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off topic : the greatest decade to have lived in


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For years , people have said the 1950s was the 'happy days'. Today , people are saying the 1980s were the 'good 'ol days'.


What do you all think ? don't say 2012. from what i'm seeing on the news everyday , it looks like the end of the world is coming. riots / violence / unrest , war, murder , global warming , recession , loss of jobs , etc, etc Too many problems today.


was yesterday better than today ?


Edited by: TCMfan23 on Sep 18, 2012 1:08 AM


Edited by: TCMfan23 on Sep 18, 2012 1:10 AM

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> was yesterday better than today ?


Not really. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. People tend to yearn for what they consider an "easier" time, especially when dealing with stressful situations that make that "easier" time seem more real.


But if you had actually lived in any of those "earlier" times, it probably wasn't nearly as rosy as we like to think it was.



The 1930s- an even worse economic time than our current one. If you were a farmer in the mid-west, you were living in the middle of the Dust Bowl, with black blizzards that filled the skies for miles and dirt was everywhere, in your clothes, in your food, in your mouth all the time. There was no escaping it. The banks foreclosed and took your land.

You piled the family into a rickety car and headed west with no guarantee that a better life could be made. If you stayed and gutted it out, you risked losing a loved one to dust pneumonia and/or years of back-backing work to regain all that had been lost.


If you were a person of color, you had no civil rights. In the south, there were Jim Crow laws that kept you from voting, kept you segregated and your children got an education that was separate but hardly equal. You toiled in the fields picking cotton and at the end of the day, if you made $3 for a 100 lbs of cotton, you had a good day.


If you were Asian and living in California, the Native Sons of the Golden West made sure through legislation that you didn't have the same rights as people of non-color.


If you were a woman, you couldn't own a house in your name. In many places, you couldn't have a bank account without being married.


Speaking of banks, runs on the banks meant that people lost their life savings when banks failed.


In the 1940s, the world was at war with Germany, Japan and Italy. Japanese Americans found themselves in interment camps and in Europe, Hitler's Final Solution decimated the population of Jews, gays and Gypsies.


The atomic bomb was dropped and the Cold War began.


The 1950s, the "Happy Days" era was only happy depending on who you were and possibly where you lived.


If you were an African American you still lived under Jim Crow laws that weren't just in the South. Segregation of hotels, restaurants, baseball teams and more were the order of the day around the country.


If you were a woman, you had to leave that factory job you had during the war and go back to being a housewife and dreamed of a better future for your daughters.


If you were gay, you kept it secret and deeply in the closet. Even gathering to meet in a private home with other gays could get you arrested.


The 1960s, the most decisive decade since the Civil War and there moments when it felt like the country would break into two again. The Civil Rights movement brought Jim Crow laws to an end but at cost of Medgar Evers, Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, Emmett Till and many others who are lost to history. Assassinations, the Vietnam War, hippies, yippies and the silent majority. Having lived through that decade, it often felt like we would break apart at any minute.


The 1970s- Watergate, the fall of Saigon and the evolution of cynicism that sowed the seeds of distrusting the government. The Women's Movement and the Gay Liberation Movement. By the end of the decade, the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic.


You've lived through the 1980s, so not much need to rehash the last thirty years.


But, as I said, it's human nature to look back and think that it was so much better in the good old days.


The bottom line is that the good old days are never as good as we like to believe they were.

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thanks, izcutter. You've expressed many of my own thoughts perfectly. I guess it's human nature to look back longingly at the past, but the truth is much different than what we often remember. I am actually very happy to be living NOW because now we have TCM and the fun of watching old movies that really are from a different era than my own.

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The 1970s were a grand time for me!


I was accepted by the military. That meant job security for life if I wished. I passed initial training quickly and they made me a provisional officer so I could instruct trainees because of my experience and proficiency with the SVD. In less than a year they sent me to University. That meant having two apartments: one near the depot and one near the University. I could get free vodka and cigarettes at the depot and share them with my friends at school. I dated professors, musicians and soldiers. I won a medal and an academic award.


In summers I became support for officers which meant travel all over the country. I saved half of what I needed to buy an automobile and I went to see if I could borrow the other half. They looked at what I was doing and they said I needed dependable transportation between University and depot and so they gave me a beautiful blue 407. Gasoline was free for me at the depot. I was the only person in my classes who had their own automobile. I received both military pay and student allowance and so I was making more money than my father's legitimate pay.


I could put on my uniform and stuff my hair up under my hat and go nearly any place I wished. I could dress as student and have my hair down and go any other place. My uncles and some cousins knew all the people who mattered to people like us and so I could go to any concert, movie or play I wished and I always knew which places might be visited by police that night. I wore American Levis, smoked Turkish cigarettes and ate Swiss chocolates.


I became an officer when I graduated and I was made an aide to an officer who did not need me. I researched things he might need to know and wrote reports no one ever read. I was often sent on training missions to act as officer to keep boys under control and to be present if medical staff needed me. I was in every country in the Union at least once. I was loaned also to be support to minor officials attending talks. I was in nearly every country in Europe at least once. I was dating officers, doctors and pilots.


I had generous pay from the military and I earned more by helping my uncles and cousins in their endeavors. I had a four room apartment and my own automobile. It was such that one night I might be at a formal dinner sitting next to an ambassador's aide and the next night eating pickles and cheese on the roof of a tram-driver's apartment building.


I married a wonderful and handsome pilot. His family had important connections and we had an active social life. I spent much time with painters, poets and musicians. I had to leave the military when I married but they gave me a post with a medical institution. I traveled to Switzerland and America several times for that work. The sore points for me were leaving Odessa and having to go only proper places and have only approved things.


The only bad things about the decade for me were my work making me fearful for our future, losing Capuchin, a surgery, some dental work, the loss of a fellow officer and the passing of the best and most lovable cat any girl ever had. That is not onerous when spread out over ten years.


If I had to chose any other decade in which to live it would have to be 1890s so I could be with my great-grandmother.

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People have a tendency to link the decade in which they "came of age" to what the "best" decade to live in was. While the 1950's had "clean cut" people, and supposedly "good morals" to live by, women were STILL underpaid for the same work men were also doing, single mothers were unfairly considered "morally unsound"(according to MY mother, a single mom during the '50's), racism was commonplace and considered the white man's "duty", McCarthy was ruining lives with his obsessive "witch hunts", and don't forget Korea.



Every decade has it's high and low points. Some day, some guy is going to look back to THIS decade, and wax nostalgically about how great it was.






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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

> Some day, some guy is going to look back to THIS decade, and wax nostalgically about how great it was.


Entropy dictates that things inevitably deteriorate. A person being born now will see this as the high point of that decline.

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As others have said, each decade has its highs and lows and when anyone gets nostalgic they bring up good times only, and a lot depends on your individual station in life at the time. Stating the obvious, the well to do have always had it pretty good while the ones at the bottom always had it rough. I tend to think that it was better in the old days when life wasn't as complicated and people had a great appreciation for the real important things; good health and close family ties. Material things weren't such a high priority. Speaking strictly from a movie stand point, I would love to be in the 1930's just before that little business called WW2 got started. Going to see the newest movies in the big theatres with all of the other people crowding in, a couple of quarters in your pocket could make a nice day of it.

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Yes, good post, lzcutter.


I think part of the yearning and the nostalgia comes from remembering one's youth and people who are no longer around that we miss.


I have a very rosy view of the 1980s since I was just a kid back then, and my grandparents were alive and such a positive force in my life. And President Reagan was in office, and a lot of people really looked up to him.


Interestingly, when I watch something like A ROOM WITH A VIEW, which is mid-80s and a British-made film, I do not get that sense of nostalgia. But when I see something like PRIZZI'S HONOR or FOOTLOOSE, it all comes flooding back. I think this would suggest that I cultivated a strong sense of America and American pop culture in the 1980s, but not of anything international. That did not occur for me until the 1990s when I was in college. So each decade has its own individual themes, personal hues and memories.

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I agree. I don't think anyone can judge which decade was best overall. I think it all depends on what one's own circumstances were in the particular decade, and what kind of experiences they had. A good decade for someone might have been a bad decade for someone else. A good decade in one country might have been a bad decade in another.


For me, the 1950s was a the best decade because I was a kid and a teenager growing up in small family communities like the ones shown in It's a Wonderful Life, Ah, Wilderness, and the Andy Hardy films. I can't even visit some of those towns now because of too much crime in them. Like Pottersville now instead of Bedford Falls.


I used to know a lady who was about 20 years older than me, and she told me her favorite decade was the 1930s. In fact, I've known a couple of other people who grew up in the 1930s who liked it the best. When I was a kid, I knew older people who preferred the 19-teens and the 1920s. So I guess it depends on our individual circumstances.

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I would truly enjoy living in any decade from 1920-1965ish. (I would be a lady with fine manners, a housewife, and a rebellious woman all at once) The movies and history of those times are so fascinating. I envy any and all who got to live through any or all of them. I was totally born in the wrong year, not that '94 was bad, I did enjoy the cartoons.

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I think the question should be which was the worst decade to live in. I can't imagine how frightening old age was in the days before Roosevelt instituted his Social Security Act. You can even see it depicted in some of the old movies of the era, where old folks with nothing were just left to die, nobody to care for them and no health insurance. When you got sick, you were entering the final stage of your life.

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*The 50's*


Joe McCarthy was right and identified Communist in the Federal government. The Kennedy's liked him and called him a Patriot.


Men and women stayed married and raised children with a father and mother and where traditional gender roles were the norm before the arrival and bane of feminism.


It was the last decade to see great movies like the Ten Commandments, Shane, The Searchers and Ben Hur.


Baseball saw the last of grace, power and resolve with the great Joe DiMaggio.


To be continued...


Jake in the Heartland

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Well, considerin' I'm presently a VERY healthful 60 years of age, have been happily married to a wonderful woman for 21 years now, and have been retired since 2007, and now own outright a lovely home with some of the best views of absolutely BEAUTIFUL Sedona Arizona, basically do nothin' but play tennis three times a week when I'm not crackin' wise on this and and another website, own a number of very cool motorcycles and very very VERY cool Porsche 550 Spyder replica(just like the one a certain young actor died while driving his in 1955) and which I have a whole lot o' fun riding and driving about on these great mountain roads around here...well...it seems to ME life couldn't get much better since 2011 and when THIS decade started!!!


(...that's right folks...don't forget, a decade actually DOESN'T begin when the last digit is a "0", but when it's a "1"...oh, and sorry, I didn't mean to brag......much)



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There is no doubt about it--the 1960s were a gas, gas, gas.


But personally I liked the 1970s best--unfortunately I can't go into details,

but let's just say I had a lot of good semi-wholesome fun. Plus, I wouldn't

have missed the long, tortured, and supremely enjoyable unmasking of Tricky

Dicky Nixon for the world. Get lost, you old [expletive deleted].


I only saw Casey Stengel in person once, when he was the manager of the

New York....Mets. I believe, under his tutelage, they set the record for the

most losses by a major league baseball team. If my memory is correct, their

win-loss record was 40-120, but I should double check that.



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