It may be true that we missed most of our history classes, because we were too busy drawing Wolverine on the back of a notebook, but we listened enough to know that history is mostly a parade of horrors.

We mean it. We went to Wikipedia and found out there have been, like, two or three world wars in just the last century. Our research turned up something even more unsettling: a dark epoch historians refer to as The '70s. When you hear what went on back then, you're going to think we made the whole thing up. Some of the most mind-boggling and horrifying practices include ...

Smoking While Pregnant

In the 1970s, people apparently refused to breathe the air unless it was filtered through burning tobacco first. For instance, there were Tareytons--with its famous "We'd rather get punched in the face than stop smoking" ads. Given that level of commitment, there was no way a few light kicks in the stomach were going to get a pregnant lady to give up her smokes. In fact, if the '70s had been allowed to continue, in another couple of years there would have been mini-smokes for the toddlers.

What were they thinking?
Tobacco companies weren't yet forced to reveal the minor "Holy shit, this stuff fucking kills you" aspect of their product. The president smoked, and TV anchormen smoked during the news. We suspect even professional basketball players smoked as they dribbled up the court, only flicking aside the butt when it was time to drive the lane.

Back then, moms probably smoked for the same reason some parents play Mozart while the baby is still in the womb; they figured getting them hooked early would make them emerge into the world already cooler than their peers. We're guessing that the only warnings on the packs were that they might want to talk to their doctor if they, you know, wanted their kid to be born square.

Flammable Suits

Records indicate that it was customary for males in the '70s to wear leisure suits. These costumes were made of polyester, which was so flammable that it could be ignited at a moment's notice. Interestingly, these costumes were so hideous in appearance that they actually did less damage to the eye when they bursted into flames. The flesh-searing inferno only lasted a few seconds, but the after effect of even a brief glimpse at a leisure suit could last for days.

What were they thinking?
In addition to the flammable leisure suits, the '70s were known for rampant drug use. While combining these combustible death suits with open flame sounds about as safe as ice skating while balancing a samurai sword on your groin, things looked different to the mellow, drug-addled '70s mind. We believe this was a typical exchange:

Guy: Dude, pass me that joint.

Other Guy: Oh sorry, man, I dropped it.

Guy: Oh shit, my totally flammable leisure suit burst into flames.

Other Guy: And, the flame' spreading to mine. I cannot believe we didn't see this coming.

Guy: Indeed.

The Children of God

The Children of God was a cult--uh, religious group--that in some regards was very similar to fundamentalist Christians. In many other regards, however, they were very similar to total lunatics.

The Children of God believed that whenever they were having sex, they were having it with Jesus. For some reason, rather than making them never want to have sex ever again, this made them do it often and indiscriminately. They must have been picturing young dashing Jesus, and not, blood covered vengeance seeking Jesus. In addition to Jesus-sex, there were allegations that members of the group doubled as prostitutes to raise money. Oh, and The Children of God were suspected of kidnapping children and shipping them off to other countries.

Late actor River Phoenix was raised in a Children of God compound, where he says he lost his virginity at age 4.

What were they thinking?
The thinking was probably that if all the Children of God did was have Jesus-themed sex, that'd eventually lead to more children. Since, according to River Pheonix, these kids start nailing as early as 4, the population would increase pretty quickly, and all of these new people would be raised on a diet of constant fucking too. Soon enough, the entire world would be run by a Children of God Sexocracy. The only possible drawback we can see is that the kids might turn out to be a little fucked up, like, oh we don't know, River and Joaquin Phoenix.

But other than that we don't see how that plan can fail. Just a matter of time until someone else picks up on the idea.

Erhard Seminar Training

We should note that our research has found that some things were apparently better in the '70s. Rumors persist of a pre-ruined Star Wars back then, and a time when O.J. Simpson was famous for footballing. Also, therapy often involved nothing more than a man screaming insults in your face.

Invented by Werner Erhard, the modestly named EST (Erhard Seminar Training) was where people paid professionals to insult them constantly for up to a day (presumably because they didn't have access to rush-hour traffic or taxi drivers). These courses lost popularity when the world of psychology (which avoids certainty the way a vampire might avoid profit-destroying sunlight) announced that paying to be locked in a room with somebody professionally trained to make you feel bad probably wasn't the best thing for your mental health.

What were they thinking?
Did you read the thing about the drugs and the leisure suits? The argument could be made that these people deserved to be rounded up and insulted at their own expense.

Glass Eating

From what we gather, Philadelphia Eagle Tim Rossovich decided that being a pro-football linebacker was an insufficient demonstration of his toughness. So, he ate glass to show how hard he was. When your day job is being concussed by gigantic athletes in body armor, it's understandable that you'll start to make decisions like that.

What we can't understand is why, in 1973, a Harvard student ate a lightbulb to show that Tim wasn't as tough as he seemed, while at the same time demonstrating that Harvard students aren't as smart as they're meant to be. This actually caught on with other students until university authorities banned the activity and, presumably, went on to strictly re-examine their entry requirements.

What were they thinking?
Kids idolize sports stars. If they see their favorite athlete doing something, you can bet your steroids-saturated ass that they'll imitate it to the best of their abilities. Also, as our leading academic institution, Harvard is supposed to be the font of progressive thought. Many of the ideas and institutions that would go on to rule the world, Microsoft for instance, were fostered in the Cambridge Dining Clubs.

With that sort of mind-shaping clout behind it, it' a wonder you're not chewing a handful of glass right now. Oh, wait ...

Presidents That Make Bush Look Like a Genius

The '70s opened with Richard Nixon, sometimes known as "Tricky Dick," or the lesser known "Ole' Sweaty Bastard." In his time in office, Nixon tapped the phones of political enemies, harassed opponents, investigated journalists who were critical of his administration, and dropped so many bombs on Vietnam that they started spilling over into neighboring Cambodia.

Nixon's people were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democrats, possibly to leave them a surprise poop on the carpet. Nixon resigned, only to be replaced by the Homer Simpson-esque Gerald Ford. One of Ford' first orders of business was to pardon Nixon, a subject of much controversy. Critics suspected that Ford had struck a deal with Nixon: basically a full pardon for the Presidency. The idea of Ford orchestrating the whole affair, however, was put to rest when Ford spent the rest of his presidency alternately falling down stairs and napping.

He was replaced by Jimmy Carter whose presidency is often not included in history books.

From what we can tell, these men oversaw an increase in poverty and crime rates, one of the biggest scandals in American History, a recession, running almost completely out of oil at several times, and finally a hostage crisis with Iran. Yikes.

What were they thinking?
How was the country able to tolerate such incompetent leadership? After all, in the '60s they had ... well, it says here that Vietnam started in the '60s so maybe that's a bad example. But, the '50s ... well, no, it looks like there was a bloody war in Korea and blacks weren't allowed to eat at the same restaurants as everybody else. Let's see, the '40s had one of those world wars, and the '30s something called the Great Depression ...

Holy crap! And we thought it was impressive that we survived the rise and fall of rap-metal!

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