Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rockin' In The '80's...For God's Sake, Why?

Take onnnnnnnnn meeeeeee! Take me on....

So sang one of the poets of the '80's, "Aha," with their socially relevant message.

Pretty much sums up what the '80's were about in a nutshell. Non-threatening, bland, everyone afraid to admit "this decade sucks, so let's have fun!"

Karma, karma, karma, karma chameleonnnnnn, you turn me onnnnnnnn....

I suppose Culture Club had it right. Nothing was going on so you may as well think about love. And Karma.

I was in college in the '80's. Thought I had the cat by the tail. There I was on the dance-floor, gyrating like I was having a seizure, fists pumping and swinging. Pretty much acting like I was swinging a cat by the tail. Thought I was cool.

For the love of God, why didn't anyone ever tell me how moronic I looked and acted?

It's a mistake, it's a mistakkkkkkkke....

The Australian band, "Men At Work," wailed those words. For some inexplicable reason, my roommate thought they were singing, "Nice summer dayyyyyy, nice summer dayyyyyyyy." But that's neither here nor there.

The '80's was a mistake. Just look at the fashions. I was sporting designer jeans, long past their popular shelf life. Hey. I was (still am) in Kansas. We get on the band-wagon about five years after the fact. My light-colored sports jacket was stained (it'd weathered too many beer blow-outs), but I made sure to pull those sleeves up (a shout-out to Crockett and Tubbs on "Miami Vice"). And I couldn't leave the dorm without a shockingly bright t-shirt. At least I never went in for the bandannas placed indiscriminately around either neck, arm or leg (thanks, Duran-Duran!).

Girls just wanna' have fu-hun, oh, girls just wanna' have funnnnnnn....

If three hours of making your hair bigger than Godzilla is considered "fun," then Cyndi Lauper had it right. I felt sorry for my female '80's peers. I struggled enough with my own hair. I tried to feather it but it wouldn't cooperate. One side was always off. I tried the long hair in the back, shorter on the sides, the precursor to the dreaded "mullet." Nothing worked. I desperately wanted to look like a "Duke of Hazzard." Came out the other end, resembling Gary Busey. Modern-day Gary Busey. At least males didn't have to contend with leg warmers and big-shouldered jackets. Though some guys did try to make it a thing.

Tonight I'm gonna' party like it's 1989... (Emergency Edit! My wife just told me I got the lyrics wrong. She's right! Gah! Should be "1999," of course. SO...we'll treat it like this...)

Thank you, Prince! Sure you're amping on about how you wanna' party in 1999. But you sang it in the '80's. Betcha' you don't wanna' party like it's 1999 any more. 1989 was MUCH better. But we partied. And we did, oblivious to the world around us. While we were spastically jumping about the dance-floor, the world was suffering through increasing economic debts, the Iran-Iraq war, the Soviet-Afghan war, the realization of global warming, and other trauma. The world was on the cusp of becoming a scarier, more hostile place.

But we remained in our own little, insular world, hanging out on the dance-floor.

I feel sorry for kids these days. Now, they have to suspect every suspicious package they see and keep a wary eye out for odd behavior. The '80's seems like it was the last "innocent" decade.

Sometimes, especially now, I wish I could go back.

Except, of course, for the hideous fashion, brain-dead music, and totally awful, culturally popular movements.

We got the beat, everybody get on the floor! 'Cause we got the beat, we got the beat, we got the beat, yeaaaaaaah! We got the beat!


  1. The 80's!

    What fun times they were.

    In 1982 I was twelve years old. My bedroom wall was plastered with posters of pre-teen heart-throb Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons. *grin*

    E.T. also came out. I was obsessed with that movie. I'd stick my little dog in the basket of my bike, wrap her protectively in a blanket, and ride around the city pretending to be like Elliott.

    I remember Jordach Jeans, jelly shoes, florescent shirts, with mesh tops worn over them, and arms and arms of those rubber bracelets. :)

    What a fun stroll down memory lane. Thanks Stuart.

    You're right, it seems like the last "innocent" decade. Maybe that's just because we grew up? I wonder what my son will say about growing up in the 2000's. Interesting. I'll have to ask him.

  2. Tammy, how could I forget the rubber bracelets? Gah! My bad. The '80's was such a ridiculous decade. But, ah, to have it all back again? It'd be sublime. No worries about terrorism. Let us know what your son thinks about growing up in the 2000's. Interesting, indeed.

  3. I was a young fool of teacher when the 80's began. I started in 1981. I remember classroom fights, kids acting like Spickoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Spiccoli, Spick Oly, I don't know), and calling the teacher "Batman" because my old used car actually had fins in back. Last innocent decade? With Reagan as Prexy? I'm thinking "Beginning of the End of Days".

  4. Ah, of course you're right, Michael. Forgot about Reagan. But, honestly, he seemed sorta' inconsequential, just full of glitter and crap. But he was obviously the harbinger of worse things to come.

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