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Gladys

The Best Decade to be Born In?

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90s was a pretty good decade to be a young adult. House music, clubbing, end of the Cold War and fall of the Berlin Wall, pre 9/11 terrorism hysteria. A lot of positivity in the 90s.

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I feel privileged to have grown up in a time before modern gadgets and political correctness were heard of. I knew another world. A world that had remained virtually the same for over a century, but one that would already have been swept away and denied to me had I been born ten years later.

 

Outside toilets. One cold water tap in the whole house. The only heating was one open coal fire in the living room. The frost on the bedroom windows formed on the inside, and a dense yellow smog often filled the autumn and winter air. My childhood universe was of terraced streets where you had to walk a mile to see a blade of grass or a tree. It was tough, working class, but it was decent and there was a pride that shone out of everyone. The streets and the back alleys were cleaned by the residents and the stone steps at the front doors were donkey stoned every few days by the housewives. You didn't see litter. As a child you felt looked out for and protected by the whole neighbourhood, not just your parents. That was a powerful and nurturing reassurance to have. We played out in the streets from morning till night in the summer. Never a care to traffic or dangers lurking. I never heard of anyone locally coming to harm. They called us deprived but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Somehow, even the authorities seemed to have a concern for the welfare of the population far in excess of what we experience today. Not in a nannying way, but in provision of services and regulation of the excesses of the market that have now long been abandoned to unbridled capitalism. Of course, at the time we thought it was the natural order of things, but from today's perspective, that kind of regulated society seems more of a post-war aberration, and things have returned to their longer term norms. Sadly, more and more people who were older than me are no longer with us and that spirit of the time is slipping away and, like everything else, will ultimately disappear from living memory.

 

Before this turns into an entire life story, I will submit my vote for growing up in the 60s and having my adolescent fun in the 70s, although I know it is different for everyone. The varied opinions above show that it is very much an age thing. Just as the Earth is our ideal habitat of place, our salad days are our ideal habitat of time. It is totally subjective but surely we all favour our youthful years when we had lots of fun and freedom, and less responsibility than we have as we age. We have our own unique experience that it is difficult for others to empathise with, try as they might. Try as we may to produce a picture with words as I have attempted to do here, we can never really get inside another persons memories. That is frustrating yet wonderful. Each of us is a unique canvass onto which we paint the masterpiece of our lives. Such a shame that when we die, all of these rich experiences die with us.

Edited by woolley
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I'm torn between the 1790s and the 1850s.

No doubt Chou En Lai would opine that it's too soon to tell.

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I think, all things considered that I was probably born about the right time. As Gladys pointed out earlier, there were 3 recessions during the 70's, 80's and 90's and I too lived through them all but their impact on me was different to what it may have been had I been born a decade or two earlier. The 80's one was actually very good for me as I had a seasonal job as a teenager for 3 years and I was earning (for me at that time and age anyway) stacks of cash which I was saving and earning fantastic interest on. I wouldn't have wanted a mortgage at that time though, that's for sure! On the flip side to that, more recent years haven't been so kind to me financially so maybe if I had been born earlier, I may have had the mortgage paid off by now and could have maybe ridden the last downturn out without the impact it had on my business and my finances - who knows!

 

70's were great to be a kid, 80's was great as a teenager and 90's was great as a young adult so all in all, no regrets at all really. I'm not overly keen on the way the world is going in general these days however and I do wish for different times in that respect.

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90s was a pretty good decade to be a young adult. House music, clubbing, end of the Cold War and fall of the Berlin Wall, pre 9/11 terrorism hysteria. A lot of positivity in the 90s.

Rather like how people used to talk about the years before WW1 as a golden epoch. And especially the last summer.

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It's hard to say because of the two world wars. I love everything about the 1920s but if you were born too early, you'd have been called up, and if you were born too late you'd have been called up in another war. But for a brief moment, as long as you were in the minority of wealthy people, it was the greatest decade to be alive. I think everything started to go downhill after 1950.

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Don't think there's one answer. For music, I was born 10-15 years too late. I'd have loved to have been uni student age in the early to mid seventies seeing the likes of Led Zeppelin and Queen live in their heyday. But at the same time was the 3 day week, shit food, blue nun wine and Watney's Red Barrel. For tech, there's probably no better time than now - the Internet has changed everything and growing up through the 90s and 2000s would have been good, so perhaps I was born 10-15 years too soon.

 

But I'll settle for 1970. I can watch classic rock concerts on DVD, I enjoy better food and wine, and I'm tech savvy enough, despite being an old fogey.

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Really enjoyed reading your memories woolley

 

I'm from the baby boomer generation so musically my early childhood was hearing music from the 50s. The crooners were still around and ballroom dancing was the thing. Young men were encouraged to learn a waltz at least so that they would be able to invite their girlfriend or future boss' wife onto the Christmas Party dance floor. Then when music changed towards the late 50s and early 60s, if you couldn't jive and twist or do the Madison, you were pretty useless. My idol was Eddie Cochran and it was impossible not to hit the floor when his music came on in the jive club. The floor that turned into a wonderful roller rink the rest of the week.

 

Music had real rhythm and if you couldn't dance to it, it was nowhere. The 60s arrived and things changed enormously. Trips to Manchester to the Jungfrau nightclub. The island also had some terrific groups who played in quite a few venues. The Golden Goose club in Duke Street where the floor itself bounced merrily when the floor was full. The girlfriends of the band members sitting on the edge of the stage guarding their men from any admiring fans. Happy times.

 

Of course it's also a well known fact that sex was only discovered in the 60s.

Edited by Addie
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I do envy the generation before me who didn't have all this computer, technology and smartphones. I'm just thankful I was still born at a time when kids didn't start to have mobile phones in school until I was on my way out. It's true that these things can serve to empower people and make life easier; at the same time, I think they make it too easy to find information, to the point that people now have no attention span and don't retain knowledge or engage in serious analysis of information. Need an answer to a question? Just google it. No consideration that what is on the internet is most likely wrong or a superficial answer. It's not as if they're going on JSTOR and reading peer-reviewed journals to find answers. They're literally going onto the first page that google comes up with, which is usually Wikipedia, which can be edited by anyone. It's no substitute for real research or learning. People are being dumbed down.

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