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What it's like to be an 80s fan...


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#1 of 50 John Kilduff

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Posted August 06 2007 - 05:50 AM

The following is mostly taken word-for-word from a post I wrote at the Laughing Place forums (A series of message boards dedicated to the Walt Disney Company):

It seems that every time things from the 80s are reviewed, somebody who saw the decade first-hand degrades them. They say derisive things about the hair, the clothes, the music, the images...

It really gets to me. I've been an 80s fan for a long time.

Here's an article I wrote for RetroJunk. It's called "Don't Call Me A Poser", and it's my history of being an 80s fan.

The link can be found here: http://www.retrojunk...s_articles/760/.

I write about a lot of stuff in there, both from the 80s and from my personal life, and how the former has helped me through the latter. It is lengthy and a little outdated (It was written when I was 23, "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" isn't on Adult Swim anymore and I no longer use the word "cheesy" to describe any aspect of the 80s), but I encourage you all to read it, so you can learn more about me. Also, please read through the comments section at the bottom. It explains how I've changed my mind on several things I wrote in the article.

The decade helped me through so much that I just want to say to the people who make fun of it, "You looked great, you sounded great, you were all great back then...Don't make fun of yourselves".

One of the aspects of Aspergers' Syndrome is latching on to a certain subject and getting to know a lot about it. The 80s is that subject for me. I've gone through a lot over the years, and the 80s has been a constant source of peace and strength throughout my life.

I hope all of you can understand that. This is a very special thing for me, and not everybody understands that. When I was on the DisBoards a few years ago, I talked about how I didn't like people making fun of the 80s. Having revealed my age in an earlier thread, I was laughed at with comments like "You were only 7 when the decade ended".

Please give it a read, and you can learn more about both me and what I like.

Sincerely,

John Kilduff...

I encouraged the LP posters to read it and now I'm encouraging all of you to read it. It's what I'm all about.
Forget the Rewind. If you want real retro action, go to http://www.retrojunk.com.

Proud member of the American Film Institute and a Wal-Mart employee (Yes, you can be both).

From Michelle Pfeiffer to Daryl Hannah and all points in-between, I love 80s women. Don't believe me? Scope out this link: htt.....

#2 of 50 DaveF

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Posted August 06 2007 - 06:01 AM

Quote:
It seems that every time things from the 80s are reviewed, somebody who saw the decade first-hand degrades them. They say derisive things about the hair, the clothes, the music, the images...
How could anyone who lived through the '80s denigrate them?!? I miss the big hair, and get all twingly inside when I hear the song The Living Years. And these kids with their broadband web and XBox 360; we had 300 bps modems and multi-player M.U.L.E!

So, I look forward to reading your essay on the '80s! Posted Image


....

Quote:
1989: At the age of 6 years old, I see "The Little Mermaid".
Oh good gravy, you're much too young to be reminiscent over the '80s! I saw the rebirth of Disney's feature animation as a senior in high school! Posted Image

#3 of 50 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 06 2007 - 06:39 AM

Quote:
Quote:
1989: At the age of 6 years old, I see "The Little Mermaid".

Oh good gravy, you're much too young to be reminiscent over the '80s! I saw the rebirth of Disney's feature animation as a senior in high school! Posted Image

Both of you get the hell off my lawn! Posted Image

I'll say this much for the 80s - they were a vast relief after the 70s. (You want to talk about big hair and crimes against fashion... I'm talking lapels you could hang-glide from...)

#4 of 50 digitalgliff

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Posted August 06 2007 - 09:39 AM

The 80's rocked!!!! having my teen years in the 1980's I can say that is a decade I long for a remember with great honor. That was a time when women were women & NOT tramps (back tats) Music was cool (hair bands) Fashion ....OMG "fuzzy swetters" Posted Image Our president knew what he was doing & the world didn't hate us because of him.


ROCK ON 80's STYLE

#5 of 50 Bryan X

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Posted August 06 2007 - 10:30 AM

Quote:
It seems that every time things from the 80s are reviewed, somebody who saw the decade first-hand degrades them.

That's the opposite of what I've noticed. Most people I talk to who lived through the 80's look back fondly on the decade.

Quote:
The 80's rocked!!!!

I agree! The 80's were my coming-of-age years. I was 10 at the dawn of 1980 and 20 by the end of 1989. I think the only other 'decade' that might rival the 80's is the 50's. No other comes close.

Now excuse me while I go do the 'Safety Dance'..... Posted Image

#6 of 50 Carl Miller

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Posted August 06 2007 - 11:21 AM

I was 16 years old in 1980, so I'm more of a 70's product I think, but I loved the 80's.

I loved the big hair all the women had, the TV was good and the music was diverse....You could hear a song by the Clash or Talking Heads on the radio and the very next song would be something totally the opposite, like Safety Dance, Politics of Dancing or something by Falco, etc.

Not sure why people rag on the 80's, or any decade for that matter. Some of the fashions from prior decades look dated of course, but everyone looked perfectly fashionable at the time.
Carl

#7 of 50 Kevin Hewell

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Posted August 07 2007 - 05:50 AM

Quote:
...and I no longer use the word "cheesy" to describe any aspect of the 80s

Not even a mullet? I love the 80s but even I can't defend that horrid haircut.

I graduated high school in 84 so a large part of my formative years were spent in that decade. In fact, I'm listening to Duran Duran on my hard drive at the moment.

New Wave music, MTV when it was good and cool, "Hill Street Blues" -- the 80s were great.

BTW, if you have Comcast OnDemand they have been showing "Square Pegs" for a couple of months now.

#8 of 50 Mort Corey

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Posted August 07 2007 - 08:02 AM

DOS 1.0......still have the IBM manual/three ring binder and 160K disc. The PC's beginning age (Apple II was considered a toy...not to mention Commodore and the like).

The "good old days"...when you didn't need gigabytes of ram to run a stupid operating system. Posted Image

Mort

#9 of 50 Garrett Lundy

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Posted August 07 2007 - 12:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Miller
I loved the big hair all the women had
They still have it in the sticks.

I can't honestly say too many bad things about the 80s... cars. Cars universally sucked in the 80s. Fashion was pretty good overall, padded shoulder-suits aside.

The 80s gave us the yuppie. Without the yuppie we wouldn't have: Food network, personal computers, golf, wine, organic vegetables, the 3-series, rolex, or iPods.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#10 of 50 Vlad D

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Posted August 08 2007 - 04:31 AM

The 80's were awesome!! I graduated high school in 1984 and went to college from 1984-1989. My fondest memories are from that time period. I loved the movies, the music, the concerts! I remeber seeing Prince, Purple Rain tour, in 1985 at the Orange Bowl with Shelia E opening. Man that was great!

Yeah, the 80's Rocked!

#11 of 50 andrew markworthy

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:49 AM

Oh God, I feel old. I got my BA and PhD in the first part of the eighties and then it was a series of research jobs before my first permanent post in 1989 followed by marriage in 1990.

My memories of the Eighties:

(1) video games suddenly got a lot better than Pong
(2) the gigantic hair and shoulder pads of womens' fashions - except amongst women students who all wore black and a fashion style that would transmute eventually into goth; and in office jobs, every male seemed to have slicked back hair and red braces [I think you guys call them suspenders - just fon't use the phrase in the UK, where is means garter belt] a la Wall Street
(3) attending opening nights of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express and Aspects of Love and seeing Les Miserables with the original cast
(4) if you were a student in the UK, enduring the endless posturing about political correctness, protests about everything, and utter lack of humour
(5) alternative comedy [you guys were spared the worst of this in the USA, but Monty Python it wasn't; Lenny Bruce at his most self-pitying was funnier]
(6) Live Aid
(7) ET
(8) Disney produced their first worthwhile film in ages (Tron)
(9) at rock concerts, a *huge* improvement in PA systems
(10) the Falklands War
(11) massive unemployment
(12) the UK miners' strike (not being political, but it was a big event in the UK)
(13) the arrival of AIDS, and (hard as it is to believe now) not even being sure how easy it was to catch; unless you were a total virgin, those were worrying times, I can assure you
(14) the omniprescence of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan
(15) the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer (and the start of the sniping about how vacuous Di was - forget the media revisionism after her death with the latest in a string of rich boyfriends and all that drivel about being the 'People's Princess'; pre-death she was not liked by a high proportion of Brits)
(16) rock and pop concerts moving from relatively small venues to vast stadiums with a bloating of ticket prices to match
(17) the arrival of CDs - first one small rack in the classical section of a record store, then a shelf, then an aisle, and then suddenly where was the vinyl?
(18) for over-18s only:
women rediscovered nylons and garters
Posted Image
(19) cell phones the size of bricks
(20) the VW Golf was the car to be seen driving, preferably with Brothers in Arms playing on the cassette player ...

#12 of 50 RobertR

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Posted August 08 2007 - 08:58 AM

Quote:
Without the yuppie we wouldn't have: Food network, personal computers, golf, wine, organic vegetables, the 3-series, rolex, or iPods.
Huh? Rolex was around for many years before the 80s. The same for golf and wine.

Quote:
the start of the sniping about how vacuous Di was - forget the media revisionism after her death with the latest in a string of rich boyfriends and all that drivel about being the 'People's Princess'; pre-death she was not liked by a high proportion of Brits
I've long suspected that JFK would not be held in nearly as much esteem had he not been assassinated. Oh, and that was a great rediscovery. Posted Image

#13 of 50 Bryan X

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Posted August 08 2007 - 10:30 AM

Quote:
I remeber seeing Prince, Purple Rain tour, in 1985 at the Orange Bowl with Shelia E opening.

Prince put on the best concert experiences during the 80's. I saw him at the indoor Coliseum in Cincinnati in 1988 on the Lovesexy tour. No one opened for him, but Sheila E. played the drums during that tour. She's amazing.

The concert was in-the-round and I remember him making his appearance at the beginning of the concert riding in a full-size '57 T-Bird which came out of the stage and 'drove' around the perimeter of the stage. An amazing musician and showman!

#14 of 50 Garrett Lundy

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Posted August 08 2007 - 11:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR
Huh? Rolex was around for many years before the 80s. The same for golf and wine.
Rolex nearly put themselves out of business when they invented the Qysterquartz™ battery-powered quartz watch. From 1968-1973 it cost about as much as a small car BUT then Seiko and Citizen found the mystical voodoo of learning to mass-produce their quartz product and sell it for a couple bucks. Suddenly everybody and their mother is going bankrupt, Tissot buy practically every Swiss manufacturer of watches (and regroup under the Swatch banner (Swatch yourself!), Rolex is able to escape this fate because Piessman & Hartley write The Yuppie Handbook. The book is intended as a tongue-in-cheek jibe at the Yuppie consumerist culture but people actually start using it like a lifestyle instruction manual. Hollywood catches-on and overnight Rolex turns from military wear to status symbol.

"What is this piece of crap? I told you I wanted a Rolex! A ROLEX!"
"But Dad..."
"Shut Up!"


Golf and wine are similar; without their yuppie status link in the 80s wine would never have exploded with 50,000 seperate Californian vineyards (Their once-staple customers being the newly-wed and nearly-dead), and Golf would likely rival Fencing for sport obscurity. Well, Yuppies saved golf, but it took a Tiger to make it the national passtime.
"Did you know that more people are murdered at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once. Lower temperatures, people are easy-going, over 92 and it's too hot to move, but just 92, people get irritable."

#15 of 50 andrew markworthy

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Posted August 09 2007 - 05:34 AM

Garrett, you are right. In the UK in the 80s, the Rolex was suddenly *the* thing to have. And wine consumption went through the roof over here. Previously, wine was something you had on special occasions. Suddenly, even the humblest Brit supermarket not only had a wine section, but a section itemised by wine region. The UK, believe it or not, is the heaviest consumer (per capita) of champagne in the world (or at least it was a couple of years ago).

Golf, however, did not enjoy a yuppie status over here. Squash, real tennis (i.e. not lawn tennis) and yachting were the sports of choice. Golf was seen as rather old-fashioned. There's a booming golf industry in the UK, but it's from other sources than yuppies.

And how have we come so far without mentioning - the *FILOFAX*? In my defence, all I can say is that I had one before they were fashionable. I used to go out with a sweet girl who was v. religious and we regularly had lunch in a cafe in a Christian bookstore. Until the boom in personal organiser popularity, Filofax enjoyed steady but modest sales to two improbably contrasting groups - army officers and religious ministers. This store stocked Filofaxes and as a postgraduate psychology student, needing to keep track of a plethora of research participants, the device was ideal. It seems incredible now, but most people had ever seen one before, and quite a few lecturers and fellow students bought one after seeing mine. Then it became a yuppie item and a lot of the enjoyment went out of it. Posted Image

Quote:
I've long suspected that JFK would not be held in nearly as much esteem had he not been assassinated
I've said this in another thread before, but when JFK visited London, the police expected massive crowds because the media idolised him (largely, one suspects, because compared with our own Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, *anybody* would have looked dynamic). However, the crowds didn't turn out in force. The reason being - Londoners remembered his daddy.

#16 of 50 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 09 2007 - 06:21 AM

Quote:
(largely, one suspects, because compared with our own Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, *anybody* would have looked dynamic).

Now, now. At least MacMillan had a sense of humor. (Or "humour" Posted Image) While visiting JFK in the States, MacMillan spent an evening cruising up and down the Potomac on the presidential yacht Sequoia. They were discussing the already dicey situation in southeast Asia, where the west was supporting various corrupt leaders on the theory that they were at least better than the communists who were seeking to replace them. At one point the Georgetown University crew team came rowing by. MacMillan stood up, turned to Kennedy and said, "Oh, look. The Laotian navy!" Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#17 of 50 Russell G

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Posted August 09 2007 - 06:25 AM

forget about fuzzy sweaters, what about the heat sensitive t-shirts that changed colours? Posted Image
My wallet cries me to sleep!
 
This post kills threads!


#18 of 50 mylan

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Posted August 09 2007 - 07:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
forget about fuzzy sweaters, what about the heat sensitive t-shirts that changed colours? Posted Image

Yeah, I had one of those, it went from orange to pink (!!!) and the problem with it was that everyone knew when your underarms were sweating. I think Union Bay made them. I did draw the line at parachute pants though!Posted Image
I was sixteen in 1980 and graduated in 82, I loved that decade. MTV still played videos and hair bands ruled.
I know enough to know I don't know enough!

#19 of 50 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 09 2007 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
forget about fuzzy sweaters, what about the heat sensitive t-shirts that changed colours? Posted Image

They were just an attempt to recycle the Mood Ring from the '70s. Posted Image

#20 of 50 Holadem

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Posted August 09 2007 - 09:09 AM

The 80s were the decade of my childhood (2-12).

Things I associate with the 80s (Note that I grew under different latitudes).


Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Manuel Amoros, Jean Tigana, Zico, Socrates, Rumminigue, Voeller and countless other Soccer stars of the era -- Mostly of the 1986 World Cup
Madonna
Michael Jackson
Johnny Haliday, Michel Sardou, Mark Lavoine and countless other french artists
Kassav, Experience 7
Iran-Iraq War
Lebanese War
Chad-Lybia War
Western Sahara Wars
Intifadah
Yasser Arafat (saw him in person)
Jean Paul II (saw him in person)
Ronald Raegan
Margaret Tatcher
Francois Mitterand
Mouamar Al Khadaffi
Apartheid
Pieter Botha
Thomas Sankara
Famine in Ethiopia
Dynasty, Roots, Shaka Zulu, Diff'rent Strokes, the Cosby Show
Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Matt Willander, Steffi Graff, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova
Karl Lewis
Alain Prost, Ayrton Seina (F1 Drivers)
Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, King Kong Bundy etc... (WWF)
Rambo, Commando, Missing in Action
Kung Fu Flicks
Atari 2600

--
H


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