As many of us get older we sometimes have a tendency to forget where we came from. In doing so we can lose sight of what's made us who we are. Our childhood experiences mold us into the adults we become on levels we don't always realize or understand.
The 1980's has been dubbed the lost decade. Apparently the 80's was a time with no significant cultural or political contributions to the world. I have to disagree with that claim. So looking back in retrospect let's see just how "lost" the 80's really were.
The 1980's produced some of the most innovative entertainment of all time, helped to define patriotism for Americans during the Cold War, and saw Michael Jackson the king of Pop rewrite how the music industry did business, and the personal computer or PC was born.
How many of you remember when Michael Jackson's Thriller debuted? it was an 18 minute mini movie and music video. I remember watching it with popcorn like it was a horror flick on HBO. Speaking of HBO how many of us used to turn HBO on after 8pm in hopes of getting a boobie shot in some R rated movie without getting caught by our parents?
Have you noticed lately that more and more women and teen girls are wearing leggings? Correct me if I am wrong but leggings were the FAD in the 80's. Girls had over sized bright colored sweatshirts with ridiculously large belts worn over the sweatshirt, leggings, and of course color coordinated scrunchy socks to match the sweatshirt!
What other 80's spawned fashion trends are back with a vengeance? The Polo Shirt. In the 80's the Polo Shirt was worn by Yuppies and Nerds alike. Today we see the Polo Shirt being worn by of course Yuppies, and college Frat Boys with their collars up like Fonzie. The Polo Shirt was an 80's inspired FAD.
For all you metal heads out there this should bring back memories. Guys do you remember that one pair of black or stone washed blue jeans with the huge moth holes in the knees? Yeah I do too and today in 2010 we see the "EMO" kids wearing the exact same type jeans only we made ours and they bought theirs. And how about companies like Affliction Clothing? You see all the MMA, Strikeforce, Tapout, and WWE Superstars wearing their clothes. The T-shirts are modeled after 80's style Rock Concert Shirts with graphics of skulls, Norse mythological character types, and hip sayings. Some of their most popular jeans come weathered and ripped in the knees, and upper leg "quad" area.
The list goes on and on but for the sake of not harping on clothing I'll progress to our next memorable moment.
Movies in the 1980's gave us some of the most beloved of all time. Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, The Goonies, The Monster Squad, The Breakfast Club, Gremlins, A Christmas Story, National Lampoons Vacation, Police Academy and more... list some if you can think them up. Star Wars doesn't make the list ONLY because the original was filmed in 1978, and Star Trek was originally a 1960's TV show, the movies were 1980's films but the series dates back some 20 years earlier. Star Wars would have been in my top 3 as a KID in the 80's though. How many of us dressed like Indiana Jones and had our little adventures in the backyard? Who didn't have Star Wars or Smurfs bed sheets? Everyone owned a Luke Skywalker figure and Boobie Traps became an inside joke that our parents could never figure out... Thank you Data for those hysterical pronunciations. SLOTH LOVE CHUNK!
And how about the good old Cold War? Who remembers Ronald Reagan and Mikel Gorbachev? I certainly do. Grumman, the company the produced the F-14 Tomcat made famous in another 80's flick Top Gun is literally 2 blocks from my house here on Long Island. I remember the Cold War vividly because my friend's parents and neighbors worked for Grumman building the F-14. Saturday mornings we would hear and see the E2-C Hawkeye Early Radar Warning Aircraft fly directly over my house. It was literally 60 feet above the house and everything shook as it passed by overhead. After Saturday Morning Cartoons were over and we'd get our Mongoose BMX bikes out for a ride you could hear Grumman testing the F-14 Engines. It was a time when you felt safe, were proud to be an American, and of course just loved the F-14 Tomcat because it was one Sick Fighter Jet. I cannot tell you how many times I saw that jet being transported in sections out east to Grumman's Calverton Plant on flatbed trucks, on their way to the final assembly lines. What a sight it was. And let me tell ya, when they flew overhead you flew out the door for a glimpse of them.
Do you remember when Reagan and Gorbachev made peace between the USSR "CCCP" and the USA? Do you remember when the BERLIN WALL came down? 1989 baby! The fall of the Berlin Wall was a monumental end to a relic of post World War 2 Germany. That's history in the making for certain and it belongs to the 1980's.
Who remembers the Nuclear Reactor meltdown at Chernobyl? We weren't allowed to go outside for 2 days after school because people were afraid the radioactive contaminants in the air made it across the Atlantic to New York. This was the worst Nuclear disaster in WORLD history.
There is just so much to mention about the 80's that literally made us who we are as people. I wouldn't trade living in the 80's for anything, in fact if Doc Brown ever did make a time machine that's exactly where I'd be going.
But then I think about this statement for a moment and I realize something. At 35 if went back to my beloved 80's would they be as wonderful to me now being an adult OR would I see that in many respects the world hasn't changed all that much? It's interesting to ponder but I have come up with this.....
The 80's are so special to me because I was a kid then, when you still had the imagination and the ability to think anything was possible. As a child we have this innocent ignorance about us, not knowing or caring about the pressures and responsibilities that adult life brings. Who honestly cared about taxes, health care, honest wages for hard work, etc as a kid? I don't think these things took precedence over what He-Man figure I wanted, or when the next episode of the Dukes of Hazzard was on. So in that, the mind of a child, the 80's was and is a wondrous place that we all would love to revisit BUT as adults may see through very different eyes.
God, I love my 80's