My reblog, this morning, was prompted by a programme that I watched last night. The programme dealt with the plague of murders and cults the blighted the United States during that decade. It is an understatement to say that I was just a little surprised when this smorgasbord of an episode landed in front of me:
Charles Manson and the Manson Family
David Berkowitz: ‘Son of Sam’
Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono the Hillside Strangler
Jim Jones and the Jonestown Cult.
What a truly horrific set of creatures to be brought together during one decade. It’s not surprising that Stephen King decided to write about what he knew about. Horror was everywhere. If it wasn’t being traded in foreign wars, it could be found in any respectable neighbourhood in any state of America. Europe, incidentally was not to be left behind with the likes of the Yorkshire Ripper, Northern Irish militias, Baader Meinhoff members, the Red Brigade, and any number of other groups who saw kidnap and killing as an acceptable display of their democratic rights.
Decades have been separated from each other with the ending of one being replaced by another as if a changing of the guard is taking place. Fashions tend to fall into decades, as do wars, if they don’t go on for too long. They take on their own characteristics and lay down memories that flower again in later life. The Roaring Twenties, The Swinging Sixties, The Greedy Eighties are all examples. Perhaps the decade that we are living through now with be called the Terrible Teens as a result of the proliferation of terrorist events.
But nothing quite matches the collage of Prog Rock, Punk Rock, DIY cults, individual murder sprees, mass-suicide events, and organised criminal assassinations that the seventies had to offer.