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‘Sexism,’ a disturbingly accurate board game from 1971
07.31.2015
08:02 am

Topics:
Activism
Feminism
Games

Tags:
sexism
1970s
board games

Sexism board game - 1971
Sexism. A board game from 1971
 
Sexism was a board game, conceived back in 1971 by Carolyn Houger, a resident of Seattle, Washington. With the creation of Sexism, Houger hoped to “bring out the humor in the Women’s Liberation movement.” The idea for the game came to Houger after her four-year-old daughter returned home after playing the card game “Old Maid” with her friends and made the statement, “wouldn’t it be terrible to be an old maid?

According to the folks over at Board Game Geek, the goal of Sexism is to move from the “doll house,” to the White House (flash-forward 44 years and we’re still waiting, but I digress). The first player to move into the White House, wins. Sexism is compelling on so many levels it’s difficult to know where to start. Just take this game board square from Sexism called “Abortionist.” The square itself depicts a pregnant woman and a clothing hanger(!) with the following game instructions if you land on it:
 

 

The bill didn’t pass.

Go to the Maternity Ward

Laundry Service and Part-time You Know What!

 
Sexism encourages players to play as their opposite gender as it is known to produce “hilarious role-playing situations.” So, if you win as a “woman” the game will instruct the other players that, “You are now a person, and must be treated as such for 24 hours. Non-winners may be treated as usual.” If you play as a “man,” you are greeted by a cartoon of a large thumb pushing a woman down with the following message: “Congratulations, you’ve won — or have you?” Wow.
 
White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism
Decisions, decisions. White House or Playboy Club game squares from Sexism

When it comes to the cards that you might draw while playing Sexism,  playing as a woman you might draw a card that says “Go back two steps because you’re a woman. You’d just as well get used to this.” Whereas a man might draw a card that makes this incredible statement:

I staunchly defend motherhood, God and country. I’m against giving more money to ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) for each child. I’m against abortions. I’m against women earning as much as men. I’m against paying taxes for free child care centers. Go ahead three steps.

In an interview with Houger from 1972, she said that her intention wasn’t to create an “anti-male” game. In addition to enlightening folks to Women’s Lib, Houger had high hopes that the game would start a dialog about sexism, as well as help people understand that both men and women should be treated as “people.” Houger also said she wanted to highlight the fact that women can also be sexist, by “reinforcing sexism” with their actions or attitudes, especially when it comes to assigning gender-specific roles - a point that she makes rather directly on many of Sexism’s game squares.

More on Sexism after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
NBC explains KISS to old people, 1977
07.31.2015
06:56 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Kiss
1970s
KISS
news
NBC


From Kiss’s 1977 special edition Marvel comic. They said that drops of the band’s own blood had been mixed in with the ink.
 
Gimmicks get a bad rap, and the music snobs who supposedly abhor them tend to be very inconsistent in their denouncements. No one would talk shit on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ manic voodoo schtick for example (unless, I guess, they’re just openly anti-fun). Likewise, “serious” music nerds love bands like The Spotniks, and “Swedish science fiction bluegrass surf” is about as “novelty act” as you can get. But mention KISS in a Pitchfork crowd and you will inevitably encounter at least one disdainful scoff—if not the entire room—but if you can’t appreciate a man in glam rock alien makeup vomiting blood onstage, I feel sorry for you. Take this 1977 NBC mini-doc—“Land Of Hype And Glory”—as your cautionary tale.

The piece starts with scenes from a carnival, which is actually a decent metaphor for the band (carnivals are fun! People love carnivals, and people love KISS!). But the narration goes for the P.T. Barnum angle—“there’s a sucker born every minute”—implying that KISS fans are somehow being swindled by enjoying a sensational live show. (Fun and entertainment? Whatta bunch of suckers!) The reporter goes on to ask the band if they’re “bludgeoning rock to death,” and interrogates Gene Simmons on KISS’ “less-than-average” music. Simmons is quick to point out that their songwriting is intended to be “accessible,” rather than “self-indulgent.” Intended as a denunciation of hype, the entire feature comes off as a besuited old man scolding a group of professional showmen who aren’t taking themselves too seriously.

You don’t have to be a fan, but KISS are dumb, loud and easy, and if you can’t appreciate that, you’re really missing something fundamental about rock ‘n’ roll. And now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to run away before I am pelted by Sleaford Mods and Brian Eno CDs…
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Ultimate Americana: Portraits of sleazy 70’s motels
07.28.2015
07:00 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
1970s
motels


 
Mike Mandel is best known in the art world as one half of Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, the guerrilla artists that terrorized the Bay Area in the 1970s with their scathing billboard “advertisements” featuring flaming oranges and mushroom clouds. At first glance, the strange installations were graphically cohesive enough to blend in with the warm, modern scenery—the exact sort of scenery Mandel captured in his motel photography. Traveling across the country for this or that art project, Mandel started out collecting postcards from sleazy little motels, but eventually started taking pictures himself, taking the viewer on a sort of ghostly tour of long-gone 70s design and road culture.

...traveling throughout the country, my girlfriend at the time, Alison Woolpert, and I would stay at some, shall we say, “economy” motels. We pulled into one in Texas on a wintry night and upon waking in the morning we realized that the sheets had not been changed after the visit of the previous motel guest. When we indignantly complained to the owner he shot us back a dirty look, “What do you expect for five dollars?” What we did expect was that no matter how shabby, beaten down or forgotten a motel might have become, there was always a motel postcard to be had: a memento of a one night stop, a promotional calling card, a free mailable note card to report back on the progress of a vacation to those back home.

We would often take the back roads, sometimes follow old Route 66, and we would find those sad, forsaken motels that had been sucked almost out of existence by the newer corporate chains situated just off an exit ramp on the newer highways. We bypassed Motel 6, Travelodge and Howard Johnson’s. After all, their postcards were usually just the same design with a different address. But we’d go out of our way to stop at every independent motel we could find in hopes of finding a postcard that would be even more banal than the one we had just found down the road.

To the modern eye, everything looks retro and trashy (especially if you’ve ever stayed in a motel that hasn’t redecorated since this period), but the complete lack of human subjects gives the series a stark, tidy effect. I’d imagine a hotel could get some serious kitsch-seeker traffic if they tried to decorate like this today. Stay in a cheap, sleazy shithole and be “ironic.” What a great country we live in, eh?
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Watching My Name Go By’: Must-see vintage short on graffiti in 1976 NYC
07.16.2015
08:01 am

Topics:
Art
Crime

Tags:
documentary
graffiti
1970s
NYC


 
In 1974 Norman Mailer wrote an essay for Esquire called “The Faith of Graffiti”—a gripping and sympathetic investigation on the defacement of public and private property as an urban art movement of complex and fascinating depth. Mailer’s work eventually produced two collaborative pictorial books—The Faith of Graffiti and Watching My Name Go By. The beauty of tagging and graffiti art is almost taken for granted today, especially since artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat legitimized the genre to the art world in both its unlawful execution and its distinctive aesthetic, but Mailer was doing something new by recording the phenomenon as an organic outpouring of artistic expression, and this short 1976 documentary—also named “Watching My Name Go By”—is equally open-minded in its portrayal of graffiti artists and their critics.

The documentary isn’t just mindless cheerleading either; time is given to community members who hate seeing their city constantly vandalized (though quite a few also admire the work), and on some level you have to feel bad for the public servants charged with cleaning up after the kids. At the same time, no one is shocked by it; in addition to the graffitists’ own reflections on their craft, the “civilian” interviewees offer thoughtful insights on the phenomenon. There is a certain amount of juvenile nihilism of course, but some theorize this outlet of masculine delinquency as youthful rebellion. One official points out that graffiti isn’t a practice relegated to “minorities” or “kids from broken homes,” and from the accounts of the kids themselves, the graffiti “craze” appears to be appealing most of all as a hobby, rather than a denouncement of society or conscious act of dissent.
 

 
Via Flavorpill

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Goofy commercial hawking KISS makeup kit, 1978
09.26.2014
09:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

Tags:
1970s
KISS

Kiss kids
 
By the late 1970s, KISS mania was in full swing, and many products bearing the band’s logo were available. Some of this stuff—trading cards, action figures, even a pinball machine—had little to do with rock-n-roll, but were a perfect fit for a band now seen by many kids as superheroes.
 
KISS comic book
 
Those same kids were amongst those attending KISS concerts made-up to look their favorite member of the group, so one piece of merchandise that made total sense was the KISS Your Face Makeup Kit.
 
KISS fans
 
KISS fans
 
Check out this 1978 commercial for the makeup kit, which partially succeeds in attempts at self-conscious humor, but is also just plain goofy.

Halloween will be here before you know it, KISS fans—get yours NOW!
 

 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
‘Am I Normal?’: Hilariously dated sex education film on male puberty, 1979
09.08.2014
05:30 am

Topics:
Amusing
Movies

Tags:
1970s
Sex Education

Am I Normal
 
With all the back-to-school talk this time of year, I’m reminded of the dreaded middle school period, when suddenly our own bodies turn on us. Many of us who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s remember being forced to watch sex education films in health class, and while these little movies had the best intentions—attempting to help us navigate the most-awkward of life’s phases—all they really did was make us giggle. Am I Normal?: A film about male puberty is one such film.

Our hero here is Jimmy, a boy of about thirteen who’s been waking up to sticky sheets and experiencing random boners. Jimmy has lots of questions and goes to just about everyone—his friends, the school librarian, a zookeeper—to help him find the answers. Jimmy just wants to know: “Am I normal?”

Produced by the Boston Family Planning Project and the Department of Health and Hospitals, the film certainly means well, but is hopelessly behind the times in just about every sense and must have looked dated upon arrival in 1979, at least from a fashion sense (the haircuts and outfits scream mid 1970s). The presentation, with its forced, corny dialogue and situations, will surely only look familiar to kids today in parody form.

Though it tries to incorporate humor and is actually relatable at times, it’s most notable for its unintended hilarity. An IMDb reviewer has a slightly different take:

I remember watching Am I Normal? back in the 6th grade. This film is supposed to be a film about male puberty, but it is so dated that it’s hilarious. I can’t even tell if it’s trying to be funny, or this is actually how people of the 1970s acted.

The moment when Jimmy talks to the zookeeper is the strangest moment of accidental, awkward comedy in this short film (it’s also a whole lotta creepy!), with dialogue that must be heard to be believed.

Am I Normal? was later adapted into a book, and there’s also a sequel for the girls, Dear Diary: A film about female puberty, from 1981, but it’s far less entertaining. 
 

 
If you’d like to own a copy of Am I Normal?: A film about male puberty, you’re pretty much out of luck—unless you can score a VHS copy.

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Eric Burdon & War: ‘Paint It Black’
02.28.2012
04:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Germany
1970s
Eric Burdon
War

eric_burdon_war
 
Eric Burdon and War perform a blistering version of The Stones’ “Paint It Black” on German television 1970. More cowbell, Eric.
 

 
With thanks to Takeshi Hattori
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Power Of The Witch’ - super rare British witchcraft documentary from 1971


 
What a find! The Power Of The Witch is a documentary about witchcraft as it was practised in the late 60s and early 70s in the UK - apparently it was only screened once and there is practically no information about it on the web. From the uploader taitsitarot‘s YouTube description:

An extremely rare documentary about Witchcraft aired once in the UK in 1971. Featuring contributions from Eleanor Bone, Cecil Williamson, Alex & Maxine Sanders [above], Doreen Valiente et al. Very much of its time and with some very rare footage, also includes reference to the famously unsolved murder of Charles Walton on Meon Hill.

The Power Of The Witch is worth a watch even if you are not particularly interested in the occult - rather watch it as a document of its time, capturing as it does people’s attitudes, beliefs, fashions and plummy Brit accents. It’s a curious mixture of patriarchal stiff upper lip-ism and unerring belief in both Christianity and the forces of magic, making it feel very much as if it comes from a completely different era. Not to mention, it’s a goldmine of potential witch haus footage:
 

 
Thanks to Seth David Rodriguez!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Strangely trippy 1970s animated commercial for Levi’s Jeans
12.08.2011
11:55 pm

Topics:
Advertorial
Fashion
Television

Tags:
1970s
Commercial
Levis

levi
 
In the 1960s and 70s, Levi’s promoted their products with a series of offbeat commercials, many of which had a lysergic spin.

In this ad, psychedelia meets film noir when a stranger in a pair of trippy polyester jeans comes to town.

Ken Nordine narrates.
 

 

Previously on DM: Trippy TV commercials

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever’


Jeff Salen of Tuff Darts and Talking Heads’ David Byrne at CBGB, 1976. Photo: Robert Spencer.
 
It has been said that when a city is in decline the arts flourish. I don’t know who said it or when it was said or if anyone actually said it at all. It’s one of those things that sounds true and feels true and when I say it people tend to agree, whether it’s true or not. It certainly seemed true when I arrived with my band in New York City in 1977 to play a Monday night gig at CBGB.

Crawling out of an Econoline van into the humidly dense New York night and having a fistful of Bowery cesspool stench sucker punch me was like being greeted by a Welcome Wagon full of decaying dog dicks. I liked it. I took in a lungful of the jaundiced air and knew immediately that my Muse was there somewhere…stuck like a moth in the viscous Manhattan murk.

The asshole smell of downtown NYC was exactly the kind of reality check I needed after spending six years languishing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. I had arrived in 1970s Manhattan ready to have my world dismembered like a frog in anatomy class. I offered my neck to the city’s rusty scalpel with only a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and a bindle of blow to deaden the pain. 25 years later, I came out of surgery a changed man. And I have the scars to prove it. Lovely scars that you can count to determine my age.

In the first few years of living in NYC, I spent most my nights hanging at Max’s, CBGB, Danceteria, The Peppermint Lounge, The Mudd Club, Hurrah’s and countless other clubs soaking in the glorious sounds of local bands like The Patti Smith Group, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Suicide, Tuff Darts, Mink DeVille, The Contortions, Steel Tips, The Dictators, The Mumps… many of whom were gaining international reputations for rescuing rock and roll from the corporate death grip of a dying music industry and from its own artistic stagnation. This was not a commercial strategy, it was something closer to a collective religious epiphany. Poets, painters and philosophers were adding guitars and amplifiers to their arsenals of typewriters, journals and canvas to further expand their medium of self-expression and resurrect a pop culture that had shot its wad at the tail end of the Sixties.

While my main interest was with what was happening in the punk clubs, there were major musical tremors snaking throughout Manhattan,The Bronx and Spanish Harlem. Jazz, rap, disco and Latin music were all drawing from some deep well of inspiration in a city that, on the surface, seemed to be collapsing in on itself. The economy, infrastructure and racial division were crushing Gotham like Godzilla-sized pigeons with restless leg syndrome.

Darkness breeds light and pockets of artists, of every color and cultural background, were conjuring all kinds of magic. And the magic was converging and intermingling in a melting pot, a Hessian crucible, in which alchemical beats, rhythms and song were being transmuted into healing vibrations balancing Gotham’s gloomy Kali Yuga yang into Shakti-powered yin transforming the tortured cries of the city into ecstatic utterance you could dance to, fuck to and get high to. Music was the wave that kept the city from tanking. As the garbage piled up on the streets and triumphant rats were raising flags on mounds of rotting debris like rodent versions of the Marines ascending Iwo Jima, glittering disco balls gaily revolved like tin foil prayer wheels in Studio 54 and downtown The Ramones were generating more energy on the Bowery than Con Edison and the psychotic barker from the Crazy Eddie commercials combined. Music provided the make-up, the blush and mascara that gave New York City the appearance of still being alive.

Will Hermes’ exhilarating new book Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years In New York That Changed Music Forever captures the energy and excitement of New York’s music scene from 1973 to 1978 in all its multitudinous forms. It is richly detailed, never dull, and exhaustively researched. I came to the book knowing most of what there is to know about Manhattan’s punk scene and as someone who was there at the time was pleased to see that Hermes (who was also there) manages to make it all come alive again. This is not a dull slog through familiar turf. Herme’s prose pulses with a rock and roll heart. He loves what he’s writing about. And he’s writing about much more than just what falls within my frame of reference. He sees and connects dots between various scenes creating a kind of musical mandala. From the lofts of downtown avant-garde jazz composers like Philip Glass to the South Bronx and the roots of rap with Kool Herc to disco’s inception spun off the turntables of Nicky Siano to The Fania All-Stars’ explosive sets at the Cheetah Club, Hermes is like a human Google map, giving us the God’s eye view and zooming in right down to the graffiti in the bathroom.

Today, things seems as bleak as they did in New York City during the 1970s. There’s a sense of hopelessness, a sense that things are getting out of control. But underneath the despair there is a subway-like rumbling, a rhythm, a beat, a sensation that something is moving and about to surface and it could be a train entering the station or it could be something like music, something pulling us all together in a movement that thrusts forward into the future and will not be denied. I’ve seen what the power of music can do. I saw it in the Sixties and I saw it again in the Seventies. And right now my eyes are wide open and ready to see it again.

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire is that fine kind of book that takes you backwards and forward at the same time. Will Hermes reminds us that music matters and every revolution, every movement, every cultural and political upheaval, creates its own soundtrack. What will ours be this time around?

Here’s a video mix inspired by Will’s book which includes some seminal songs that came out of New York City in the 1970s.

1. “Jet Boy” - The New York Dolls   2. “Piss Factory” - Patti Smith   3. “X-Offender” Blondie   4. “Born To Lose” - The Heartbreakers    5. “SuperRappin’” - Grandmaster Flash   6. “Darrio” - Kid Creole   7. “The Mexican” - Babe Ruth   8. “Pop Your Funk” - Arthur Russell
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
My 1970s Tumblr
09.09.2011
03:38 pm

Topics:
Fashion
History
Media
Movies
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Tumblr
1970s

image
 
My 1970s Tumblr supplies “inspiration drops from 1970s aesthetics and lifestyle.” A fine reminder to that decade’s rich diversity of music, film, politics, fashion, and some rather dodgy advertising.

See more here.
 
 image
 
image
 
image
 
image
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Vintage Lesbian Tumblr


 
More pix from the fab seventies, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Soviet Jazz Funk from the Seventies
10.31.2010
09:34 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
1970s
Tommy Udo
Soviet Jazz Funk
Valentin Parnakh

image
 
An old pal, the writer Tommy Udo, alerted me to 1970’s Soviet Jazz Funk, which led me to check up on how Jazz developed in the USSR from the 1920s-70s.

Since its beginning in the 1920s, Russian Jazz has been in constant flux between prohibition, censorship and state sponsorship - dependent on who was leader and their domestic, foreign, economic and political policies. Jazz came to Russia via Valentin Parnakh, a musician who caught the jazz bug when he saw the Louis Mitchel Jazz Kings, while in exile in Paris in 1921.

On 1st October, Parnakh returned to Moscow and performed his own October Revolution with his newly formed jazz band, Pervyj v RSFSR Kscentričeskij Orkestr džaz-band Valentina Parnakha. Their first gig was slated, but that didn’t count for much as Parnakh had imported Jazz into Russia at just the right time, as the State’s New Economic Policy (NEP) encouraged “private initiatives into Soviet economic policies,” which meant a sharing of both cultural ideas and finance. This openess led to a Russian Jazz boom through the 1920s, which the government attempted to regulate and “professionalize,” even sending a cultural delegation to America.

This incredibly fluid cultural exchange ceased when Stalin (prior to his radical Five Year Plan) enforced a Proletarian view of the Arts and Culture, that was “anti-modern, anti-Western, anti-jazz and often also anti-classical.” Stalin feared outside influence, in particular music, which he believed could undermine the revolution. For a time, Jazz was tolerated, and became a focus for heated debate; but when Maxim Gorky returned from Fascist Italy, at Stalin’s invitation, the writer penned a controversial essay that “equated jazz with homosexuality, drugs and eroticism,” and the music was slowly forced underground.

Jazz and other forms of popular music became the signature tune for the dissident and liberal intelligentsia.  By the late 1960s and early 1970s, Jazz was making its reappearance, with recordings made in secret, usually at night amongst like-minded musicians, keen to adopt and experiment with other musical forms and influences, especially Funk and Soul from America. Few of these Soviet Jazz-Funk recordings remain from the vast number of recorded, but a selection of great tracks can be found here.
 

 
With thanks to Tommy Udo
 
Bonus clips of Soviet Jazz Funk after the leap…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment