1970s: a foreign land

The past, it is often said, is a foreign land, and no doubt this is an accurate description. This feeling of foreignness, as it were, does not require a huge amount of gap in time to engender. I’m currently reading a book titled Crisis? What Crisis? Britain in the 1970s by Alwyn W. Turner, and it’s a good read. I leave with an impression that the world was completely different then.

This sense of foreignness is rather strange, after all I was born in 1979. In Japan. However I grew up in Britain in the early part of the 1980s, which I must admit I cannot remember much, and since the 1990s. To me, the difference in the degree of foreignness between the 1970s and, for example, the 1950s is minimal. These two decades are equally and definitely in the past, a foreign land.

I think all generations are the same in this respect, and for those growing up now, the 1990s must seem like ancient history and very foreign. When books on the 1990s are written, I will probably have a different opinion from someone who was born in the 1990s but grew up in the 2000s. It would be interesting to see how differently various generations see one particular decade.