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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The 80s Are Back!

by D. E. Carson (writer), , May 29, 2008

...and are THEY pissed off! A response to an article inspires a zany look back at the Decade of Excess.

Okay, I don’t usually do this, but last weekend I wrote a review of the new Indiana Jones movie and got the following response from Morgana:

The 80's are back: Gasoline is up and Japanese cars are in, I think the Celtics and Lakers are up from what the guys tell me, and Indy has another adventure.

Which then prompted me to write:

The 80s are back? Cool! Now, where's the hot babes in spandex with leg warmers and really BIG hair??? Time to pull out my Flock of Seagulls, Whitesnake, Def Lepperd, Van Halen and Rick Springfield records and party like it's 1999! All we need now is Reagan back in the White House, the Soviets in Eastern Europe, about 30 million tons of thermonuclear explosives pointed at our heads and a Pac-Man game. We'll throw it all in the back seat of a blue BMW 325i convertible and be headin' for the nineties living in the wild wild west. We'll meet up here in L.A. at the Roxbury listening to Soft Cell, Berlin (with a very hot Terri Nunn singing lead) Romeo Void and suffer through Gary Numan singing Cars.

When I got to my reference to Cars I knew I had to stop writing over there, pack up that whole show and bring it over here. I was going off the deep end and suddenly realized I was wasting a good shtick on a reply when I could be making the whole world cringe and writhe in agony. So here goes the rest of my giddiness over the return of the Decade of Excess.

Of course with the return of Ronald Reagan to the White House, we need Margaret Thatcher on Downing Street, London and John Paul II in the Vatican. I mean, what’s the 1980s with out the Big Three world leaders essentially kicking the royal crap out of the Soviets and loving every minute of it.

The best part is that we get rid of [c]rap music and the punk thugs that proliferate it. Randy Travis gets back on the country charts (sorry) and we all get to watch new episodes of Magnum, p.i. (sorry, again).

The All Bill Clinton network goes back to being the American Broadcasting Company scaring the hell out of all of us with a what if movie about a nuclear attack on the Midwestern United States or even a mini-series about a Soviet take over of the United States and we learn to spell “America” with a “k” instead of a “c”. As if that isn’t enough to make your Chuck Taylor Converse Hi-tops moonwalk the double-dutch back to Southfork Ranch, we’ll put on our Sperry Top-Siders and our Vans, hop into our black Trans Am and go looking for The Colbys Dynasty at Knot’s Landing.

Let me grab my Rubik’s Cube and get out my orange 1969 Dodge Charger stock car with the “Dixie” horn and rebel flag on the roof. We’ll head on over to Muscle Beach where we can stare at the chicks roller skating in their short shorts and bikini tops.

We’ll tearfully bid a tearful farewell to the doctors and nurses of the 4077th and get to follow a few of those characters home into the Top 20 shows of 1983. We’ll all “love it when a plan comes together” knowing that everything “works for me” and drool as Alyssa Milano grows into adulthood asking “Who’s the Boss?” We’ll spend an entire summer speculating as to “who shot J.R.” with many people sporting T-shirts claiming the deed as their own. Carrol O’Connor will have two television series in the Top 20 playing vastly different characters.

What’s a return to the 1980s without a trip to the local movie theatre – located in the mall of course? There’s no better way to waste a Saturday afternoon than wandering up and down the mall with all of your friends looking to see who is there and who isn’t. When a city has only one mall, every kid in town is there. When there is more than one, the kids all go to one and make the parents go to another. God forbid we be seen by our friends hanging out with our parents! Sheesh! Or should I say, “Gag me with a spoon!”?

When Saturday evening rolls around, we all have to go to the movies. We’ll watch as The Empire Strikes Back, go a little Stir Crazy from 9 to 5. We’ll experience The Wrath of Khan and hook up with the Raiders of the Lost Ark and stop by to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. We’ll make the Cannonball Run to Escape from New York. We’ll go hop in our DeLorean and go Back to the Future and listen as Tootsie tells about the time When Harry Met Sally.

Brooke Shields will tell us what isn’t between her and her Calvin Klein jeans. John Lennon will be assassinated. Aspartame is still called NutraSweet and ketchup is elevated to the status of vegetable in school lunch programs. We’ll have to pay almost $400 for a personal cassette player called the Walkman and between $400 and $800 for a VCR! There isn’t anything to record on TV now and there was less back then. Space Shuttle Challenger will explode because of a faulty O-ring and General Motors tells us that “This is not [our] father’s Oldsmobile.”

The Decade of Excess. What a time that was. For those of us who lived through it, it defined a lot of who we are today. For those of you who missed it, I feel sorry for you because it really was a great time to be a teenager. Now I have to go back to my real life and so do you. This little trip down memory lane was a good walk. It’s nice to do this once in a while. It makes you realize what you’ve been doing for the last 20 years of your life. It can also make you want to find new adventures. So regardless of your age, go out there and enjoy your life. It’s the only one you’re going to get, so make sure you live.

And hey, let’s be careful out there!



About the Writer

D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on The 80s Are Back!

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By Crowbar on May 29, 2008 at 10:41 am

The Flock of Seagulls are playing at Hollywood Park this week. The 80's are definitley back!

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By Jen on May 29, 2008 at 11:54 am

That was FUN D.E. 

Yes...being a teenager in the 80's rocked!  I like totally ruled the Galleria...ya know?

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By Lila M. on May 29, 2008 at 05:10 pm

Awesome article DEC!  I was a youngin’ barely starting elementary school in the 80’s, but we lived in the Valley (or the mecca of it all) next to Northridge High School that my cousins went to.  So there was always a parade of Pat Benatar, Fast Times/Spilcoli and Karate Kid looking guys & girls that we were exposed to.  It was RAD!

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By D. E. Carson on May 29, 2008 at 09:05 pm

Crowbar: Flock of Seagulls at Hollywood Park.  Same band, half the hair?

J&T: Okay, I'll give you the shoulder pads.  They were kind of odd.  You by-passed my reference to the spandex and leg warmers though...


Jen: We had Woodland Hills Mall when I was a teen.  Had to drive 70 miles one way to get there, but by God we had our mall!

Morgana: Well, you inspired the trip.  I just expounded on it.

Lila: I was in sixth grade when John Hinkley took pot shots at Reagan in 1981.  I started elementary school in September 1974 after Richard Nixon resigned in August.  Talk about being an old guy!

Glad everyone so far liked the article.  Someone commented that I didn't mention Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Sorry, 'bout that.  I don't believe I referenced any of John Hughes' work either.  I also didn't mention the quintesential 80's song: If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.  Look at it this way.  It leaves things open for a sequel, yeah?

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By Umbrae on June 03, 2008 at 01:05 am

Culturally (as in musically, artistically, and stylistically) the 80's have been kind of big for the past 2-3 years now. The economy and others things are only just now starting to catch up. "Pop Culture" has embraced a full scene of people who don the crazy hair dos, ironic 80's glasses and listen to bands like "Cut Copy", "The Knife",  and "Kavinsky" -- all of which are heavily influenced by the 80s.

But yes, it's kind of scary how everything else is starting to reflect the resurgence of the 80's as well. All everyone needs now are wallets bursting with cash and mountains of cocaine... we'd be set!

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