OK, MTV isn't so great today, especially with the "M" part so conspicuously absent, but its debut in the 80's changed music, fashion, and pop culture forever.
80's college radio was a testbed for the first rumblings of that revolution against Dinosaur Rock. There aren't many college stations left that are truly cutting edge. Most today are a forum for unpaid Communications majors to force all five of their listeners to endure their childhood Alvin and the Chipmunks albums while they work to accrue enough experience to be unpaid interns at commercial Dinosaur Rock FM stations.
Before the arguably brilliant albums Automatic For The People and Monster, REM was truly one of the gems of 80's music. Reckoning, their follow up to the murky Murmur was at once esoteric and evocative.
That Girl of the 80's, the Material Girl has reinvented herself at least 10 times. Who's counting?
(also see "Yuppies" below) These days, fashion designers create baggy, understated suits in colors like "oatmeal" that look like you made them yourself from a Simplicity pattern. In the 80's, you wanted everyone to know that you probably spent too much on everything.
First popularized in the US by Richard Gere's character in American Gigolo, this suit was the thinking man's choice for conspicuous consumption.
John Hughes' flagship of his teen film oeuvre was more a language than a film for the teens of suburbia. It also unleashed upon the world that plague known as The Brat Pack.
We got a little older, a little angrier and we moved from The Breakfast Club to this, a "punk" comedy that was actually funny. Coupled with a raucous soundtrack, this was one of the first movies to make it into the "cult classics" bin at the video store. Children of the 80's dig this movie. Did you know that the guy with the hat in The Monkees was the executive producer?
Some examples here include X, Black Flag (before Henry Rollins became a weenie), Victim's Family, Suicidal Tendencies, Bomb (their minor hit: "I loved you, then I died").
Joust, Dig Dug, Asteroids, Galaga.
It's been a while since this little fad came our way. Live the dream here.
He never was the same after The Unfortunate Incident, but the Sesame Street on acid quality of Pee Wee's Playhouse gave us some classic TV, and he did the same on the screen in his Big Adventure. There are people out there who really, really miss him.
Those whiny yuppies everyone loved to hate.
What happened to the director of Eraserhead, and Blue Velvet? You wake up one day, and he's a schnook.
The Go-Go's and The Bangles are about the only 80's groups that actually sit in my CD player on a regular basis to this day.
The perfect meeting of conspicuous consumption and bad fashion. Miami Sound Machine, Miami Vice, and Scarface.
The Black Sabbath page has MIDIs of Black Sabbath songs. Does anyone else find this a little bit disturbing?
The car for those conspicuouly consuming.
We watched Dinosaur Rock heave around some and die in the 80's. But as long as there are teenagers, there will be people who wanna rock.
My current rant aside, the Macintosh was the first computer with an intuitive ease of use. Finally people could stop learning about computers and just use them. Too bad about the current House of Apple.
Currently enjoying a minor renaissance with the release of Scream, slasher films continue to be one of my all time favorite forms of entertainment. I'm embarassed to tell you that.
"What's your damage, Heather?"
There was nothing like "Highway to Hell" to get you through a shift at that dead end food service gig.
I wish more women would have hair like Madonna in her "Lucky Star" phase.
Before rap became a self serving spectacle with antisocial values, rap in the 80's was a self serving spectacle with antisocial values and hype beats.
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