Living Like It’s 1973

Freshman college girls between classes. By sta...

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Current bloggy conundrum hypothetical debate:

If you could be transported back to 1900 with your current income, would you take the deal? The answer is almost certainly no. Sure, your current income would go a hell of a long way in 1900, but you’d still swelter in the summer because all the money in the world couldn’t buy you an air conditioner. Ditto for plane travel, penicillin, automobiles, etc. etc. Even with a lot of money, 1900 looks pretty crappy.

And I think we’d have to agree with this assessment. In 1900 they didn’t have tampons and women dropped dead young and in alarming numbers. Enough said.

But what about 1973?

Again, your income would go a lot further (about 5x further, in fact), which means you’d be pretty well off … Obviously you’d miss your cell phone and the internet and your HD television with 300 channels. But a car would still basically be a car, and interstate highways are about the same as now. Ditto for plane travel, antibiotics, air conditioners,
etc. etc. So what do you say?

Now, I remember 1973. I was nine most of that year and in grade four. Too young really to notice the politics, the economics or the social inequity. Not probably stellar in terms of being female, and I remember chafing under the gender yoke even at nine, but in terms of standard of living – not bad either.

Movies theatres were still awesome with big screens and wide cushy seats. Okay, no cup holders. Anywhere. But a person could sacrifice that tiny modern amenity for a kick ass standard of living.

Clothing was ugly. You got me there and it was spandex free, so those of us who are accustomed to buying too small and counting on elasticity would be shit out of luck.

Music was good. Even the bubblegum pop has stood up better than Katy Perry or Justin Bieber ever will.

And this time, you get the added bonus of living 1973 as an adult* – if you weren’t then. I suspect the 70’s was quite different for those of legal age.

So, what do you say? 1973? Who’s with me?


*Rob pointed out that as an adult, he would be dead in either scenario due to the whole “heart thing”. Which is a good point. People with medical issues that only recently made great strides in cure/maintenance should probably pass on the time machine.

7 thoughts on “Living Like It’s 1973

  1. i sort of regret not being on the front lines of the ‘social equality’ movement – much of the heavy lifting was done for me. yeah. i’m in… and my motorcycle? i could buy it new in ’74! would have to wait 10 years for the jeep…

      1. amen! i’ve had a draft post about the “having it all” crap hanging out there for over a year… the title? “We were lied to…”… need to finish that once i can sit and think for more than 15 minutes a pop…

        1. Yep, over-privileged upper middle-class alpha boomers sold their younger sisters down the river on that one. Easy to “have it all” when nannies and husbands with awesome paying jobs are part of the deal. That’s not most of us though.

  2. I have given this some more thought and, while the details of the time travel are sketchy, I think I would give this a go. 1973 would be great, but 1900 would be okay too. I’m assuming I would retain all of my 2011 knowledge and wisdom.

    Reasons? All one has to do is look back at the last decade or so and all the bullsh*t details that fill that time: the whole post 9/11 world thing, the financial ponzi scheme that the Americans have exported to the world, fossil fuel depletion and the uncertainty that has brought, pollution, climate change. In my view, life was simpler then. More innocent.

    Sure, I’d give it a go.

  3. The music was great, we had yet to descend into the temporary insanity of “disco,” and we were still flying high from our cosmic voyages to the moon. 1973. Hmmm. I think I could do that. (I’d go anywhere from the mid ’60s to mid ’70s.)

  4. annie…girl… you nailed this one. as someone about the same age, I can say, I am with you.

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