So my buddy, Tim, must've been high, drunk on Miller Lite or something & he was screwin' off on his iphone from an undisclosed location in Amsterdam or some place of that nature. Shares some shithole of a YouTube music video (circa 1985) on the stupid Facebook. The nasty little man with a guitar pops out of the TV and kicks the cigarette out of the couch sitting loser's hand. Yup, this is good. Oh look, open the fridge and the band of minuscule men are rock'n like you can still rock in America - oh yeah, all right - "Might as well go for a soda, nobody drowns & nobody dies."
What in the hell? Some anti-drug song like that old lady, that "Just Say No" astrology consulting old chick would like?
I hate the 1980s. I think it was a shit decade. Worst of the 20th century.
In an alternative universe, the hostages would've been released early and Jimmy Carter would've been elected to a second term, the solar panels would've remained on the White House roof, MTV would've never been invented and the Minnesota-bred suburban-violently young-sloshed & pissed-bastardly-magnificent Replacements would be heralded as the greatest musical act of the decade.
But we don't live in that world. Never did. The whole godforsaken decade started with my favorite rockstar getting killed and my least favorite "great communicator" getting elected President.
|Hall & Oates had a string of hits in 1982. Fuck Hall & Oates.|
There's a sort of plasticity, a phony, non-real quality to the '80s. The social consciousness of 20 years earlier wasn't just out of style in the '80s, it was repudiated, looked down upon, as if it were not only naive, but stupid to be concerned about poverty, nuclear weapons, racism, the "greenhouse effect," or women's rights. Making a contribution was about selling your soul to the corporation. College wasn't about debate and enriching one's self intellectually, but a step-ladder toward buying a Porsche. Instead of a President who looked like a movie star and inspired young people with world transformative ideals, you had a real life movie star President (albeit, a B-lister) winning the affections of would-be Alex P. Keatons by promulgating shallow ideas about greed, wealth, self interest above all others, imperialism and faux "morning in America" patriotism.
Pop culture was a reflection of that fictive conservative chic quality. Pop songs about materialism. MTV image trumping musical substance. Vacuous pop songs all around, the most glaring monstrosities released in the worst year of my life - 1982. Big hair bands that were an ersatz version of '70s hard rock. Movies and TV shows that glorified the lives of yuppies.
I said 1982 was the worst year of my life. I remember one day in seventh grade, I dared sit at the "popular kids" table. This guy - the kind of guy who liked to nickname his dick and trash all the girls he claimed to be banging - told me, "Get out. Take a hike." A girl was sitting there, watching, saying nothing and to this day I can't conjecture whether she approved or not. "Okay, I'll leave." Shit like that, you remember the rest of your life. Any time I had a bad day in junior high or high school, which was often, that son of a whore was always in the mix somewhere. I understand he's a devoted family man now, a good Christian. All reformed. He actually had the audacity to send me a facebook friend request and that'll never happen. It's okay, God'll forgive him.
Am I just projecting my own inner turmoil on an entire period? I concede that may be some of it, but for the most part, I'd say it was just coincidence that the worst year in my life happened to also be the worst year in the history of pop culture.
If you want to go down to the heart and soul, the deepest core of the '80s, I don't think it's Michael Jackson, the Berlin Wall coming down, MTV, Reagan, Big Hair bands or any of that.
I think it's Rick Astley.
"Never gonna give you up, never gonna say goodbye." Ever been rickrolled? Sounds dirty and it is in a banal, joyless and de-evolutionary sort of way. It's vapid, devoid of soul, disposable, suffused with synthesizers and in its own way, fascist and evil. Rick Astley, D-list, flash in the pan, nothing but a big annoying voice like grunt huffing from within a rectally planted microchip lost in moussed, protuberant hair.
Rick (shitting) Astley. The decade deserves no better.