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Imani
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Post subject: 70s Britain is portrayed too gloomily Reply with quote

70s and early 80s Britain is often portrayed in a gloomy way.

Yes, there were strikes, violence, unemployment rising, the rise of the nf, sectarianism, and that's an indelible part of the history. At the same time, it produced some of the best music and television programmes. There were plenty of places to go and socialise both for adults and kids. Loads of venues for groups to play, local and national. The fun of those times gets overlooked.

It was a golden age for sport also. For all of the darker and more violent side of the times, kids still had freedom to roam that would be unthinkable today.

In terms of creativity, people had less and produced more, much of which has endured.

It's become a convenient cliche to speak of 2 Tone and 'Thatcher's Britain', and it obscures how things were. The truth is, the conditions of social decay that were the backdrop to the formative years of 2 Tone, was at a time when 'the other lot' was in power. Yet it's downplayed. This is even more true of the rise of the uk punk scene.

Things are rarely black and white-good and bad, and it'd be good to see history portrayed in a way that reflects this.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:30 am
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Trojan
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You should have tried living on the other side of the Irish Sea. It was a fucking horrendous time. Belfast City centre was like a zombie film after 6pm every day. No one ventured in to for fear of their life. And I don't mean a few drunk punch ups either. Northern Ireland had very strict shop opening hours. No late nights and Never on Sunday. In terms of gigs, only a handful of bands each year would play in Belfast. And I went to a primary school which had a bomb drill as well as a fire drill.

You might say the portrayal of that time is overly gloomy. For me looking back I find it difficult to put into words just how bad it was.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:19 am
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Imani
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It definitely wasn't as bad where I lived, and that's not to say it was idyllic, either. Far from it, but when I talk to people who lived through the 70s, we still conclude it was better than the dour and gloomy place Britain is portrayed as, for all the reasons I gave.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:41 am
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Trojan
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Looking back at that period it produced the best politically minded bands, the best protest songs, and the largest and most effective protest movements. All of which did not exist in a vacuum. They were very much products of their time and a very toxic atmosphere.

Yes, back then TV and music was better and Wagon Wheels were larger, but when you think of the social tensions, the divisive politics and outright violence its'a time I would rather forget.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:21 am
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Imani
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Dare I say it, without the flaws and imperfections of those times, we might have never had the richness and originality of the creativity. That's the great paradox. Saying that, I wouldn't for one moment want to go back to those years, and obviously people experienced it differently depending upon geography and environment, some harsher than others. I didn't have it as tough as someone living in Belfast.

Something of that spark has been lost. Probably because things were less rigidly controlled, for one thing.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:29 am
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bombscare79
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Trojan wrote:
Looking back at that period it produced the best politically minded bands, the best protest songs, and the largest and most effective protest movements. All of which did not exist in a vacuum. They were very much products of their time and a very toxic atmosphere.

Yes, back then TV and music was better and Wagon Wheels were larger, but when you think of the social tensions, the divisive politics and outright violence its'a time I would rather forget.
.... I have it on real scientific advice that Wagon Wheels were not larger than they are now. The much discussed size disparity is simply because your hands were smaller back then !!
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:29 pm
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Trojan
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bombscare79 wrote:
Trojan wrote:
Looking back at that period it produced the best politically minded bands, the best protest songs, and the largest and most effective protest movements. All of which did not exist in a vacuum. They were very much products of their time and a very toxic atmosphere.

Yes, back then TV and music was better and Wagon Wheels were larger, but when you think of the social tensions, the divisive politics and outright violence its'a time I would rather forget.
.... I have it on real scientific advice that Wagon Wheels were not larger than they are now. The much discussed size disparity is simply because your hands were smaller back then !!


The non-shrinking myth is something the manufacture, Burton, have try to spin for years. The facts speak for themselves:


https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/final-proof-favourite-chocolate-bars-7037972
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:56 pm
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bombscare79
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Trojan wrote:
bombscare79 wrote:
Trojan wrote:
Looking back at that period it produced the best politically minded bands, the best protest songs, and the largest and most effective protest movements. All of which did not exist in a vacuum. They were very much products of their time and a very toxic atmosphere.

Yes, back then TV and music was better and Wagon Wheels were larger, but when you think of the social tensions, the divisive politics and outright violence its'a time I would rather forget.
.... I have it on real scientific advice that Wagon Wheels were not larger than they are now. The much discussed size disparity is simply because your hands were smaller back then !!


The non-shrinking myth is something the manufacture, Burton, have try to spin for years. The facts speak for themselves:


https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/final-proof-favourite-chocolate-bars-7037972

They're still great though. Off to the shops now to purchase a wagonful
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:40 pm
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Trojan
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I'm not really a biscuit or chocolate fan, but I have always been found of the odd Wagon Wheel.

Bombscare79, you want one this size:




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Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:10 pm
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bombscare79
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Jesus wept where do you get them? They are a proper shite biscuit like Penguins, not great chocolate etc but every so often 4 or 5 with a pint of tea is delightful
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:38 pm
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Trojan
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bombscare79 wrote:
4 or 5 with a pint of tea is delightful


Well, just as long as you don't overindulge.
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:47 pm
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bombscare79
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absolutely not. Everything in moderation. Now toffee YoYo's that would be a different ballgame
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:18 pm
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Harry
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I recon Orson Welles would have agreed with Imani's point about bad times being good for the richness and originality of the creativity

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They producedd Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."
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Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:44 pm
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Imani
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Harry wrote:
I recon Orson Welles would have agreed with Imani's point about bad times being good for the richness and originality of the creativity

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They producedd Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."


That's a great quote. It's a strange coincidence. Recently I heard someone saying it was the Medici family also who were great promoters of the arts but I'd need to read up on it.

At the same time, it's not just social turmoil. Another great and relevant example is Jamaica. They got their independence and ska reflected that optimism. Plus, they had a slight economic upturn with the bauxite industry. Then you look at how it started to go wrong from the mid-60s and through the 70s, a period that's seen (along with ska) as the golden age of the music.

But it would be incorrect to put it down SOLELY to disorder. What I'm also getting at is the amount of freedom musicians had to develop ideas.
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Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:33 am
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bombscare79
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Harry wrote:
I recon Orson Welles would have agreed with Imani's point about bad times being good for the richness and originality of the creativity

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They producedd Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."
..... and Toblerone !!
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Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:27 am
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Imani
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bombscare79 wrote:
Harry wrote:
I recon Orson Welles would have agreed with Imani's point about bad times being good for the richness and originality of the creativity

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They producedd Michaelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock."
..... and Toblerone !!


Fine for Alan Partridge and other people with Swiss choc addiction, but not a patch on the Mona Lisa.
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Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:16 pm
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