Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Nostalgia for the 80s

One of the things that tickles me and confuses me in equal measure is the current fascination with, and romanticizing of, the 1980s. From Stretch Armstrong to the Thunder Cats, I can understand the strange relationship that 1980s popular culture might engender. But to take it as far as to bearing actual nostalgia for the time of double-digit interest rates, state-sponsored racism and egregious sexism, the hegemonic sway of the religious right (who were neither) and conspicuous consumption seems delusional. This was the height of the arms race, and, until recently, the closest we had gotten to the destruction of the planet by nuclear war, according to the Minutes Til Midnight clock by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Perhaps I 'm just very GenX here, but I share with my age group a bit of PTSD for being old enough to have to live by the rules and policies enacted by rulers I was too young to vote against. Please remember that Reagan was the head of the Hollywood House of Un-American Activities and delivered names gleefully to Congress during the Red Scare, laying waste to his professional competition in the process. And let's not gloss over the fact that George Bush, his running mate and later 41st president of the united states, was the head of the CIA.

1984 indeed.

What do the 1980s mean to you? What informs and shapes these impressions you have of the era?