I am not proud to say I am a product of the 80’s. Or am I? I haven’t decided yet. LIST TIME!
- 80’s music! Cheesy, full of neon colors and BIG HAIR! (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Queen, early rap and hip hop)
- Cartoons! Old school Optimus Prime, Papa Smurf, Jem, She-Ra
- Toys. Carebears, My Little Pony & Cabbage Patch Kids. ‘Nuff Said!
- Early technology. Go IMB! Commodore, Apple!
- Records were transitioning into cassette tapes. Goodbye, 8-Track!
- Early video game systems like Atari and Nintendo. Come on, we didn’t know any better!!!
- Politics: Berlin Wall came down, end of the Cold War
- “Just Say No”
- Movies: ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones,Back to the Future, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Die Hard
- TV: MTV, MacGyver, Miami Vice, Charlies Angels, Night Rider,Dallas, Dynasty. Growing Pains, Full House, Cosby Show, Who’s the Boss, Growing Pains, Cheers, Golden Girls
- 80’s music! Cheesy,synthesized, full of neon colors, shoulder pads, ballad rock, spandex and BIG HAIR!
- Politics. The Cuban Missile Crisis, Regan/ Bush, Russia, all the damn wars ( Iran-Iraq,Falklands war,Tiananmen Square)
- Space Shuttle Challenger exploding
- The Chernobyl disaster
- The Exxon Valdez spill
- The deaths of John Lennon and Marvin Gaye
- The beginning of the AIDS epidemic
If you are unfamiliar with any of these things, then you were probably born in the 90’s, and need to do a little “Googling” to really get the true picture of how the 80’s were.
Now that I have set the tone, if you were a product of the late 70’s, early 80’s,this story will be funny:
I needed to go to the Library to begin collecting materials for a project I am working on. Thanks to the Library’s COAST system, I found several books, articles and materials that I was looking for. One of the items was an audio recording of a conference I was interested in. So, I requested the cassette tape to be retrieved and reserved for me at the Circulation Desk.
I approached the Circulation desk, and a very nice, young girl greeted me. No doubt an Undergrad, she appeared to be 18-20 years old. I told her that I had reserved a cassette tape, and it should be waiting for me. She left, and returned shortly with the tape in her hand.
She then attempted in every way to open the cassette case, and I watched her, highly amused. She then looked at me and asks ” Do you know how to open this? I don’t know how these things work.” It was all I could not to burst out laughing. I felt so OLD right then. I took the case, easily popped it open, handed it back to her, and she checked out the rest of my materials.
I walked away with the cassette tape in my hand, and laughed to myself all the way to the A/V room. I couldn’t help think “Have I really just hit that stage where kids now days honestly don’t know what a cassette tape is? If so, what else do they not know?
For those of us who grew up in the 80’s,isn’t it funny how we peers can quote Caddyshack and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
We know what the first video played on MTV was. We KNOW how progressive AHA’s “Take on Me” Video was. We really do know the meaning of “Macguyverd”. We know who KIT was, and who Chunk was. We won’t admit it, but we owned a Rubik’s Cube, and rolled a Slinky down a flight of stairs. We played Oregon Trail at school and thought it was the coolest thing ever ( at least I did).
It was so strange having this feeling of “old” wash over me. It sucks, actually. I feel sad that kids nowdays have very little understanding or grasp of the decade that helped spawn the 90’s. It laid the foundation, and set the tone, and yet I feel that they have no idea about it. That makes me sad.
So I took my tape to the A/V room, where I had a date with an another relic of the 80’s, the stereo. Think about it. How many people have stereos in their homes anymore. I mean real, dual cassette playing, perhaps even a record player on the top, and equalizer in the front console, stereo? Have we not all transitioned into iHomes, idocks and the such?
Playing the tape in the stereo and listening to that familiar high pitch whine of re-winding it brought me back to those days where we all made mix tapes for our friends, recorded the Top 10 songs from the radio, and played our tapes on our bright yellow Walkmans. You know! You remember! Oh, the good times……
Those may not have always been the good ol’ days, but after careful consideration, I think the 80’s were just bitchin!