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When My Childhood Attacks

tierandragon posted scans from a 1977 J.C. Penney catalog here.

The horrified flashbacks came shortly thereafter.

Keep in mind when you look at those pics, that was the year the original Star Wars came out and started a geeky cultural revolution of sorts. It was also when punk was in its infancy, and it was never more sorely needed. New Wave hadn't even appeared on the horizon.

Just remember, when you hear some cranky conservative griping about the '60s -- they were better than the dark ages of the '70s!

-The Gneech


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
The year of my birth, there. Crikey.
Nov. 1st, 2007 11:45 am (UTC)
Believe it or not, we used to think all that stuff looked cool.
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "we" -- once I had enough experience to have an opinion I spent most of the '70s wishing it was the '40s!

-The Gneech
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:08 pm (UTC)
I still like the jumpsuit look. But then I'm far from having any kind of fashion sense. My coworkers and friends from that time could easily testify to that.
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC)
I realized when looking at these pictures what the style of the '70s was all about, and why it's so distasteful in retrospect. It was a false compromise. A compromise between the love-in-the-mud '60s and the and the stick-in-the-mud '50s. It was the first time the establishment tried appropriating the trappings of the counterculture to reassert its influence, and everyone bought it. It said, "You can be a long-haired oversexed groovy dude and and a clean-cut businesslike adult at the same time! On top of that, you can also be a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll." Everybody looked like that back then (except for the punks, who had to go to extremes to find a look that was clearly rebellious against all this Technicolor wackiness). The lesson of the '70s is that there are some things you shouldn't try to meet in the middle on.

I think right now we're experiencing that kind of compromise between the nerds and the cool kids. People of the future are going to look at this era and wonder what was up with the teeny tiny eyeglasses.
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC)
My personal theory of history says that this decade is basically a repeat of the 1970s. We're seeing a resurgence of the disaster movie, with Global Warming movies instead of Global Ice Age movies, and new Posidon Adventures.

Heck, just the other day, one of the headlines was about a new spotting of Bigfoot! How 1970s can you get?
Nov. 1st, 2007 01:20 pm (UTC)
When are they going to revive In Search Of...?
Nov. 1st, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
All those Discovery Channel spinoffs running "America's Most Haunted" etc. don't count?

Nov. 1st, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
You've got a point.
Nov. 1st, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Me? I've still got my hopes out for the Animated Star Trek... ;)
Nov. 2nd, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
Has there been any development on that?
Nov. 1st, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Maybe they'll do an In Search of... Cow Eating Trees!
Nov. 1st, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
Additionally, I'd have to say that the Commmunications revolution we're experiencing with the internet was presaged by CB Radio in the 1970s.

Anybody remember when CB Radio was The New Big Thing that was Going To Change Everything?
Nov. 1st, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
It changed trucking all right, breaker breaker!

Nov. 1st, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Pig Pen, this here's Rubber Duck...
Oh, we got a great big Chat Room!
Rockin through the night!
Yeah, we got a great big Chat Room!
Aien't she a beautiful sight!
Come on and join our Chat Room!
Aien't nothin' gonna get in our way!
We're gonna roll this f***in' Chat Room
'Cross the USA!

Chat Roooooom...!
Nov. 2nd, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Plus that imitation of Battlestar Glactica.
Nov. 1st, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
My mom still looks like that. *shudder*

Nov. 1st, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC)
One of those models looked like the illegitimate child of my English teacher from junior high school and Princess Diana. Ye gods....
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 1st, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
Why is it I can see that dining room set at Yappy's place for the Funday Pawpet Show?
Nov. 1st, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
I had a similar flashback-of-horrors last year when I bought a DVD set of Tom Snyder episodes featuring the earliest appearance of Punk on US TV.

Thanks to a perfect storm of timing, circumstance, ratings desperation and a really sharp (and brave!) booking staff, Snyder wound up as the cantankerous straight man to the likes of Iggy Pop, Wendy O. Williams, Johnny Rotten, The Ramones, Joan Jett and other Punk icons just as their bands were beginning to attract notice outside London and New York. The performances were messy, the interviews raucous, and the defiant spirit undeniable. I myself got my first jolt of Punk from seeing The Plasmatics blow up a car and careen like lunatics through a shocked studio audience in 1978 or '79. I still hold that memory (and that band) near and dear to my heart. So when the DVD collection appeared, I snapped it right up.

Jesus! The producers left in all the station breaks, bad theme music and even a few other interviews to give contrast and context to the early Punks. Seen again in all its vivid awfulness, the decade's excuse for popular culture displayed why Punk was so earth-shatteringly essential to Rock's survival. In the age of The Captain & Tennille, Iggy Pop seems more essential than ever.

Tom passed away earlier this year. In his wake, he left an incredible legacy of cutting-edge couterprogramming to the most banal decade in US history. (See http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20035424/ and http://www.amazon.com/Tomorrow-Show-Punk-New-Wave/dp/B000BTD91W)

PS: Lythandra, I would highly recommend the two DVD sets for your collection. Recalling what a fan you were of old-school Punk, I think you'd really enjoy them. :)

Nov. 1st, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Heh, I'll have to see if Netflix has them. Thanks for the recommendation! I still remember Weird Al Yankovic's performance of "Another One Rides the Bus" on the Tomorrow show.
Nov. 1st, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
Its like a horror fashion catalogue! D=
That picture reminds me of only one thing now....

Carol-Anne voice: "They're heeeeeere." ;3
Nov. 2nd, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Re: Its like a horror fashion catalogue! D=
Five years late, but the same idea. n_n
Nov. 2nd, 2007 03:59 am (UTC)
The scary thing is that a few years after that ('79, '80 or so) I looked exactly like that kid, more or less same clothes (though brown instead of red), same hair, same face. If it weren't for the fact that I was three at the time, I'd ask my mom if she had put me up for a J.C. Penny catalog without my remembering.
Nov. 3rd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
My Mom, who still thinks that I am incapable of buying clothes, sent me two shirts disturbingly like that for Christmas last year. I can't bring myself to wear them. :)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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