantsuits. After all, she was a working woman now. I remember my brother (eight years my senior) getting a loud lecture from my dad while he removed the US flag patch from the bottom of his bell bottom jeans he had sewn there. I remember my first transistor radio. Dialing a three digit number on the phone to get the correct time or the weather forecast. Riding my banana bike everywhere. Going to the drive-in theater with my friend and his parents in their AMC Javelin. We saw Willard, The Legend of Billy Jack, Cat o’ Nine Tails. Another friend’s father who owned a new Camaro convertible, riding in the back with the top down going over the bridge by NASA. Felt like we were doing 100 mph. His grandfather owned a local race track. My dad had a mid sixties Mustang. My brother destroyed the transmission. At the time, even I knew he was lying when he said he didn’t know what happened. My sister had a pen pal from Germany. I remember her getting a copy of Match magazine. Some of the pictures were quite racy. I spent many a summer days building a fort in the woods. And fooling around with my sister’s best friend there.
The seventies was music and more music. I remember listening to Wolfman Jack on mom’s console stereo. It was filled with her Abba and Tom Jones albums. My brother had plenty of albums I wasn’t to touch, when he was home. In middle school many of us wore jean jackets with various rock band names inked on the back. This required your best artwork. Mine was exceptional, of course. Many kids prominently displayed Kiss in the upper center. I never liked Kiss. Thought they were a clown show with bad music. I think I was just getting into Yes at this time. I hated when disco came around. I felt it was killing rock. Then Pink Floyd put out The Wall and I was born again. Then MTV. A lot of MTV. Then I had to grow up.
 

untermensche

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Drive in movies were a great experience for a kid.

For an adult probably not all that exciting.

They were dead by the time I was an adult.

Cable television and HBO and VCR's killed them.
 

Harry Bosch

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Which is funny 'cause, you know, the threat of nuclear annihilation is very much still there. I am uncomfortable about how close we apparently came to deploying nuclear weapons during the last administration. We're just not preparing kids for the realities of nuclear war anymore like we used to..

I think that we could be pretty close to nuclear annihilation due to the Chinese threat over Taiwan. And I really see no compromise that could save the world from it.
 

Harry Bosch

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Drive in movies were a great experience for a kid.

For an adult probably not all that exciting.

They were dead by the time I was an adult.

Cable television and HBO and VCR's killed them.

Ditto. Loved drive in movies when I was in high school. Wish that they'd come back...
 

southernhybrid

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I hated when disco came around. I felt it was killing rock.

I tend to think that disco damaged soul, more than it did rock. There just wasn't that much great rock after the 70s, but the best soul, my favorite genre, died out about the time that disco became popular. Rap and hip hop just can't compare to old school soul and funk.


Still, I never hated disco because when it comes to dancing, there was nothing like "taking your body down to the ground". :D Disco was how we hooked up or met people to date. It was pretty much the equivalent of online dating, except at least you met the person before you dated. And, since I met my husband of nearly 40 years in a disco, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for disco.
 

funinspace

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Drive in movies were a great experience for a kid.

For an adult probably not all that exciting.

They were dead by the time I was an adult.

Cable television and HBO and VCR's killed them.

Ditto. Loved drive in movies when I was in high school. Wish that they'd come back...

I dunno, I'm not sure if I want to see The Groove Tube or Cheech and Chong (Up in Smoke) again...but it was fun at the time.
 

thebeave

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Drive in movies were a great experience for a kid.

For an adult probably not all that exciting.

They were dead by the time I was an adult.

Cable television and HBO and VCR's killed them.

Ditto. Loved drive in movies when I was in high school. Wish that they'd come back...

I dunno, I'm not sure if I want to see The Groove Tube or Cheech and Chong (Up in Smoke) again...but it was fun at the time.

Last drive-in theater I went to was on my 21st birthday in 1982 as a surprise gift by my college roommate. It was porno drive-in, just off I-80 between Davis and Sacramento. Oddly enough, there was a brief span along the freeway were you could get a pretty clear glimpse of the screen and see all the action. It was pretty obvious...I can't imagine something like that happening today.

One thing I remember about that night very vividly was the drive back home in his little MG where I confessed that I was not big on birthdays, as it was always a reminder of getting older and that someday before I knew what happened, I would be an old man. I just turned 60 last month. So, almost there. :)
 

untermensche

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The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre, with over 50 years of continuous service to the Ruskin and South Hillsborough County, has been a community gathering place since its first movie, “Singing in the Rain” played in 1952.

We call it the “Last family drive-in” in the U.S.A. because families, dating couples, single parents with children and everyone else young and old can come and visit. We had family values when family values were the rule. We still have family values although by some we’re not considered cool.

http://www.ruskinfamilydrivein.com/
 

Copernicus

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1970 was a riot for me. No, literally. A riot. I turned 24 that year, and all hell broke loose with riots on campuses across the US. I was at Ohio State University, and student protests against the war began in earnest. Protests at Kent State culminated in the shooting of four students at Kent State. That's when the real riots broke out at Kent, Ohio State, and Ohio University. Shortly thereafter, I remember waking up in my apartment house one morning to the sound of racing engines. Looking out the window of my upstairs bedroom, I saw a convoy of trucks full of soldiers racing by headed towards campus. The governor refused to close down the university, and troops were deployed. Students had to show IDs to get on campus. Civil rights were suspended. Gatherings of more than three people were forbidden. Seditious talk was forbidden. That didn't stop the anger and protests. Students gathered in crowds to confront visibly frightened young guardsmen, many of whom had joined the National Guard in the hope that they would not be sent to Vietnam. They had much in common with antiwar protesters. Troops initially had friendly relations with students. Flowers in the barrels of guns. Then they decided to try to disperse the crowds with tear gas and pepper gas. Things went downhill from there, with the campus eventually being closed down in the final quarter until summer.

I was running a draft and military counseling center at the time, so I was very much involved in what was going on. You can read a story on the events here, although my recollections are a little different on the details. Before troops arrived, I was in the crowd when the Columbus police first arrived on campus and tried to disperse the crowd. Some students began throwing dirt clods and rocks at the police, who did not know how to react. I vividly remember one cop drawing his gun and pointing it back and forth at people in the crowd. The cop next to him actually had to grab him and pin his arms so that he wouldn't shoot. It was my first experience of a real riot, and both sides--police and students--were completely out of control. The troops that arrived later were better disciplined, but the tactics of presenting arms, fixing bayonets, and advancing on the crowds only inflamed and emboldened those most out of control in the crowd. I remember standing off to the side with my Sanskrit professor, who remarked that it reminded him of his youth in India, when they protested against British rule. That's when one of the guardsmen decided to fire a pepper canister at us, and a nearby friend got a pepper kernel lodged in his eye. He screamed a lot as we rushed him to the infirmary, which was full of injured students. No medical personnel were free, so he had to find a drinking fountain to wash his eye with.

Anyway, it was an exciting time. 1970 protests erupted across Ohio, Tear Gas at OSU

Lots of more exciting things happened in 1970, including the fact that I met my future wife in summer classes after the university reopened.
 

gmbteach

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I am a Decimal Baby, so I have some memories.

1974 - floods in Queensland where I swam down the street - literally. Not to mention Cyclone Tracey hitting Darwin at Christmas.

1980 - went to the UK as a belligerent 13 year old and couldn't stand one more church or castle - and now I love them.

Of course - 1980's music, hair and clothes... and I love watching movies set in that era and thinking - crap I wore that?

The 1990's was when I started my teaching career by going to Uni and moving out west about 2000km from home. I enjoyed it, but if you ask me where the intervening years have gone... I couldn't tell you.

My last 10 years are probably the best though. I left the bad relationship, met you-know-who, and am finally enjoying life.
 

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Apart from world politics, which is hardly ever reasonable, the 60's, 70's and 80's was a great time to be alive. It some ways, the best of times.
 
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