Thanks for joining me for another installment of ‘That’s So Last Century!’
The 1980s was a decade of conflict, little progress, and impossible fashion.
In the news:
*US Embassy in Beirut bombed
*Prime Minister of India, Indira Ghandi murdered by two bodyguards
*Chernobl Nuclear Accident
*US bombs Libya
*PanAm flight 103 bombed over Lockerbie
*Students massacred in China’s Tienanmen Square
*Exxon Valdez spills upwards of 30 million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound, Alaska
*AIDS is first discovered
* NY Stock Exchange suffers 22.6% drop in value, known as Black Monday
So far, the 1980s were devastating in suffering and sadness.
In good news:
*Royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana of Wales
*First PC (personal computer) introduced by IBM
*Berlin Wall falls
*Sally Ride, 1st American woman in Space
*DNA first used to convict criminals
Aaah, this helps lessen the bleakness, but there’s more.
In fashion and pop culture:
*President Bush announces he hates broccoli
*Michael Jackson’s thriller is released
*PG-13 movie rating is announced
*Over-sized shoulder pads make a fashion statement thanks to Dallas and Dynasty
*’Street-urchin’ style becomes popular after Like a Virgin is released
*Fashion style is indiscriminate–Preppy, Metalhead, Rap, Punk
*ET: The Movie is released to become a cult classic
*Flashdance influences ripped sweatshirt popularity; Rap music creates a trend with over-sized gold jewelry, track suits and Kangol hats
*Power suits are what businessmen with money wear, along with narrow lapels and skinny ties
*The Rubix cube baffled most Americans
*Doc Martens were popular with every fashion style
*Urban Cowboy popularized pointy toe cowboy boots and broad-brimmed hats
*John Lennon mused about singing another 40 years a month before he was killed in New York City.
*Miami Vice (t-shirt under expensive pastel jacket), Magnum P.I. (Hawaiian shirts and mustaches), and Valley Girls (headbands, leg warmers and mini skirts) all lent their influence.
We worried about the solvency of Social Security and the staggering costs of healthcare. Gasoline jumped over $1 mark to $1.22 per gallon. We breathed a sigh of relief when home loan rates dropped from 16% to 11%.
Robert Redford went from acting to directing and immediately won an Oscar for “Ordinary People.” Fans made “The Empire Strikes Back” the top grossing film for the year, and People magazine named it one of the 100 best films of all time. Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” won the National Book Award for hardcover nonfiction. “The Executioner’s Song” by Norman Mailer earned the Pulitzer for fiction.
A working-class Pole named Lech Walesa became an inspiring world leader. Billy Carter continued as a brotherly embarrassment for the outgoing U.S. president when the U.S. Senate started probing Billy’s trip to Libya. As if Billy Beer wasn’t embarrassing enough.
What a decade! I could go on and on listing all the movies, music and events of the 1980s, but I’d prefer not to see your eyes glaze over. One can only handle just so much glitter.
I suppose to answer the question, ‘Was the decade of the 1980s a Cultural Wasteland or a Rich Part of our history?’ lies in your own perception. Both of my children were born in that period, and I had the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom, so it had its wonderful moments in my life. I, also, remember it as a time when ‘brand names’ and ‘bigger and better’ were the way of life. New cars, designer jeans, celebrity- influenced hairstyles…a “Look at me” attitude was prevalent.
So, tell me, how do you feel about the 1980s? Were you an adult or a child and what were your perceptions of the time?
You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!
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