« let the demonizing begin | Main | the "far" on either side is too far »

Eighties - I'm living in the Eighties

I was laying on the couch all weekend watching a marathon of VH1's "I Love the 80's."

ty1331.jpgI think I figured out why I am so immature sometimes. See, I stopped maturing in the 80's. I graduated high school in 1980, 17 years old and ready to make my mark on the world. By 1982 I realized that I had been ripped off; that the children of the 80's were getting something I never did; a decade rife with pop culture and fads that made the 70's look as bland as cardboard.

Oh, yea. The 70's were as bland as cardboard.

I got hippies, protest songs and male pop idols; 80's kids got punkers and new wave.

Think Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy and Peter Paul and Mary vs. Elvis Costello, Dead Milkmen and Billy Idol. Advantage: 80's.

Movies? 1985 alone had The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future, Goonies, Day of the Dead, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and My Life as a Dog, Real Genius and Weird Science. I got The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Cat From Outer Space. Advantage: 80's (this depsite the fact that Star Wars came out in the 70's) update Andy is right: Escape to Witch Mountain ranks as one of the best kid's movies ever.

No contest on the toys. I was stuck playing withadventure.jpg Ants in the Pants, Barrel of Monkeys, Shrinky Dinks and an Atari. 80's kids got Coleco Vision, the Game Boy, Transformers and Ninja Turtles. Advantage: 80's, for this spectacular game alone.

80's kids had Ninja Turtles and Count Duckula and Fraggle Rock. They had Ghostbusters and He-Man and Wrestlemania. They had Defender. Ghosts n Goblins. Mario Brothers. Q*Bert. Zaxxon. And the greatest of the Star Wars series, Empire Strikes Back, came out in the 80's.

Sure, the 80's had big hair and Sebastian Bach. They had acid washed jeans and the movie Gymkata. When you weigh those transgressions against the video games and cartoons, you can forgive that decade for Great White and Capezio shoes. I'll even forgive about "We are the World." It was the decade of excess, after all.

Yes, I suffer from decade envy. Because I was forced to wear bellbottoms and ponchos to grade school while my 80's counterparts wore Levis and Converse hi-tops in all different colors. I've been suffering this envy for the past twenty-something years.

Excuse me while I go play with my Transformers.

Update: Someone mentioned the Commodore 64. Another reason why the 80's rocked. I had the Vic 20 first, then upgraded to a 64 when it became available.

c64.jpgThe text adventures alone kept me busy for hours a day. When they game out with graphic adventures, I nearly passed out from the sheer joy. I also learned BASIC to write my own word processing program, as well as make some real third-rate games.

Eventually I gave up on my own game making skills and spent my time playing Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Below the Root.

Comments

I used to love my little football game - nothing like the gritty realism of a couple of red dashes slowly beeping their way across the screen in mock battle.

I think you're neglecting one of the finest films of the 70s though - and don't badmouth the Shrinky Dinks, lady.

Thanks Michele, now I really want to play a game of Q*Bert. Where do i find it!?

Michele,

I'm about the same age as you, and when I tell people how bad the '70's were, they make all kinds of excuses. Until Star Wars, no one in Hollywood could make a movie with a happy ending. The clothes were bad, the music was bad and the presidents were really bad. I hope I never have to live through a decade like that again.

Man, the 70's sucked. The eighties were so much better in general. But I gotta disagree on the movies, Star Wars, Jaws, The Exorcist, Excalibur, Close Encounters ... all I can remember in the 80's was Indiana Jones, wait!! ... didn't "This is Spinal Tap" come out in the 80's? hmmm, maybe the 80's did have it in the movie category? scratches head .... Nahhhh, I forgot about "Holy Grail" and I'm sure that was a 70's release. Sorry, I got to stick with the 70's for the movies. But the rest of it music, cool toys, life in general ... 80's definitely ruled.

And yeah that little football game was great!! Back in the day (ok, I'm feeling old now).

I graduated from high school in 1990, but don't envy me.

Every school photo from 1984 to 1989 features frizzy, blow-dried, huge-bangs hair and a CARDIGAN.

My teen years were spent in extremely tight Levis that I pegged at the ankles, penny loafer shoes (but I put dimes in them), and a head full of hairspray, toxic to all who passed. This was neither fun nor comfortable. I used to PRAY for ponchos and bellbottoms to come back into style.

I had to listen to Duran Duran.

I was expected to idolize MOLLY RINGWALD. puke!

I am enjoying the VH-1 series, though. Helps me forget what a dork I was back then. Heh.

Like Michele, I graduated HS in 1980... I'll never forget the debate that went on and on about our prom theme song... The debate was between Kenny Loggins "This is it".. and Pink Floyd "Another Brick in the Wall pt 2"..

But let's not forget that the '70s gave us; M.A.S.H., Archie Bunker, Saturday Nite Live and let's not forget Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, Laugh-in, and everybody's favorite... Gilligan's Island..

Come on folks... The '70s were not THAT bad....

The 70s had KISS, and I was a member of their Army, so I cannot speak poorly of that decade.

I did, however, enjoy the 80s more overall, if only because of all the slutty chicks who dressed like Madonna and Duran Duran. 'Duranies', I think they were called.

hey... i couldn't find your email on here... what happened to the banned book project??

I was a full-fledged member of the Kiss Army, also.

I like to forget that sometimes.

Ooops... forgot about KISS... Talk about a great first concert.... AC/DC opening up for KISS..... woof

I graduated in 1980 too. The '70's were hell. And Don Kirschner's Rock Concert was supposed to be a fine show, but I could never endure listening to the man speak. A period after every word, I swear -- half the show was taken up by him slo-o-o-owly introducing each band.

And lets not forget the Mandatory Seventies Colors: avocado green, tomato sauce red, mustard yellow ("gold"), and dogpoop brown. You could not get anything in any other shade of green but avocado.

Click here for an emulator that plays Mattell Football, Basketball, and a bunch of other handheld games.

Don't hate me because I was a child of the 80s!

I graduated from HS in 1991. This means that most of my growing up happened in the 80s. However, it does not mean I was saved from early years in the 70s - I have a distinct memory of wearing burnt orange tights with a red, orange, and yellow plaid jumper. Oh the shame....

Speaking of Kiss...did you see the American Bandstand 50th Anniversary Special? Kiss's appearance serves as a timely reminder that exposing middle-aged chests should be illegal.

I caught several episodes yesterday and was amused and horrified by the reminders of my life in the 80s. I graduated HS in 1985 and college in 1989. Like Rachel, I remember sadly the big, crunchy hair and peg-legged jeans. And personally, I think the music of the 70s was better than the 80s. I hated the new wave stuff.

Don't think I wasn't on the couch all of yesterday, completely entranced by the marathon. That, and a viewing of The Wedding Singer, made my day complete. Sometimes life is good.

Well, I graduated from HS in '73 but I pretty much missed the 70's (it's a long story...no I was not in a drug or alcohol induced stupor...okay, I was drunk a couple of times...). Anyway, I can't make a comparison, but the 80's wins for me for one reason alone - the Commodore 64. IMHO, if it weren't for the C-64 PC's wouldn't have taken off like they did. And the C-64 made PC games what they are today. The only thing that's improved in PC gaming since then are the graphics. I'm waiting for the first PC game using MASSIVE, now that will be something worth owning.

I'm in the age bracket that made it through both decades... honestly it could have been worse. i was (am) a total product of the 80s. i feel worse for the people who grew up in the 90s... the decade nothing happened.

Oh, more 80s games here.

What is it about the 80s and Christmas? They've just finished spooling through the 'I love 1980-blah' series in Britain, and, yeah, 'the Wedding Singer' wasn't far behind.

Are the 80s now the officially endorsed mecca decade for nostalgia now? Are the baby boomers finally dying out, with the tambourine shelved in favour of the drum machine?

No puffer skirts for me please, I can't be bothered with all that leg-shaving malarkey...

Anyone who has fond memories of Colecovision can find a really cool, easy to use emulator for that right here. You can find Roms just about anywhere. I was playing Montezuma's Revenge and Donkey Kong, Jr. just the other day.

Still can't get MAME (an arcade emulator) to work on my computer, though.

Oops, just noticed Andy's link page contained a link to the same thing. That's an awesome page, Andy. Just bookmarked it.

More stuff leading to lower productivity in 2003!

This was a very unsung game from Infocom: Leather Goddesses of Phobos - man, I remember the joy of being a young lad and looking forward to the leather-clad goodness (via beautifully rendered text, of course). I thought that was some great stuff.

Of course, now we have the internet and free porn. Not that I'm complainin' or nothin'.

I graduated in 1985, I remember Head Bangers ball- it was all about MTV. I did have Atari and my first REAL big concert was Motley Crue & Ozzy at Nassau Colliseum! When I woke up this morning St. Elmo's Fire was on too! In high school we longed for the 70's, worshipped The Sex Pistols and Led Zeppelin. It is fun to look back.

My first computer was a Vic-20, and I still have a complete C-64 system in my garage. I used to write really cool games in BASIC with 3.5K of ram on the Vic-20 and store them on my cassette tape drive. Man, I'm old.

I graduated from HS in 1976. I now teach at a large California university. What freaks me out is that all the same ugly polyester crap I used to wear when I was 16 is back in fashion here. Orlon cling tops, lace-front peasant tops, low-rise bellbottoms, platform slider sandals and clogs. ARRGGGHHHHH...next thing you know, girls are going to start ironing their hair.

BTW Mark, Gilligan's Island had its original run from 1964-1967.

I still have a C64/128 in the original box! Lots of games for it too. This thread has me ready to take it out, hook it up and jam on some "Pirates!". Also, the original "F-19 Stealth Project."

I gotta stop..... eyes getting misty.....

BASIC! Remember how we used to type our name or some stupid word or curse word and make scroll across the screen! We thought that was such an accomplishment. I feel like we're becoming the Jetsons. Come to think of it, I could use a Rosie...

Kevin: try EasyEmu for MAME assistance.

Also, for the people dissing Duran Duran, I defy you to write a better pop song than "Rio". Sure, most everything they did afterwards was downhill, but damn. The bassline alone is pure solid gold.

I graduated HS in '89. I was a Duranie when I was 13. Pegged jeans, tucked into the socks, natch. Actually, I listened to EVERYTHING. Went to new wave/punk clubs in '85/'86... was listening to Metallica and Slayer when I graduated (any readers here from Houston who remember Z Rock??-- best station EVER). And listened to pop and classic rock and everything inbetween. Music was like the most important thing to me. I guess I was probably considered a "poseur" (especially in the hardcore scene... those people could be VICIOUS about how you looked or what you listened to)... but I think I was DIVERSE!

AQUANET.

And I remember Christmas '82, I was 11, and Santa brought us INTELLIVISION. We (my dad and I) used to play that for hours.

But I also LOVED my EZ Bake Oven and Weeble Wobble Ranch ('weebles wobble but they don't fall down!') when I was little in the '70s!! And I STILL have my Baby Beans Doll.

I ALWAYS look back on the '80s fondly... but I've always wondered if it wasn't just because most of my teen years were then. But a part of me always knew it was really just a cool decade... especially for teens. (I also think the '70s were cool, for kids at least... Saturday morning cartoons... School House Rock!) The '80s were also the last decade for political INCORRECTNESS.

Dude! Adventure for Atari! I think I blogged about that recently. Ever get the magic crystal ball and sneak into the secret author's page? yeah, that's right.

Of course I have! I was an Adventure master.

I was 12-22 in the 80s, so I call that "my" decade. My brother was 5 years older than me and didn't get into the video games, mtv, metal, new wave, parachute pants, etc. He was always 'different' than me and to this day I don't feel as if I'm on the same wavelength as people only 5-6 older than me. Something about experiencing more of the 70s and less of the 80s caused a change in people from those age groups. Anyone agree or am I crazy?