Thursday, October 9, 2008

80,s Pop Culture

Kacie is my chatty child. She loves to tell me all about the good, and especially the not so good, things of her life. I enjoy hearing her stories about her friends and teachers at her high school. Last week she came home and related to me a comment made by her English teacher. He said that the 80's were a terrible era for pop culture. Nothing good came from it. Kacie argued a some of the bands and he did relent that U2 was one good band to come out of the 80's. I was appalled! What? Nothing good? Now, I know that being a generation xer makes me biased, but I definitely disagree! Like, oh my gosh! Fer sure! That is totally bogus. I happen to look back on the 80's with much fondness. Let me share with you some of the things that I've come up with. I'll start with movies. The 1980's brought us the adolescence of the "Brat Pack". You remember that oh so popular group of youth who were featured in many of John Hughes films. What a wonderful bunch of movies they were. The Sure Thing, Better Off Dead, Uncle Buck, Weird Science, 16 Candles, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the most defining movie of our youth, The Breakfast Club! Let us also not forget some other classics that premiered at that time. The Blues Brothers, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET, Risky Business (remember Guido the killer pimp?), Footloose, Valley Girl, Return of the Jedi, Goonies, and the Lost Boys (before we had a reality TV show about the two Coreys).

Television brought us the first ever night time soap operas. Remember Dallas, Knots Landing and Dynasty? We also watched the Cosby show, A-team (I love it when a plan comes together), and M.a.s.h. aired until 1983. One of the biggest things to hit television was the premier of MTV in 1981! Of course that was when the m stood for music, not mundane! Shall we talk music? I love the music of the 80's! My children can attest to this fact. I will gladly admit that not all the bands that came out of the 80's were great. Lets face it, the 80's brought us bands like Wham, Boy George, and the one hit wonder Dexie's midnight runners. But it also brought us Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Def Leppard, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Ozzy, Cheap Trick, Madonna, Corey Hart, and Cyndi Lauper. We also had the continued success of such bands as ACDC, Journey (released 7 albums in the 80's), Rush (9 albums), Chicago (6 albums). Prince released his first album in 1979. Also, Pink Floyd's The wall was released in 1979, but continued to be a huge seller throughout the 80's, along with 5 more albums that decade!

The 80's were a time for Big Hair! We sure did love our Aqua Net hairspray! My sisters and I called in aqua rock. We wore acid washed jeans, parachute pants, Converse high tops, and the most radical Vans. Lots of dark makeup. Almost to the point of looking clownish! If you were a preppy you dressed in Izod shirts with the collar turned up, and wore penny loafers. Remember skinny ties? Okay, so I'll admit, in hindsight, the fashion was like grody to the max!

It was the era that brought us the popularity of the video arcade, Baby On Board signs hung in car windows, and unforgettable slogans such as "Where's the beef?" and "I've fallen, and I can't get up!

What about the Rubik's Cube?

We saw the Berlin Wall come down, heard political statements such as "Read my lips. NO new taxes.", and will never forget the phrase coined by Nancy Reagan "Just say no to drugs." We will also forever have imprinted in our minds the tragedy of the Challenger Space Shuttle.

Now, what do you think? A bad era for pop culture? I for one say am JUST SAYING NO!
Oh, and Mr. Curtis, what do you say now? Do I get an A?

Me before a football game, and Crissie and me before prom in the 80's!


Les said...

Great post Suzee! Those were some good years. But you were right, it was some seriously bad fashion. And to think that they keep trying to bring it back. Yikes.

Margaret said...

It was just life at that time. I'm sure Kacie's teacher was a picked on wall-flower who couldn't wait to escape into the real world. I don't mind seeing them trying to bring the 80's back (Adam Sandler does it all the time in his movies), the 80's were sure better than the 70's. -Don't forget Ronald Regan. He started the end of communism for Russia.

Suzee said...

No, he e-mailed this morning. In case anyne else reads these comments, and to be fair to him, this is some of what he said:
"Kacie’s paraphrase of my comments was a bit off the mark. I commented that the 80s, especially the middle to late 80s, we’re not a great period for the American music scene. Please note I was born in 1971, so my comments especially addressed popular music of the late 80s, which is when I attended high school."
Ok, so maybe he's not so bad after all! : ) lol

The Pribyl's said...

You are a girl after my own heart. I LOVE the 80's. Thinks for taking me down memory lane:)

Crissie said...

Ah, what a time! Yeah, the music was like, TOTALLY AWESOME!
We do have a bit of a shameful fashion past. I can remember using a lighter to melt my eyeliner so it would go on nice and thick. I loved my extra large sweaters over my long pencil skirts or tight jeans....remember how we would use a wire hanger to pull the zippers up while laying on the bed? I totally loved it when legwarmers were cool to wear with your jeans and how about bobby sox and pumps! Suzee, you forgot to mention how the 80's was the birthplace of the MULLET! (One of my yearbook photos shows me looking suspiciously mullet-esque)

Fast Time At Ridgemont High, Back To The Future, Dirty Dancing, Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, & Ghostbusters need to be mentioned. And do you remember Busom Buddies on TV?

You must thank Kacie's English teacher for inspiring this wonderful trip down memory lane!