Friday, December 28, 2007

I love/hate the 80s

Since some of my lovely internets pals are doing sexy, 80s-related posts - okay, that last one was late 70s, but since we were all alive then - sorry if any of the passers-by were born after Saint Ronnie was sworn in - it's close enough. And being a follower, not a leader, I figured why the hell not. Like I plan on doing any more work the rest of the day.

But what to write about?

I've already used up my one vaguely-interesting story from that godawful decade, I didn't have acid-washed jeans or a mullet, I didn't listen to mainstream radio all that often once I discovered metal so I have no cherished memories of Wham! or Poison or Bow Wow Wow. I do recall air guitaring quite often to the following fellows. It's what us geeky, 13-year old suburban kids did.

I also played copious amounts of video games. I play them less now - all that brilliant writing to complete, obviously - so even though my skills have deteriorated immensely, my crazy offspring still grab me for assistance. Fools.

That's what my wife usually says before - oh, nevermind.

I remember the insane amount of hype surrounding The Day After - good thing that's one horror we don't have to worry about anymore, huh. Thank you President Reagan for single-handedly defeating the nuclear boogeyman once and for all! The television schedule itself was pretty lame - Family Ties, The Cosby Show (sorry apologists, didn't dig it - Fat Albert was the far better Bill Cosby vehicle), Whiz Kids, Jake and the Fatman - full of garbage soap operas showcasing the tawdry, bloated Reagan years in all their vain glory, soulless, over-the-top action junk or shows way past their prime, so nothing worth recalling there save the rare gem such as 21 Jump Street or Max Headroom. Now that was some big time TV.

So, like, I'm like totally stumped and it's like not gnarly so gag me with a spoon. I did have light blond hair back then, which has since darkened (and disappeared) slightly, so I would've been a perfect candidate to be one of the children in a Wal Mart Über-Aryan Pro-Family ad. Good fucking job, mom and pop. I coulda been a star, gone through dozens of cars and B-movies, been strung out by fifteen, and wasted what little money I had left on hookers and blow before finding Jesus in rehab, finishing up by appearing in an episode of I Love the 80s.

What was the point of this post? Oh yeah, stay outta my booze.


Frederick said...

I hated the 80's.

Dr. Zaius said...

MWB's World has some great stuff from the 70s and 80s. Some of it's pretty scary, though.

La Belette Rouge said...

Happy to have in a small way been a part of what inspired this wistful trip down memory lane.

When I hit play on your first Youtube, my husband said, "What's that noise?" Hee-hee, gotta love him.

I have lots of great 80's memories and Wham and Bow-Wow-Wow were definitely part of the fun. And, I spent a lot of quarters playing Ms. Packman.

When I lived in Sweden in the late 80's, an American friend and I would talk like valley girls so the Swedes couldn't understand our English. Oh, those were good times.

Chris Late said...

Ah...the 80's. I learned how to "word process"; PC's weren't big at offices till '84 or so. 256K with floppy disks that had to switched out depending on the program. Networks? E-mail? Internet? Never heard of it. But playing "Adventure" was cool.

My desire was for a IBM Selectric typewriter...that auto-correction feature was really desirable. On the other hand, there was "ET," "Poltergeist," (stood in long lines for those). And there was a disease killing people I knew, while the president ignored them...a good reason to hate the 80's...even if I eventually found happiness in that decade. (Just finished a half-bottle of wine...feeling talkative.)

Mathman6293 said...

Watch the Singer to see my brother's '86 wedding. It's the first one. I may have been that pissed of drunk or something.

I have a love - hate relationship with the '80's. I love a lot of the music but hate a lot of it too. What the hell was the deal with the men without hats? My Ipod loves Squeeze, The Talking Heads and a few Wang Chung songs (one really).

Distributorcap said...

if you hated the '80s, try going to HS in the '70s

Colleen said...

That was like totally awesome. LBR and I do love to inspire even if it's for those dreaded years of not-so-fashionable-times.

Next you should do a post with Mork from Ork suspenders. I have mine! Whoo hoo!

Randal Graves said...

frederick, overall, so did I, but I don't recall all that much from the late 70s - memory gets weaker as I get more wrinkly - hence this horrid decade.

Dr. Zaius, those were scary times, with all the nuclear-powered Apple IICs rampaging throughout the land!

LBR, come now, that's the mighty Slayer! Methinks we would've ran in different social circles. ;-) Ah, Ms. Pacman. I remember collecting the Pacman trading cards. Probably worth thousands now as mine sit at the bottom of some landfill.

Chris, the first computer I had was a very small Texas Instruments one that used tapes to save and had an expansion pack of 16k. It's mind-boggling how far the technology has come in 25 short years.

Those were both good movies - the 80s had a few of those - and looking back, what a disgrace the handling of AIDS was, the utter lack of that jackass administration not giving a shit, disinformation, etc. In many respects, we haven't changed, we've just moved on to something else to mishandle or ignore. And talk on, my friend, no word count limits here.

mathman, heh heh, that would've been a sight to see. Everybody wang chung tonight. There was an episode of Futurama where an 80s guy was unfrozen and he kept on doing the notes of The Safety Dance, so I had to explain that cultural artifact to my kids.

dcap, yeah, but you guys had bitchin' camaros, copious amounts of weed, and Zeppelin and Sabbath, so it was cool. That's what the movies tell me, anyway.

Colleen, I don't have a pair! Nanu nanu!

My Inner French Girl said...


But the 80's did produce some awesome teen comedies, though, non? I mean, we got Real Genius out of it! And...and...uhm...The Last American Virgin. And...and...Sixteen Candles. Weird Science. Can you imagine any of these being made now? Especially Real Genius? Since the '90s tech bust, boobs have triumphed over brains in the teen comedy department.

I tried playing the Trivial Pursuit 80's edition and failed miserably. Made me feel like crap for a week.


Tom Harper said...

I also love/hated the '80s. There seemed to be a shallowness about that period. But there was also a "moving forward" kind of feel, a certain volatility that was a nice antidote to the bland '70s.

Who Hijacked Our Country

Mary Ellen said...

dcap- hey...I graduated from high school in the early 70's, it wasn't nearly as bad as the crap that was on the radio in the 80's.

randal- I keep forgetting that I'm old enough to be your mother until I see posts like this.

I forgot all about that movie, The Day After! That was funny, there were people buying up batteries, candles and canned food for weeks. Hilarious!

One of my daughters was into all that Goth crap for awhile and I always felt that dinner with her was sort of like the night of the living dead. Thank goodness she grew out of that.

b said...

Oh my god... more 80s? I remember watching The Day After movie at a friend's house on New Year's Eve. I think I was afraid to walk down the hallway of our house for about a month after that. I don't know that I was afraid the world was going to end but it sure as hell freaked me out at that age. I know... I led quite the sheltered life as a child (not to worry... I made up for it and then some later!).

Sorry to hear that your career as the über aryan poster child didn't work out with Wal Mart. Don't worry though, they'll still let you sell your soul to them (but for a very low price).

FranIAm said...

I too have a love hate thing going with the 80's. Not to mention it was the decade that spawned my professional career...

You played those video games? You should go check out Matty's posts on working at Atari at that time.

It features a Scumbagathon, which I am thinking might be right up your alley.

Randal Graves said...

MIFG, oh you're certainly right. A lot of the teen comedies now just seem so soulless compared to the ones we grew up on. Damn whipper snappers!

Tom, maybe you're right, but man, the worst of the 80s culture-wise is hard to top. Plus there was that whole Ronnie thing.

ME, just don the Catholic school girl thing and you'll feel better. ;-) And that was nearly as bad as the Y2K crap. Airplanes will fall out of the sky! As long as your daughter didn't become a Republican!

b, well you were only, what, 6 or 7? Glad you made up for it, though. ;-) And I'll keep my soul, thanks!

Fran, oh man, I love all those old Atari games. Glad I could be associated with scumbags. Thanks. :)

Mary Ellen said...

randal- none of my kids would dare become a Republican or they would be out of the will. I won't even let them marry, live with, or date a Republican. That's all I need is to have to look at one of them at family gatherings...or worse yet, have a grandchild with Republican blood in them, ugh!

My Inner French Girl said...


At least in the '80s, Sam Walton was still alive and Wal-Mart had all those MADE IN THE USA banners all over their store. They made a huge deal about the fact that they stocked a lot of American-made products AND they closed at 10pm.

And boots I bought there for $20 lasted for three years, while an equivalent pair now will likely only last 3 months.

Good times.


Candace said...

I totally miss Max Headroom.

The Day After was quite an event, wasn't it? Remember they had a panel discussion on afterwards - all I can remember about it was Henry Kissenger saying that the USSR was going to have a revolution very soon.

Randal Graves said...

ME, I knew there was a reason I liked ya. Oh, this reason just reinforces the others.

MIFG, good thing the majority of their stock is still made in America, cough, cough. Bastards.

Candace, I vaguely remember that discussion. Of course, I didn't yet know just how vile the Nobel Peace Prize (WHAT THE FUCK) winner was.

Distributorcap said...

ME -- the crap in the 80s!
what about "The Night Chicago Died" or "Shannon" -- 'nuff said about 70s crap

you are too funny