Camouflage for the 20th and three quarters century
But the country is disintegrating. What's happened to America? What's happened to the American Dream
It came true. You're lookin' at it.
Ah, the Seventies: A time when love was free, peace was the sign of the times, people were shouting "me, me, me
" through self-esteem, self-discovery and individual identity
, and polyester was the fabric of choice. A period in history where the men wear polyester leisure suits with flaring trouser cuffs and huge ties while sporting heavily sprayed and manicured hair, sideburns included
. Not to be outdone, the women wore feathered, Farrah Fawcett hair above their slinky dresses with no bras
underneath. Black people sported huge, poofy Afros as a Take That
to past straightening practices. Heck, even white people had afros if they could grow them! Most people spent at least 92 percent of their waking lives at the disco
or behind the wheel of a car◊
big enough to tow the Titanic.
music with a tense "waka-chu-waka"
beat often plays during chase scenes
, or on pornos
Elsewhere, Western Terrorists
(and the Arab ones
) are trying to blow up people, the US is still losing in The Vietnam War
, and the blockbuster movie is invented
Media Technology reaches a turning point, as 8-track audio cassettes and the first VCRs (U-matic in 1971, Betamax in 1975 and VHS in 1976,) appear for the first time, as do the first Laserdiscs (1978), the very first optical disc storage medium, and the very same technology that would later make CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray possible. However despite the new media technology, the old media technologies, namely the LP and Film are both still king as they had been for most of the 20th century. Movies such as Taxi Driver
and The Godfather
begin to deal with subjects once considered taboo due to the loosening censorship laws, and pornographic film becomes legal. The world learns the meaning of Kung Fu thanks to a tough little guy from Hong Kong named Bruce Lee
, while Evel Knievel Ramp Jumped
everything from cars and trucks to double-decker buses and river canyons.
Television is changed forever by such ground breaking shows as All in the Family
, The Mary Tyler Moore Show
, Saturday Night Live
and Monty Python's Flying Circus
. Meanwhile gentle family shows like The Waltons
, Little House on the Prairie
and The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
found their own audience while The Fonz was ruling the kid's imagination while giving Robin Williams
his big time start as the master comedian in Mork and Mindy
. Meanwhile, Star Trek: The Original Series
is Vindicated by Cable
and develops a sizable fanbase, spawning a juggernaut franchise that would not die for... well, ever. While the kids have made the best of the Dark Age Of Animation
with Saturday Morning Cartoons
, they at least had PBS
's breakthrough kids shows, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
and Sesame Street
in their vibrant glory of its youth before they graduated to The Electric Company
and The Big Blue Marble
. Traditional TV genres like the variety show had their last hurrah like Sonny And Cher
and Donny And Marie
while The Muppet Show
became a universally hailed worldwide success.
The Bronze Age of Comic Books
begins, featuring death, politics, and "ethnic" superheroes for the first time ever since The Comics Code
crippled the medium in the 1950s. That happened when Stan Lee
wrote a government requested anti-drug Spider-Man
story, which the code was dumb enough to refuse to authorize, forcing Lee to diplomatically defy them to considerable praise.
, two genres of music which continue to influence music to this day come out during this decade, as does the first primitive electronic music under such bands as the German Kraftwerk
, Yellow Magic Orchestra
from Japan and Suicide
from New York City
. The break up of The Beatles
however was the defining moment of the music era as it created a power vacuum for any aspiring musician to make it big. The early years of the decade nonetheless, are considered to be the zenith of Hard Rock
(and rock music, in general), as easy listening was off the charts and modern pop music wouldn't drive rock from the "top-40" until 1976. Alternative Rock
, Heavy Metal
and Rap Music
took their first steps here too.
While this arguably began late in The Sixties
, the '70s also changed the world completely, shaping it to its form nowadays. The Cold War
slows down as American and Soviet relations improve for the first time since 1945. American distrust for authority while brewing during the war, suddenly appears in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Crime and grime are on the rise and respect for law and order - from both criminals and their victims - begins to decline in favour of the good old fashioned "heads blown off"
The botched Apollo 13 mission (1970) (Although the feat of getting the astronauts home alive was hailed as a Crowning Moment of Awesome
for NASA), the Munich Olympics massacre (1972) and the American defeat in Vietnam (ended in 1975) broke forever the sense of security and confidence Westerners had from 1946, although it began to crumble with the assassinations of John F. Kennedy
(in 1963), Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy (both in 1968). Munich was notorious for introducing mass awareness of terrorism and the fallibility of basic security, and it was just the beginning
. The energy crisis has Westerners running out of gas for the first time, showing the world just how dependent we all are on the Middle East, thus the post war economic boom that dominated The Fifties
and The Sixties
ends in recession, turning the American manufacturing Belt into the "rust belt". The welfare state-based economy begun with the New Deal
loses support and gets replaced by the next decade with the lassez-faire
"New Economy"; heavily dependent of the banking industry, with its effects of mass speculation making finances more exciting — and risky.
The environmental movement gains rapid speed as a result of the fuel shortages. In 1970, the first Earth Day is held, and in 1971, Greenpeace is founded. Many people worry that the world is on the edge of an environmental catastrophe
. Among other things, people go informal with ties and suits being thrown away (except for going to work: "casual fridays" began in The Nineties
) and fashion rules being eliminated stating that "there are no rules in fashion"
; the animal rights movement also has its origin during this period; political correctness
is born as well as Moral Guardians
raise their voice; single parenthood transitions from taboo to become commonplace while gay rights gain steam; women become an important part of the workplace; divorces quickly begin to outgrow marriages and couples begin to live together without marrying at all.
Covers roughly the period from the Kent State Massacre of 1970 to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan
politically (replace with Margaret Thatcher
if you're British). Culturally, roughly speaking, it started with the Altamont Free Concert in 1969 and ended with either the Disco Demolition Night
of 1979 or with the start of MTV in 1981. The most representative years are arguably 1972 through 1976: the years before that still have some baggage left over from the '60s (and, in some cases, even the '50s
), while at about 1977 the tropes begin to shift: the sideburns get shorter; mass entertainment (movies especially) moves in the direction of pure escapism for the first time since the mid-'60s; the "women's-lib" movement goes mainstream and loses most of its earlier radicalism; and the (then) avant-garde musical styles of punk, New Wave, heavy metal, and (to a lesser extent) rap start to slowly eclipse the more proletarian or petit bourgeois styles of hard rock, R&B, and soft pop. Much of the sleaze and cynicism of the earlier part of the decade also begins to fade by this time: While disco is sweeping the nation, the Watergate legacy is repudiated by the election of the almost ridiculously idealistic
and pure-hearted Jimmy Carter
as President, and the rise of the Moral Majority within fundamentalist and evangelical Christian sects does a creditable job of rolling back (for a time, and to a degreenote
) the sexual carnival of the '60s. But, needless to say, neither lasted beyond 1979 (the Carter administration, if not dead on arrival, clearly died with the hostages crisis), setting the bases for the turbulent 1980-1985 period.
See Also: The Roaring Twenties
, The Great Depression
, The Forties
, The Fifties
, The Sixties
, The Eighties
, The Nineties
, Turn of the Millennium
and The New Tens
Popular tropes from this time period are:
- '70s Hair
- Absolute Cleavage: For men, it's the hair; for women, you know...
- The Alleged Car: Pollution control systems were in their infancy so stalling, sputtering, and backfiring were often the order of the day. Lemons: The World's Worst Cars makes note that during the seventies, "quality control" took a nose-dive. Noted auto journalist Peter Egan once dismissed the entire decade as The Era of Stupid Design while Dave Barry theorized that the first generation of American subcompacts were a Batman Gambit to discredit the very concept of a non-aircraft-carrier sized car.
- Badass: The defining trope of the decade.
- Be Yourself: The main driving force of The Me Decade.
- The Blockbuster Age of Hollywood surged late in the decade from the ashes of the New Hollywood.
- The Bronze Age of Comic Books
- Carpet of Virility
- Dance Sensation: A staple early in the decade, reaching its' peak with 1975's "The Hustle", one of the songs which popularized disco music.
- Disaster Movie
- Dork Age: Considered to be this from The Eighties until late into the Turn of the Millennium.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The Trope Namer was produced from 1971 to 1980.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting, at least in the movies.
- The Fashionista, as stated in a Vogue 1970 issue, there are no rules in fashion, and the fashion storm started that left a mark in the catwalk, then leaving a disaster on the next decade.
- The Fifties: Nothing says The Seventies like nostalgia for The Fifties, as evidenced by Grease and Happy Days, and a slew of other shows.
- The trope would repeat itself in a similar way when nostalgia for The Seventies became all the rage in The Nineties, even if this time it was little more than an excuse to get closer to the 50's (except for the ocassional Disco Dan).
- The New Tens have featured a somewhat more sincere nostalgia for this decade, and with 90's nostalgia becoming Serious Business will likely bring the trope to a full circle.
- Funny Afro
- The Generation Gap
- Glam Rock
- Glorious Mother Russia: With every man a KGB agent and every woman a Brawn Hilda, with a few Sensual Slavs thrown in for good measure.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The short period of stability, economic growth, and liberalism from the end of The Sixties onward in the Communist Bloc allowed a bit of openness to Western media, which made a lot of East Europeans to adopt the fashions of the age (Russian Humour also stabbed with the sharp point of irony the fashion of flaring bellbottom trousers and '70s Hair), but they clung to them even 30 years too late, inasmuch as an average Russian from the early 2000s may think outfits with knitted sweaters and ties, jeans with fringes, checkered coats with elbow patches and handlebar moustaches, homes with bizarre pattern furniture, bars with pinball machines and nightclubs with disco balls are perfectly acceptable. Only by the mid-2000's the middle aged generation gradually abandoned them.
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence
- Greaser Delinquents: The subculture essentially died out in the last years of The Sixties, save for a few holdouts in the Midwest, and what was left of that died out in the early 1970's. However, portrayals of greasers in fiction and pop culture start to pop up during this decade as nostalgia for The Fifties starts to set in. The most famous greaser delinquent in fiction, The Fonz, is a pop culture icon of The Seventies.
- Heavy Metal: In its earliest stages. Especially Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.
- It's All About Me: Well, it's not called The "ME" Decade for nothing.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: In late works about this decade.
- Jive Turkey
- J-Pop: First started getting it real start here with artists like Candies and Miyuki Nakajima.
- LGBT Fanbase: A phenomenon making its public revival after the beginning of the modern gay rights movement and the easing of mandatory media/postal censorship.
- Limited Animation: Most of the worst products of The Dark Age of Animation would come out during this decade, and were strictly kids stuff, except for the occasional odd exception, like Ralph Bakshi's films.
- Lighter and Softer:When compared the decades before it and after (at least the first half of it).
- New Wave Music: Emerged alongside punk rock (see below).
- No Fame, No Wealth, No Service (when it came to clubs like Studio 54)
- Older Than They Think: You may relate open shirts and bell-bottoms to disco... but both styles were originally popular fifty years before.
- Pimp Duds
- Porn Stache: The stereotypical 70s man had either that or a full beard.
- Pretty in Mink: Aside from the pimp coats, sheepskin and white rabbit jackets for ladies became popular.
- Punk Rock: Started as a movement at large during this decade.
- The Roaring Twenties: Not all nostalgia was for The Fifties. Even the days of jazz and bootleg booze got their slice of the cake in this heavily nostalgic decade.
- Serial Killer: Several of the more infamous ones (Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, John Wayne Gacy, BTK, The Zodiac, etc.) became active during the decade.
- Sweater Girl: Came back from The Fifties with a vengeance.
- Two Decades Behind: Many elements from the 50's and 60's stood specially in the first half of the decade.
- Threatening Shark
- Vapor Wear: Bras were out. Visible nipples were in.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: I wear hot pants!
Works that are set (but not made) in this time period are:
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Copernicus Breathing
- As mentioned below, xxAbarenbou Kishi!! Matsutarou'' is based on a 70s manga but was animated over 40 years later.
- The final issues of the 1980s series The New Adventures of Superboy suggested that Smallville had finally reached the 1970s. The remainder of the book's run saw a plot (unfinished thanks to the book's cancellation) about Smallville's businesses, including the Kents' general store, being threatened by the construction (under shady circumstances) of its first shopping mall. The last issue of the run also sees Lana Lang ask Clark to go with her to see a concert by the Carpenters. Shortly after the title's cancellation, 1985's Superman: The Secret Years (a miniseries telling how Superboy finally changed his name to Superman) had a flashback to Clark's final year of high school, explicitly set in the early 70s. The miniseries itself sees a college-age Clark asked by a roommate to go with him to see the "new Woody Allen film" Annie Hall.
Works that were made in this time period:
Anime and Manga
- Tintin. Series started in 1929.
- Spirou and Fantasio. Series began in 1938.
- Tom Poes. Series began in 1941.
- Suske en Wiske. Series began in 1945.
- Blake and Mortimer. First appeared in September, 1946.
- Paulus De Boskabouter. Series began in 1946.
- Nero . Series began in 1947.
- Lucky Luke. Series began in 1947.
- Harlem Heroes
- Piet Pienter en Bert Bibber. Series began in 1951.
- Jommeke. Series began in 1955.
- Jan, Jans en de Kinderen. First appeared in 1970.
- Yoko Tsuno. First appeared in September, 1970.
- Conan the Barbarian. Adaptation of the literary character. First appeared in October, 1970.
- Darkseid. First appeared in December, 1970.
- De Generaal. First appeared in 1971.
- New Gods. Series started in February-March, 1971.
- Man-Thing. First appeared in May, 1971.
- Barbara 'Bobbi' Morse. First appeared in June, 1971.
- Received the codename 'Huntress' in January, 1976.
- Ra's Al-Ghul. First appeared in June, 1971.
- Swamp Thing.
- Swamp Thing/Alex Olsen. First appeared in June-July, 1971.
- Swamp Thing/Alec Holland. First appeared in October-November, 1972.
- Archie Comics.
- Chuck Clayton. First appeared in August, 1971.
- Coach Floyd Harry Clayton. First appeared in March, 1974.
- Nancy Woods. First appeared in January, 1976.
- The Kree Skrull War
- Morbius. First appeared in October, 1971.
- The Defenders. First appeared in December, 1971.
- Dracula Lives. First debuted in August, 1973.
- Green Lantern/John Stewart. First appeared in December, 1971.
- Jonah Hex. First appeared in February, 1972.
- Werewolf by Night. First appeared in February, 1972.
- "Him" became Adam Warlock in April, 1972.
- The Tomb of Dracula. First debuted in April, 1972.
- Luke Cage: Hero for Hire. First appeared in June, 1972.
- Etrigan. First appeared in August, 1972.
- Ghost Rider /Johnny Blaze. First appeared in August, 1972.
- Shanna the She-Devil. First appeared in December, 1972.
- Red Sonja. First appeared in February, 1973.
- Thanos. First appeared in February, 1973.
- The Night Gwen Stacy Died storyline, appeared in June-July, 1973.
- Black Orchid. First appeared in July, 1973.
- Blade. First appeared in July, 1973.
- Freedom Fighters. First appeared in September, 1973.
- Avengers Defenders War. Began in September 1973
- Harpy. First appeared in October, 1973.
- Howard the Duck. First appeared in December, 1973.
- The Punisher. First appeared in February, 1974.
- Foolkiller. First appeared in March, 1974. At least the original version, since several characters have since Taken up the Mantle.
- Iron Fist. First appeared in May, 1974.
- OMAC. First appeared in September, 1974.
- Wolverine. First appeared in October-November, 1974.
- Sandman/Garrett Sanford. First appeared in Winter, 1974.
- Douwe Dabbert. First appeared in 1975.
- Storm. First appeared in May, 1975.
- Illyana Rasputin. First appeared in May 1975.
- X-Men. Revived in May, 1975.
- Moon Knight. First appeared in August, 1975.
- Batman Family. Series started in October, 1975.
- Scarlet Spider
- An unnamed clone of Spider-Man first appeared in October, 1975. He would be reworked into Ben Reilly two decades later.
- The Warlord. First appeared in November, 1975.
- Mickey Mouse Comic Universe
- Bruto. First appeared in December, 1975.
- White Tiger /Hector Ayala. First appeared in December, 1975. He has since had two Legacy characters.
- American Splendor. Series started in 1976.
- Storm.. Series started in 1976.
- Power Girl. First appeared in January-February, 1976.
- Patsy Walker. First appeared as Hellcat in February, 1976.
- Omega The Unknown. First appeared in March, 1976.
- Nova. First appeared in September, 1976.
- Captain Britain. Brian Braddock first appeared in October, 1976.
- Psylocke. First appeared in December 1976 for U.K..
- Lady Shiva. First appeared in December, 1976.
- Carol Danvers became Ms. Marvel in January, 1977.
- De Kiekeboes. Series started in February, 1977.
- 2000 AD. Magazine launched in February, 1977.
- What If?. The series started in February, 1977.
- The Korvac Saga. Began on January 1978.
- Will Eisner's A Contract With God, the first Graphic Novel, was published in 1978.
- Spider-Woman. First appeared in February, 1977.
- Ghost Girl I. First appearted in March, 1977.
- Thorgal. First appeared in March, 1977.
- Albany And Sturgess. Series started in April, 1977.
- Black Lightning. Debuted in April, 1977.
- Shade, the Changing Man. Debuted in June, 1977.
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters!. Series started in August, 1977.
- Wonder Twins. Adapted to the medium in October, 1977.
- Cerebus. First appeared in December, 1977.
- Huntress/Helena Wayne. Debuted in December, 1977.
- Omaha the Cat Dancer. First published in 1978.
- Quasar/Wendell Elvis Vaughn. Debuted in January, 1978.
- Madame Xanadu. Debuted in February, 1978.
- ElfQuest. Series started in Spring, 1978.
- Firestorm. Debuted in March, 1978.
- Steel/Henry "Hank" Heywood. Debuted in March, 1978.
- DC Comics Presents. Series started in July, 1978.
- Vixen. First appearance in Fall, 1978. But in a title only available to DC personnel.
- Flaming Carrot. First appeared in 1979.
- Micronauts. Series started in January, 1979.
- Scott Lang. First appeared in March, 1979.
- Scott Lang assumed the Ant-Man identity in April, 1979.
- Lt. Col. James Rhodes (debuted March, 1979). He would become better known as War Machine.
- Alpha Flight. First appeared in April, 1979.
- Black Cat. First appeared in July, 1979.
- Captain Universe. First appeared in August, 1979.
- ROM Spaceknight. First appeared in December, 1979.
Eastern European Animation
Han-guk Manhwa Aenimeisyeon
- Airborne Avenger, 1977.
- The Atarians, 1976.
- Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, 1976. Based on Elton John's album and the movie Tommy.
- Centigrade 37, 1977.
- Eight Ball, 1977.
- El Dorado, 1975.
- Evel Knievel, 1977.
- Fireball, 1971.
- Flash, 1979.
- Future Spa, 1979.
- Genie, 1979.
- Gorgar, 1979.
- Harlem Globetrotters On Tour, 1979.
- Hercules, 1979.
- Joker Poker, 1978.
- KISS, 1979.
- Mata Hari, 1978.
- Meteor, 1979.
- Middle Earth, 1978.
- Paragon, 1979.
- Playboy, 1978.
- Sapporo, 1971.
- Sinbad, 1978.
- The Six Million Dollar Man, 1978.
- Space Invaders, 1979. Based on the hit video game (sorta).
- Space Riders, 1978.
- Spirit Of 76, 1976, appropriately enough.
- Star Trek (Bally), 1979.
- Stellar Wars, 1979.
- Superman, 1979.
- Wizard!, 1975.
- Chuck E. Cheese
- Apple Computer got its start during this time too, although it wouldn't be a serious competitor to IBM until the mid-'80s.
- Nike adopted its iconic "swoosh" logo in the closing years of the decade.
- McDonald's brought fast food to the masses, introducing breakfast items on its menu for the first time and opening its first foreign restaurants (first McDonald's in Great Britain in 1974). The Big Mac hamburger (introduced in 1968) first became popular at this time. Ronald McDonald (who had gotten a classy makeover in 1967 with the now-familiar yellow jumpsuit and striped socks) was joined in McDonaldland by his friends Birdie, the Hamburglar, the Grimace (originally an octopus-like creature who loved milkshakes) and the Fry Kids. Mayor McCheese is a relic of this era, nowadays only turning up in parodies.