View Full Version : Nostalgia...

27-03-2008, 01:34 AM
...is for people who didn't grow up in the 1980s.
I'm sure you've all seen the show I Love the '80s on VH-1 at one time or another, but I don't know...I'm 36 and I look back on my teenage years mostly with disdain. Our music was, as a whole, the worst of any throughout the history of music...rock & roll or otherwise. I started junior high school in 1983 and graduated in 1989, so I'd have to be considered a child of the '80s. It's really sort of embarrassing.
Sure, there were good bands from the 1980s, but for every U2, R.E.M. or Violent Femmes there were The New Kids on the Block, Samantha Fox or Poison.
The only truly significant musical contribution the 1980s made to musical history was rap, but by the late '80s it had already begun its decline into the morass of gangsta' lyrics, thuggery and misogyny. Sadly, the 1980s will be looked at as the springboard for what has become the basest of all musical styles. And, when it wasn't busy wearing Raiders Starter jackets and glamorizing violence...the music industry was stamping out shit like MC Hammer. Sure, Vanilla Ice didn't hit until 1990, but his first album was released in 1989, so that decade can claim some rightful ownership to that clusterfuck.
That, and boy bands who lip synch to crappy "music" that sounds like it is coming from a Casio keyboard or "metal" bands who, for lack of a better description, looked like a bunch of pre-op transvestites.
In film, the 1980s pales in comparison to any other decade as well. Don't get me wrong, there were excellent films made in the 1980s, but so many films tried (in vain) to replicate what John Hughes did in the precious few films he directed. By and large, film in the 1980s became one giant formulaic teen comedy.
What else, you ask?
Television was terrible. Other than the Cosby Show, it was another formulaic mess. There were TWO shows about rich white people adopting poor black children for God's sake. The best game shows had already been created in the 1970s. As for mini-series, the 1970s gave us the groundbreaking Roots...the 1980s? Patrick Swayze as a Confederate officer in The Blue and the Gray or the equally craptastic The Thorn Birds.
Yes we had cable...but it was crappy compared to today.
Yes we had computers...but they cost a fortune and did next to nothing. People from other generations follow the phrase "I remember when..." with something along the lines of "a loaf of bread cost a nickel" or a "gallon of gas cost nineteen cents".
People from the '80s are exactly the opposite. Here's an example...I remember when a PC with a 10MHz processor (Pentium? Ha!), a 20MB hard-drive and a VGA monitor cost nearly $3600! And, you needed to REALLY know what you were doing to use it.
Oh, and if you were using a laptop in the '80s, you may as well have been carrying a suitcase full of bricks.
And oh yeah, most suitcases in the '80s had these tiny little wheels that all but guaranteed it would fall over on its side if you hurried.
Video games were crap too, unless they were in the arcade. The '80s did give us classics such as Pac-Man...but then we took two steps back by grinding out a song that was actually certified gold called Pac-Man Fever.
And cellphones? Are you kidding? They weighed thirty pounds, cost thousands of dollars and were even more expensive to use. Oh, and you couldn't text message on them, let alone play games or take pictures with them. On the plus side, you could ward off a violent attack by swinging one, that is, if you could lift it.
Politically, we were grappling with the Cold War and the looming specter of Islamic terrorism hitting outside of its usual confines. Sure the Berlin Wall came down in the '80s (just barely) but it took until 1990 to officially re-unify Germany.
It's kind of nice though, to look back with disdain on the era you grew up in. It saves you from wasting time on nostalgia and allows you to really look forward to times as they continue changing.
My father's generation witnessed the birth of rock and roll...he saw Elvis Presley live in a National Guard armory...I went to GradNite '89 and watched The New Kids on the Block and Samantha Fox lip synch.
But I'm not bitter.
So...do you think you'll look back at the decade you grew up in like my parents did...with a nostalgic twinkle in your eye?
Or will you be embarrassed that you grew up in the decade you did...like me?

28-03-2008, 02:11 AM
I wasn't very in tune with pop culture during the early 90's. But near the end of the decade, I fell into the TRL fad. I watched it everyday and sang along to the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls. Am I embarrassed? Yes. Ashamed? Never!