2011-11-24 / Viewpoint

Remembering the ’80s — totally!


Gary Gould — Managing Editor Gary Gould — Managing Editor I am a child of the ’80s. I wish I could actually say I was born in the ’80s, but I wasn’t. I did “grow up” as a teenager in that bright and flashy time period and although there are times I’d rather not think about it (parachute pants and Howard the Duck), the 1980s were a lot of fun.

I recently had reason to think about those years, having spent some time hanging out with old high school buddies of mine, but also by reading something my friend Chris Reed posted on his Facebook page the other day.

He posed the statement: “I miss the ’80s, back when...”

After reading it, the statement began to call to me and I jumped on board with my thoughts. Here’s a little of what Chris had to say first:

• A phone was just a phone.

• Gas was 97 cents a gallon.

• MTV played music videos.

• People used paper money.

• Kids walked around with a $5 Rubik’s cube, not a $100 (video game).

My responses were a bit more, how shall we say, sarcastic. It is my second-language, you know:

• Cellphones were called “carphones” and they were about the size and weight of a brick.

• You could watch “The A-Team” on TV and they would fire 1,000 rounds per episode and never hit one person.

• Star Wars fans had a complete, unaltered trilogy of movies, before the mad director got a hold of new technology to make it bigger and better.

• You listened to the radio all day with a tape recorder ready to go so that when that one song came on you wanted to tape, you could record and save it.

• Dressing in pastel T-shirts with a sport jacket with big shoulder pads and a pair of loafers without socks was cool.

• You could drive a Delorean, equipped with a flux capacitor, at 88 mph, producing the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity needed for time travel.

• Action stars were cool — Bruce

Willis had hair, Arnold

Schwarzenegger had muscles and

Sylvester Stallone didn’t look like someone stretched his face back and painted on his eyebrows making him look perpetually surprised. • Some genius predicted guitars would be replaced by electronic synthesizers.

• Cookie Monster wasn’t forced to be a vegetarian. Happy Meals didn’t contain apples and the only public service announcement in cartoons was on G.I. Joe when the animated soldiers delivered a message and then said: “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!”

• Partying like it was “1999” seemed so far away.

• Desktop computers were so big they took up most of the desktop, came with the screen and keyboard molded together into one unit and had display screens which were usually black with green or bluish-white letters.

• Al Gore was still thinking up the Internet.

• Many people still used a rotary phone.

• We still took the lessons learned from Schoolhouse Rock and ABC Afterschool Specials in the 1970s and applied them to our lives.

I could go on, but I’m out of space. Maybe I’ll revisit this subject someday with a look back at being a little kid in the 1970s. Pretty sure I could go on and on with that one too.

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