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Quotes: The Seventies

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    fiction 
Everybody smoke
Use the pill and the dope
Educated fools
From uneducated schools
Pimping people is the rule
Polluted water in the pool
And Nixon talkin' 'bout 'don't worry'
He says 'don't worry'
Curtis Mayfield, "If There's Hell Below, We're All Going to Go"

Homer: (singing) Boy, the way The Bee Gees played...
Marge: (singing) Movies John Travolta made...
Homer: Guessing how much Elvis weighed...
Homer/Marge: (in unison) Those were the days.
Marge: And you knew where you were then...
Homer: Watching shows like Gentle Ben...
Homer/Marge: Mister, we could use a man like Sheriff Lobo again.
Homer: Disco Duck and Fleetwood Mac...
Marge: Coming out of my eight-track...
Homer: Michael Jackson still was black...
Homer/Marge: Those were the days.
The Simpsons, "Lisa's Sax", spoofing "Those Were the Days".

Nixon, wearing nightgown: What did you bring me for '72?
Santa Claus: More inflation. Higher unemployment. A stagnant economy. The same old war. And a disastrous election campaign.
Nixon: (wild take) You call yourself Santa Claus?
Santa: And you call yourself President?
Jules Feiffer political cartoon, 1971

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter; punks are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be! We all know things are bad. Worse than bad; they're crazy.
Howard Beale, Network

So I paid for Cas for five nights up in the, uh, honeymoon suite. I told the manager, 'Do not disturb no matter what.' You know what he said to me? 'Yeah. Don't sweat it. Wanna buy some dope?' Dope. We ought to stick around here, buy some stock in Microsoft.
Dean, Supernatural ("The Song Remains the Same")

    real life 
I experimented with marijuana a time or two...I didn't inhale and never tried it again.

I said to my friend Gore, 'I think I slept through the Sixties,' and he said, 'You didn't miss a thing...but God knows what you are going to do with the Seventies.

The fact that television personalities so notoriously took precedence over the politicians at Miami Beach was noted with sour wonder by journalists who have begun to fear that their rendering of events into lines of linear type may prove to be as irrelevant an exercise as turning contemporary literature into Greek. The fact that in a hotel lobby it was Eric Severeid not John Tower who collected a crowd was thought to be a sign of the essential light-mindedness of the electorate. Yet Severeid belongs to the country in a way few politicians ever do. Only Ronald Reagan among the politicians at Miami exerted the same spell, and for the same reason: he is a bona fide star of the Late Show, equally ubiquitous, equally mythic.
Gore Vidal, "The Twenty-Ninth Republican Convention"

I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes.

We live in a very special time right now. At no other time in history has there been such mass disillusionment in terms of reliance on governing functions. Most people donít want to come to terms with that. Itís been proven over and over again that the emperor isnít wearing any clothes, but most people donít like to look at naked emperors.
Frank Zappa, Oui interview (1979)

In 1974, my junior year in high school, I was student council vice president and a member of the Honor Society. I was a cheerleader and had once again come in runner up in the Miss North Myrtle Beach pageant. That summerI'd also been in the Sun Fun pageant but hadn't won that one either. I lost interest in Cary and fell in love with Jimmy Riddle, smoked pot for the first time and made my dramatic debut in our class production of A Portrait of Jenny.
Vanna White

Now, let me tell you about the time Nicholson and I were, like those poor souls in Paris, targeted over a depiction of the Muslim prophet. Scary? YOU BET! Did we survive it? EVANS ALWAYS ESCAPES UNSCATHED. 1972. Jane Fonda is the hottest star going, and yours truly had just signed her to a nine-picture musical deal. Fonda was high on peyote at the time and into Tunisian mysticism, and she demanded that her first picture be a musical in which she falls in love with Mohamed. And I said, ĎBaby! This wonít play in Kansas!í But she just kept banging on her tamtam and insisting on the pic.

So I get the wheels turning on KORAN YOU SEE THE LIGHT (book and songs penned by Sir Elton John!), when suddenly Henryís little girl is kidnapped and brainwashed (she brainwashes VERY easily) by a runaway sect known as the Bloody Hand. Well, at this point, Nicholson (who we signed to play the prophet himself) is fed up. He puts on that Mohamed costume and, dragging poor Evans along, walks right into the Bloody Handís compound! And he says to the leader, ĎThatís right. Iím the prophet Mohamed. And right now, Iím seeing you handing the hippie girl over so that we can blow this joint and I can buy a tajine full of coke.í And they were so horribly offended that they froze! For, like, ten hours! And Irish just walks right out with Fonda and sends her to a Buddhist guru who re-brainwashes her! We ended up making Barbarella instead.

By the early 60s, Rock n' Roll had been thoroughly defanged, with its stars either marginalized or sidelined; drafting Elvis(h) Presley into the Army was a definitive statement of intent on the part of the Establishment. Some rock stars like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran conveniently met very early deaths in plane crashes and automobile accidents, as did Rebel Without a Cause star (and icon of youthful rebellion) James Dean. Inert folksingers like the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary were all the rage on campus as was a kind of pseudo-existentialist intellectualism. Ayn Rand was being pushed by the CIA and other agencies as a modern-day guru, and she gratefully celebrated the modern CEO as the highest expression of Creation...But the esoteric and the irrational were not dead, they'd simply been shut out of the conversation by both the dominant consensus and a brow-beaten mass media. Just as it seemed the new Rationalism would triumph for good, counter-cultural energies would explode back into the mainstream and shake the world to its core. The pressures of a suffocating conformity, the escalating militarism of the Cold War and the sheer, oppressive boredom of mainstream entertainment - along with trickster elements like LSD-25- shattered the staid rationalism of the Establishment and opened more Pandora's boxes than you can count.

Bowie's last great glam album, Diamond Dogs, came out not two weeks before this story began. 'Rebel Rebel,' Bowie's farewell to the glam era, peaked in the charts during Death to the Daleks. The glam aesthetic that had defined the (Jon) Pertwee era was passing by. Always ill-suited for a recession, the over the top gaudiness of glam turned bleak rapidly, the distant and detached starmen proving, as we always knew they would, to be egocentric narcissists. In one sense, Pertwee here carries out the course set out for him two seasons earlier — his very own Rock 'n Roll Suicide...Pertwee is here serving as the sacrificial lamb for a cultural shift. The bourgeois egotism of the action man dandy was fine as the last flourishing of psychedelia. But it's past its time, and some new image must arise.

Yes, In case you thought Anchorman was a parody of the seventies, now you know: There was in fact a time when guys could plausibly say in public, 'Let me take you to Loveland"... I also like that they introduce themselves with their Zodiac sign before they even tell you their name. I mean, I know there was a running cliche about the Leisure Suit Larrys of the world using 'What's your sign?' as a pick-up line, I—I just didn't know that was a real thing that actually happened.
Todd in the Shadows, "One Hit Wonderland" ("Float On")

I knew The Seventies were... seventies, but I didn't realise they were that seventies!

Sheriff Whittaker arrives to investigate his missing shirt buttons. I'm pretty sure the standard shirt in the seventies had two maximum.
Obscurus Lupa on Moon of the Night

Billy Jack is probably what you would have gotten if you had a slightly nuttier Steven Seagal start directing films in the early 70′s. The movie had fun action with its titular hero kicking racists in the face and it also had itís Ďso bad itís funnyí moments. Director Tom Lauglinís extreme political views are on parade and it is hard not to laugh at a person who is to the liberals what Tea Partiers are to the conservatives... For example we get Billy Jack pimp slapping Jesus, we get the hippie lie detector (which oddly enough ISNíT a bong), and even more horrible singing including an ode to Billy Jack.
Miles Antwiler on The Trial of Billy Jack (1974)

...one issue Iíve always had is the Ghost of Christmas yet to come, the Ghost of Christmas Future. No matter the version, he never looks quite right, ranging from a guy with a black sheet over his head (Sim) to a childís first ceramics class experiment (Muppets) to an oversized Jawa (Stewart). Itís forever been a pet peeve of mine, that missing piece of the puzzle. Thankfully, after all these years, the puzzle has been solved. And itís been solved due to my witnessing, for the first time ever, a version of A Christmas Carol Iíve never seen. Itís called An American Christmas Carol, a 1979 TV movie that may be the most bizarre adaptation in history... Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you this filmís version of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Or as I like to call him: THE DISCO PIMP OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE!"''

"I breast-fed a chimp. It was the seventies."
Stephanie LaFarge, Project Nim