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Friday, March 2, 2012

Like, Totally Tubular!

Secret secret, I've got a secret...

'I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin.
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM.
So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised.
I'm just a man who needed someone and somewhere to hide.' -Styx, Mr. Roboto (1983)

Actually my real secret secret is that I love all things 80's. I dont' know why. It was a cheesy decade with lots of super bad hairstyles and fashion dont's that seem to have seeped their way back into modern pop and sub culture.

As much as I think that the 1980's were bad, I also think that it was a time of relative affluence for America. Reagan-omics trickled down to many people and the super consumerist and materialist ideals swept middle class America into malls and into buying the hot electronics and technology of the time. By this I mean, walkmans, Apple II's, dust busters, and VHS players. This was a time of suburban security. If there was poverty and unrest, I certainly wasn't aware of it. The whole decade is like the Kim Wilde song 'Kids in America' from 1981.

Though, I may be the wrong person to ask. I was just a kids throughout the 80's. The song I just mentioned is like 10 months older than me. MTV is even exactly almost 4 months older than me. Despite that, I do consider myself an MTV brat. I was raised by MTV. I learned all about music from MTV, back in the days when they ONLY showed music. This was pre-reality television. Just about the only show I remember on MTV was 'The Real World'. Back in the 80's, though, they didn't even have that. I think they had a few game shows, but that was it.

However, I innocently remember the 80's because I was innocent. What I remember of the eighties is perms, shoulder pads, mesh and lace, three-tiered eye shadow, Swatch watches, cross shaped jewelry, and fist pumping (lots of fist pumping). Big hair, big coats, bigger attitudes..that's the 80's Koozbane!

Then there was the language. My fave is 'like, gag me with a spoon fur sure'. I didn't live in the Valley, but hearing people talk like that in the pseudo-surfer slang made me want to do so. The 1983 movie, 'Valley Girl' sold me on the valley girl chic thing going on. I used to watch this movie over and over during high school wishing that I had grown up in 1980's LA/Hollywood. I wanted to be part of the punk scene that Randy (played by Nicholas Cage then Cuppola) and his friend, Fred (played by Cameron Dye) were a part of. That whole raunchy seedy Hollywood punk/goth scene that Julie (played by Deborah Foreman) despises and comes to love.

It was 'Valley Girl' and the 1982 movie 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' which made me fantacize about beeing a teenager in eighties California with the surfing, mall culture, teeny bopping, and of course the mature lives these kids were living. I mean, no one in my neighborhood smoked pot. My babysitters weren't suddenly pregnant and out of options. I knew NO ONE like the characters in these 80's movies. Jeff Spicolli was my role model. He lived the dream of every 80's dude; ride a righteous wave and hang out with hot chicks. Even at age seven, this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Spicolli and Ferris Bueller were both my role models. The 1986 movie, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' is one of my all-time favorite movies from the 80's. I used to watch 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' a zillion times, especially when my babysitters came over to watch me. I would always watch the made for tv version, so I didn't really get the jokes. Later in life, when I watched the 'naughty' version, I suddenly understood the joke about turning a lump of coal into a diamond. It didn't quite make sense in the edited version.

Ferris was so cool. He skipped school, wore bitchin' clothes, did what he wanted, was Mr. Popularity, and still got the girl. That girl was super hot. I always pictured myself with a girlfriend like Sloan Peterson (played by Mia Sara); she was just the right kind of messed up (but in a cute 80's way) and looked good no matter what the situation (even if she had to pretend her grandmother was dead). Even his bitchy sister, Genie (played by Jennifer Grey) came to like her punk-ass rebellious brother. I seriously wanted to be just like these eighties versions of Marlon Brando, Peter Fonda, and James Dean.

In fact, the eighties was just like the movies of the late John Hughes's portrayed, all types of kids had a shot at great things. If you were an outcast or poor, you still got the rich guy at the end or ended up with the popular clique. Molly Ringwald played this character to a T, as in both 'Pretty in Pink' and 'Sixteen Candles' she ended up with beau-hunk rich dude at the end of the movie. Then in 'Breakfast Club' she got to play the rich bitch who ended up with the 'criminal' (Judd Nelson).

In fact, from the 1985 movie 'The Breakfast Club' we see five complete strangers (Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, and Anthony Michael Hall) show up for Saturday detention. They are different as different can be, I mean what does a 'princess' have to do with a 'nerd'? A 'basketcase' who eats Captain Crunch and Pixie Stix sandwiches get together with a wrestling jock who tapes boys' butt cheeks together, C'MON..get real! We learn from this movie, that if we put our differences aside and smoke a joint together, dance together, and come together for the common bond of giving a middle finger to authority (their HS principal, Mr. Vernon-Paul Gleason), then life is awesomely righteously tubular!

That ending scene sums it all up perfectly. As Simple Minds plays that 80's anthem 'Don't you Forget About Me', we hear the characters say:

Dear Mr. Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you're crazy for making us write an essay telling you who we think we are.
You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain,
and an athlete,
and a basketcase,
a princess,
and a criminal.

Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club.

BOOYAH! The 80's in a nutshell!

I don't know why but I look back at the 80's and think, damn, a decade that went away too fast. The movies tell us that summer camp, school, jobs, and parents are what we HAVE to do in life, but we can do these things by OUR OWN RULES. It's the 80's man, chill! That was totally the attitude.

Of course, I can sit here all day reminsicing about the trends, music, and culture that was the 80's. Some of my favorite things from that period:
~Garbage Pail Kids (my wife says that liking them is akin to liking lamps made from
human skin)
~Crocodile Mile (like Slip n' Slide but WAY cooler)
~Burple (a Kool-Aid like drink in an accordian plastic container)
~Thundercats and Silverhawks (hardly anyone remembers the latter)
~Pound Puppies, Teddy Ruxppin, and Bopples
~Lee press-on nails (I just find them f-in hilarious)
~Sunkist fruit snacks (especially the white yogurt ones)
~Saturday Morning Cartoons (yes, ALL of them)
~shows like 'The Facts of Life', 'Alf', 'Small Wonder', 'Out of This World',
'Punky Brewster', and 'The Cosby Show'

I could go on and on, but I will leave you with a photo montage tribute to the wonderfully totally tubular decade of the eighties. Like, fur sure!

Later days/better lays,


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