Back To The Future
Depending on your age, and the amount of crud floating about in your head, you may recall the 1970’s and ‘80s as a continuation of the almost primitive technological conditions of the 1960’s.
The computer mainframe hardwired to individual desktop monitors was the norm. Stand-alone PC’s were rare but becoming popular. Sand City had 13 chilled-water-cooled IBM 3033 mainframes and a Cray 1 supercomputer. My printouts were either picked up today or delivered tomorrow. There were no cell phones; we used walkie-talkies and radiotelephones when we could get them. No civilian satellite links.
Popular book titles included: Love Story; The French Lieutenant’s Woman; Everything You Always Wanted To Tell Me About Sex but Were Afraid To; Better Homes and Gardens Fondue and Tabletop Cooking; Up the Organization; John Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy; Better Homes and Gardens Blender Cook Book; Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution and other stunners.
1973 was the year of the first politically inspired oil shortage crisis. The ‘73–‘74 Stock Market Crash, the 7th worst in history, ended after 694 days.
President Richard Nixon resigned after the Watergate scandal, his Waterloo.
Gerald R. Ford was appointed and elected by the Ruling Elite. Tricky Dicky was pardoned by Ford. Hummmmm.
1975 was not a good year. In Viet Nam, Mighty America was finally whipped by little yellow-brown people who had no B52s, no F4s or A6s, no helicopter gunships, no tanks, no seagoing battleships or mountains of Coca-Cola and beer, ate mostly rice and fishheads, and wore sandals made from scrap tires.
Their Viet Cong killed 55,000+ U.S. military and maimed and crazed thousands more. The ‘Nam lost 1,000,000+ people, not counting the 2,000,000 Viets and Cambodians killed by Pol Pot’s “re-education” programs after the Americans abandoned their ally. Another “Korean Conflict” result for the democracy-must-prevail propagandists.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that blacks and other minorities were entitled to retroactive job seniority and ruled that the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual, and was a constitutionally permissible form of punishment. So there.
Jimmy Carter was elected 39th U.S. president. Uh huh.
Oil prices hit $35/bbl and inflation headed for the roof.
Carter pardoned the Vietnam draft evaders about two weeks after his inauguration.
Scientists found that stupidity had killed 29 Legionnaire Disease inhalants in Philadelphia last year.
President Carter appointed federal judge Bill [fly-me-anywhere-quick-soon] Webster as F.B.I. Director.
Pope John Paul I died unexpectedly at 65 after only 34 days in office [details available in The Godfather-Part 3].
Reverend Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid Slurpee party was the social event of the year in Jonestown, Guyana.
Vietnam and Cambodian irregulars took Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, and rained on Pol Pot’s parade. He escaped and eventually died of old age!?
The Shah of Iran abandoned his birthright to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s revolutionary forces, which then seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held its contents hostage for 444 days. [They were released the day Carter left office.]
The Nuke at Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, PA, boiled over and released radiation and hysteria.
Lord Mountbatten, a/k/a Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl of Burma, a British admiral, great-grandson of Queen Victoria and uncle of Philip Mountbatten-Duke of Edinburgh [the Queen’s Consort], was murdered by unemployable IRA trolls, who hid a bomb in his rowboat. Reportedly, IRA medals for conspicuous bravery were awarded.
The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, one of the many –Stans in the region. (Their armored helicopters and some of the toughest fighters on earth left after 10 years and 15,000 dead, because the locals had thoroughly kicked their ass. One wonders if the Coca-Cola Brigade will last to 15K.]
After the U.S. broke formal ties with Iran to assuage its diplomatic conscience, an Iranian hostage rescue mission was bollixed by another American military genius; 8 U.S. personnel were killed and five injured after a helicopter and cargo plane hit each other on the ground—in the dark.
Ronald Reagan was elected 40th U.S. President. He was a decent man who wrought worldwide political changes.
The 1980’s were the Me! Me! Me! generation of status seekers and incredible cultural sea changes. So go find your own shit. I’m sick of reading about fools.
’73, ’74 and ’75 Were Bad Years; You Just Read About Them
I was a top-rated city planner by training and experience who could do it all from A to Z, which was fortunate since city planning and intelligence-gathering are cousins, so I fit somebody’s profile. I was bone-tired of the politically-correct bullshit that glossed over the low-grade mentalities of my bosses on the Planning Commission, City Council and County Commission. Sometimes I would involuntarily chuckle out loud during their meetings because it often looked and sounded like a frigging soup kitchen.
No matter how you cut it, many of those people were barely literate and some would drop the race card quick as a wink, using the color of their skin as their only credential. They hated Yankees as “carpetbaggers” and “outsiders”.
In ’72 I had had enough of the bullshit and left my civilian Executive Director post at a major southeastern metropolitan planning agency to go out on my own as a development consultant.
God save me! ’73 was the first big oil panic. What timing. A 2-year stock market crash. What planning. What prescience. What a market. What an asshole. I was selling land use plans and economic analyses for 45 pence on the dollar.