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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Retro cool?

I just have to lol at the current wave of total tat that appears to be "time tunneling" it's way forward from that most unfortunate era in our history - "The 70's".

For example, did anyone go to school on a space-hopper? My own father used to tell me that my grandad - a working class Manc born and bred - used to berate him for wanting a bike to go to school on, and suggest he go to school on his "fucking hoop and stick" lol.
Apart from being a rather unfortunate nickname for a lady of less than good looks, the spacehopper was frackin' useless. You'd travel like 5 feet on one (15 feet travelled - mostly backwards) in the space of 10 minutes of frantic "bouncing" whilst at the same time performing feats of balance worthy of a seasoned tightrope walker, just to stay on the thing.

Another victim of this fad is the Raleigh Chopper.
Now - when I was a kid - I REALLY wanted one of those, never got one - they were too expensive, I mean what more could you ask for, small front wheel, big back, sturmey archer 3-speed on a monkey chain, it was for me the Ferrari of pushbikes. The crowning glory of the bike was the kickass gearchange, smack bang in the middle of the frame with a proper gearchange handle - just like an automatic car.

The 21st century version, although cosmetically similar has become the bastard son of it's father, the coolest gearchange ever has become a victim of the dreaded H&S Executive, because people can't be responsible for their own actions these days and need to be wrapped in fluffy nice smelling foamy softness, the gearchange has gone. Bike's lost it's magic for me.

Why do we crave the stuff we had as kids? Did we lose something or have things moved on too quickly?
Wonder what the next thing to make a comeback from the 70's is going to be? The 3 day working week? (the reason I never got my fucking chopper) The summer of discontent? (well, the way the current government appears to be mis-managing everything from peerages to road fund pricing may just see that one happen for real) Hot summers and snowy winters? The complete and utter disregard for any kind of fashion sense?

When I was a kiddy I was always told in school (in the freaky mid 70's by the way) "We'll be taking holidays on the moon by the year 2000". I guess Stelios missed out on that one, but the fact remains, the 70's - when we come to look at the big picture - was fucking crap, much like a good deal of the retro crap* being churned out by lazy bastard product development departments.

*with the exception of LED watches - because they're just plain cool - and I have one.


  • Bounced around on a few spacehoppers myself in my day, one or two of them may even have been from the 70's originally....

    Dunno about the thing in the picture thou...

    By Blogger puggsley1980, at Thursday, February 22, 2007  

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