The 80s, myth and reality?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Trenchfriend, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I found the 1980's pretty awful - I disliked the music and TV shows, liked some of the films, hated the clothes - but they were some relief from the more gaudy polyester aberrations of the 1970's.

    I remember the 1980's as being a kind of vulgar pseudo-noir, style over substance era, with pastel colours and Michael Mann lighting everywhere you looked.

    The 1980's were the greed is good culture and presented us manufacturing jobs going overseas, unemployment and long traditions left to starve. Pretty much establishing the culture we have now. Unless you were in finance, where it was cocaine, Rolex watches, postmodern architecture and jail time. Pretty much like today too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Watching a rerun of "Star Trek" today is equivalent in elapsed time to watching a one-reel Mary Pickford Biograph in 1966. The mind boggles at the thought.
     
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  3. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I first saw the Rolling Stones live in '81 and the "they're too old" jokes were already being made and that was ~20 years after the band started touring/became a band.

    They are still touring today - 38 years after I first saw them when they were "too old."

    It does boggle the mind.

    "Happy Days" hit TV about 20yrs after the time period of the show - the show, itself, is now ~45 years old.

    Last one. My first car was a '67 Chevy that I bought in '80. The car seemed old, but it was no older then than a 2006 car is today.
     
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  4. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    Al Bundy, working-class legend since 32 years!
     
  5. Trenchfriend

    Trenchfriend I'll Lock Up

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    But the pleated pants were surely ultra-comfortable, right?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Your last item about the car brings back memories. My first a 1956 Meteor two door hardtop bought in 1965 seemed old then but it was only 9 years old. My present Hyundai is a 2010 and the same age differential and still seems current, at least to me.
     
  7. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    As one ages, time becomes shorter. When I was ten, a decade was literally a lifetime. In a few weeks I'll be 45, and I have no idea where the last decade went.
     
  8. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I just found out that two of my elementary school through to high school friends passed away recently - 50 years old. One, Paul Simpson, I'd kept in contact with by phone, as he'd moved about 8 hours north of Sydney halfway through 8th grade, back in 1982. He had diabetes. I hadn't spoken to him in a while, and I'm not on Facebook, and had the shock of a lady I went to high school with tell me passed away at the start of the month.

    The other was Amanda Gammage, who was my high school crush until she left school in 1984. I haven't seen her for 35 years, and still it felt like a kick in the guts, maybe because I remember them both as teenagers, young and vibrant and with so much promise for their lives. Has that much time really gone by? And while I mourn for them, it feels somehow also that I'm mourning the loss of what was, for us, an age of innocence and hope.
     
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  9. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

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    One of the things that kept me connected to the past was that many of the cars and clothes of the 1980s were clearly lousy. My friends and I all bought interesting clothing at second hand shops. Second hand 30 to 50 years old clothes were, as we all know, all the rage at the time. With the onset of poorly engineered emission controls and the general malaise that hit the car business because of that and other regulation we flocked to cars from earlier times. In the 1980s I had '60s Mustangs, a Falcon Ranchero, a BMW 2800cs and a 1948 Ford Super Deluxe. The 20 year old Mustangs clearly bested anything on the road (at least that I could come close to affording) when it came to performance and style. In my life the Nostalgia or Noir style of the '80s was kind of a feedback loop, with the deficits of 1980s products pushing me to invest in quality used items. I wonder if that happened to other people too?
     
  10. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    Indeed. I have been on a recently started Facebook group of memories of my hometown. The days and weeks drag on forever sometimes but the decades have just evaporated like mist. So many gone, so much unrealized potential.
     
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  11. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I had as little to do as possible with both the merchandise and the philosophy of the 80s -- everything I owned was second-hand (nobody said "vintage" then, it was "second-hand") or scrounged from my grandparents' house after they died because I couldn't see any reason or need to buy anything new when there was all this perfectly useful stuff there for the taking or selling for peanuts. I bought a 1930s toaster second-hand around 1979 or 80 for $1, and I'm still using it today. I bought a 1937 radio in 1984 for $5 and I'm listening to it as I write this. I bought a second-hand 1940s refrigerator for $50 in 1988, and I'm about to go out and get a slice of left-over pizza out of it for my supper.

    I didn't see any reason to buy "new stuff" then -- and I couldn't have afforded it even if I'd wanted to. And now going on forty years later, I still don't see any reason to buy new stuff when this old stuff is still working just fine. I was a functional adult thruout the 1980s, and remember it all -- but "The Eighties" as a state of mind was, to me, something that happened to other people.
     
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  12. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

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    Regarding 'new stuff' in the 1980s, I was a consumer of quite a lot of it back in the 1980s and still remember the thrill of buying brand new things that I had saved up for. I still have several items that I purchased in those far off halcyon days of the 1980s. Yep, I refer to them as halcyon because that was the era I went from being a teenager to being a young adult. School, college, a couple of periods of unemployment, then working the cr*p shifts at a local supermarket. I also didn't have much money but I enjoyed spending what I had. I still have my old Philips boombox, resplendent in its 80s colors of red and orange strips decorating the black plastic, an Olympus XA 35mm camera and even a pair of Ray Bans which I couldn't really afford but they were the bees knees in those far off days so I just had to buy 'em. There are a lot of negative vibes about that decade here but, sorry, it was a darn good decade for me.
     
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  13. belfastboy

    belfastboy My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The 1980's were good to me. My wife and I left our just starting careers in 1978 and toured Europe and Africa for 18 months. Returning home in late 1979 we picked up our careers and went to work. I dedicated myself to my career and made great gains. It lasted until the early 1990's when we left our careers at the then peak and headed back to Europe. The 80's decade was a time of earning money and yes, spending it. We did a lot of accumulation including a house but the huge upside is that the work we did in the 80's afforded us a comfortable retirement. Not uber rich in monetary terms but we have all that we need and a little extra to indulge my acquisitive nature.
     
  14. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Songs and memories: There are some songs that, when heard on the radio or on a movie soundtrack etc, instantly transport me back to my adolescence. Ant Music and Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants take me back to my first year of high school and sparked my first real interest in pop/rock music. The same goes for Whip It by Devo and Counting the Beat by the Swingers.

    Kajagoogoo's Too Shy and Let's Dance by David Bowie make me reminisce about school dances in the gym. Just a riff from Madonna's Like a Virgin or Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride and I'm in year 10 art class. The teacher allowed us to have the radio on when we were painting our major works for the year. Our Lips Are Sealed by the Go-Gos makes me think of summer and Billy Idol's Hot in the City transports me back to late 1982 and trips to the beach with my friends, an arduous journey on the old 'red rattler' trains back then. Ray Parker Jnr had a song out in '83 called The Other Woman which, along with songs like You Should Hear How She Talk About You (Melissa Manchester) take me back to fun days hanging around town with my friends before walking down to karate classes in the El Toro Industrial estate.

    I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me by Nik Kershaw and Billy Idol's White Wedding and Rebel Yell remind me of welding a bird aviary with my Dad in 1984, when I was 15. Great memories. And if I want to go back to the 10th grade, all I need to do is hear Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun and She Bop, Purple Rain by Prince, Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark and songs from the Footloose soundtrack like the title song and Let's Hear It For The Boy by Deniece Williams.

    There are many, many more, I could be here all day, but the point is that the memories are so strong and triggered when I hear those songs. There are lots of songs by Australian artists from that time too I haven't mentioned as the broad international membership here wouldn't recognise them, but they were a huge part of those years too. I will simply give honourable mention to Split Enz (really a New Zealand group), Mental As Anything, Australian Crawl, Midnight Oil and the Hoodoo Gurus. They were all part of the soundtrack to my fantastic youth.
     

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