Tuesday, 21 January 2014

What I Don’t Miss About the 70s

adding Marmite to vegetarian cookery
chilled soup
bouquet garni, bay leaves, recipes that advised “add some of the liquid from the tin”
The Pauper’s Cookbook and its recipes for cooking offal (ox heart anybody?)
ratatouille (It was very difficult to say you didn’t like peppers.)
cruelty to vegetarians (It was hard to be different.)

cagoules (that failed to keep out the wet and cold, and only came in bright red nylon)
carbon paper and carbon copies (Thank heavens for photocopiers and computers.)

handmade pottery cups and saucers, always brown (and the sound of the cup grating on the saucer)
brown, brown, brown everywhere (especially as corduroy chair-covers)
amusing egg-cups on legs
fun activities like brass rubbing, drystone walling and dredging canals (The canals have all been restored now – thankyou, hearty young people of the 70s.)
parties where the music was so loud you couldn't talk to anybody
Muzak (“light” background music)

over-plucked eyebrows
the word “psychosomatic
authoritarian sects that took all your money (strangely popular in those freedom-loving times)

gullibility about macrobiotic diets, pyramid power, biofeedback, gestalt therapy, iridology, ley lines, earth energies, negative ions, out-of-body experiences, UFOs, crop circles, karma
suspicion of science and logic

Marxists and feminists who could take the fun out of anything
arguing about what “equality” means (Just like now, really.)
mansplanations about why women can’t be airline pilots, bishops etc (Just like now, really.)
communes, open relationships, wife-swappingban on trying to make yourself look attractive
hatred of the “nuclear family” (so you couldn’t say you wanted one)
hatred and suspicion of love and romance (probably a bourgeois construct)
having no word to describe the person who shared your life (“Boyfriend” had become unsayable and “partner” hadn’t come along. People experimented with “lover” and “fellow” but sounded desperately self-conscious.)
repressive mantras like “If you can’t get what you want, change your want”.

Or the 60s, or the 50s.

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