1. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51

    Calling all 80s kids

    Discussion in 'Research' started by tumblingdice, Feb 15, 2016.

    Hello, everyone :superhello:

    My short novel is set in the 80s (in the US) so I need info about that decade.

    I'm a 90s kid. I have some notion about what the 80s were like, but it mostly comes from movies, music and the like. I need a clearer picture from people who actually lived through it, specially if you were a young adult back then. My character is 22 years old when the story begins (1984).

    Specifically, information about the political climate, economics and gender dynamics of the 80s would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I was just a teen in the 80's, but I certainly remember the era well. I think one thing that it's almost impossible to overstate is how anxious people were about a supposedly-inevitable nuclear showdown between the US and the USSR. Alan Moore's "Watchmen" gives you a glimpse in to that paranoid world. There's a timeline of the Doomsday Clock, stating where its hands stood for every year since its inception. 1984 looks like a particularly anxiety-fueled year. It's also good to remember how in love much of America was with Ronald Reagan, who held out a message of hopeful American Exceptionalism with one hand, while intentionally pushing US/USSR relations to the breaking point with the other. Check out his "Morning In America" (1984) TV ad to see an example of his feel-good image.

    Reagan was the president who first pushed the idea of "supply-side economics," aka Reaganomics, which involves putting more money into the hands of the wealthy in the theory that it will "trickle down" to the less wealthy. The US was coming out of a very bad recession in the early 80's, and at least at the time, Reaganomics appeared to help. (Don't get me started on the long-term effects of those policies.) It was newly cool among young people to be rich again, after 20 years of young people condemning money as "establishment." As people no longer had to live with recession austerities, conspicuous consumption of all kinds became very "in." This is the era of Gordon Gekko and Alex P. Keaton.

    I remember gender dynamics as being pretty traditional, although women in the workplace were becoming the new normal. It was a huge deal when Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court, and it seemed equally revolutionary for Walter Mondale to have chosen Geraldine Ferraro as his 1984 running mate. This was still very much an era of "firsts"-- first US woman in space, Sally Ride (1983), and so on. As a teenager in the 80's, I thought I was in a gendered double-bind--I still had to live up to the traditional expectations of a "good daughter:" be obedient, be nice, put in a lot of work around the home, etc., while also having to shoulder expectations that had previously been reserved for boys: get top grades, play sports, get into a good college. Like lots of other teen girls of the era, I developed an eating disorder.

    Let me know if you want to know more . . . this is the first topic in the research forum that I feel qualified to post about, lol!
     
  3. DeadMoon
    Offline

    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    441
    Location:
    fargo, ND
    I think it was 1989 but Kelly Kapowski deserves a mention. :love::love::love: ok back to work...
     
  4. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Don't forget things like the U.S. boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, then Russia boycotted the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
     
  5. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    Thanks everyone for your responses! :)

    Thanks, I did forget about that.

    Thank you, great recs and sites, I will be checking them out.

    Ok, I can definitely recall the "trickling down" concept, I've seen it before.

    Hah, that ad! :D Reagan sounds like it was terrible for everyone in the long run (correct me if I'm wrong, though). What was life like by the late 80s? Was it common to see unemployment or having to manage multiple jobs to pay the bills?

    That sounds interesting. I always wondered, though, did the people who were hippies in the 60s and became parents later also pushed for traditional gender roles?

    Also, before I forget (because my story is essentially romance): what about relationship dynamics? I always heard that the 80s were a sex-crazed decade but I don't know how much of that was true. Were women suddenly more sexually open and if so, what was the reason for it?

    And I'm sorry to hear about your eating disorder. :( You say lots of girls developed it, was it pressure in general or pressure to look 'good'?

    I think I've already asked too many questions :D but I'm glad that you're glad to help :)
     
  6. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Actually, unemployment was really low in the late 80's. This article has a fair amount of extraneous information, but it also has a nice graph showing unemployment plummeting in the second half of the 80's. I don't remember many individuals having to have multiple jobs, but it was common for both partners in a couple to work, which was a change from 20 years before. For the most part, this wasn't women working because they wanted to be "liberated." The economy was softer than it was during the period from the 40's through the 60's, and in many families both parents had to work to make ends meet. That said, the late 80's is generally thought of as a period of economic strength and growth. (The negative fallout of Reaganomics is more things like the recession of '08.)

    That sort of depends on what you mean by "traditional." I don't remember any ex-hippies of my acquaintance suddenly turning around and announcing that women belonged back in the kitchen after all. But I do remember nearly everybody believing that females should be quieter, nicer, more pliant, less demanding, and more concerned about their appearance than males. It was a lot like now, only somewhat more conservative. This was the era of the "glass ceiling," when women in leadership positions complained of being in a double bind. If they were too soft, then they weren't cut out for the business world. If they were too tough, then they were heartless bitches. There was no comfortable middle ground. Again, very similar to today, but leaning more toward traditional attitudes.

    Actually, the 80's was the decade of the AIDS scare. Young people were markedly less promiscuous than they had been during the previous decade. I think what you may be seeing is the effect of older people complaining about sex-drenched media like MTV. Just because something was depicted on TV and in the movies doesn't mean that many people were actually doing it. :)

    I remember John Hughes movies ("Pretty In Pink," "Sixteen Candles," etc.) as being pretty accurate when it came to the way that young people of opposite sexes interacted. If you haven't seen those movies, you might want to give them a try. "The Breakfast Club" isn't really a romance, but it was a really good depiction of what it was like to be a teenager at the time.

    Some of both . . . I think it was more pressure in general, though.
     
  7. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Speaking of AIDS, someone to remember is Ryan White, who became the poster boy for AIDS in the late 1980's.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_White
     
  8. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    That's very useful info, thanks :)

    Some things never change, huh?

    My main character (female) goes from a feminine, female-dominated job to a more male-dominated one. I guess that will raise a few eyebrows :) haha.

    I've been wrong all my life! :eek: lol oh well. Goes to show how media can skew our perceptions.

    However, didn't people in the early 80s believe that AIDS was a 'gay disease'? There wasn't much info about it when it first started spreading, right? When did heterosexual casual sex started scaring people?

    Yeah I've watched those movies, I just think the characters there are a little too young for my story. I might watch them again just for reference, though.

    Can you recommend me any 80s romantic comedies with characters in their 20s and 30s?

    Again, thanks a million :rolleyes:

    Wow, what a heartbreaking story. Thanks for sharing, I'll keep that in mind.
     
  9. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    They did. I was a gay teen in the 80's. I remember the fear. I remember it very well. It wasn't a good time to be gay, and demonizing of the LGBT community went pretty much unchecked and unresponded-to. Before the acronym AIDS was adopted, it was called GRID: Gay Related Immune Deficiency.
     
    tumblingdice and Oscar Leigh like this.
  10. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    5,115
    St. Elmo's Fire? If you make everyone a little less beautiful, it's a fairly good representation, I'd say.
     
  11. LostThePlot
    Offline

    LostThePlot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    343
    The 80s was a weird time, and one that is weird to look back to for us now. Something that's hugely important to think about is music. I can't speak directly from experience but I had some similar problems when I began getting into one of my characters back story and particularly her teenage years at the end of the 80s. One thing I learned was that music moved strangely. There was way less internationalism so unless you were specifically paying attention you wouldn't know who the hot new band from the US might be. It'd take time for that to filter through into radio and tv shows for the kids to discover it. On top of that TV and movies has conditioned us to believe that the 80s was the decade of new wave (or possibly thrash metal) but there was a huge amount of different music being made and unless you were part of a specific sub culture (like a goth or a headbanger) you really might not realize these exciting new things were happening. A lot of 70s music was still being played too and there was much less choice of radio stations out there.

    This whole thing is a mine field. I was reasonably lucky with the woman I was writing. I had to handwave her tastes slightly (instead of hers they became the records borrowed from her older sister) but other than that it wasn't a huge deal. But if you are writing actually in the 80s this may be something you want to think about more in depth. You character might have just walked out of the zeitgeist into adult life, and thus be more interested in his old Bowie records from the 70s. Or he might still be hip and happening and be all over this amazing new band no-one's heard of called New Order. Or maybe it's not a huge deal and you don't really care. But its something to think about.

    If I were you I wouldn't dangle how cool my character was unless you want him to be kinda unpleasant, but still. Culture is hard to think about from a post-internet perspective.
     
  12. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY

    That was until Ryan White's story came out with him getting AIDS from the blood transfusion. That's also how Arthur Ashe got AIDS but I don't think his case came out until much later.
     
    tumblingdice likes this.
  13. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Also, from a paradigmatic view, in retrospect, what we think of as The 80's didn't really start until like 1983-ish. When I look at photos from when I first moved to Hawaii (1980), the look is still totally The 70's for the first couple of years.
     
    tumblingdice and Oscar Leigh like this.
  14. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    Thanks. Noted.

    Funny you should mention that, since music is pivotal in the story I'm writing. This shall be an interesting convo :)

    Yes, I learned that too. It's still a bit weird for me to write characters who didn't know about certain 80s bands that I know quite well thanks to the internet. It's so easy now to discover any music you want from any decade. I used to think in terms of, "this came out in '86, of course everyone alive in '86 must have heard it!"

    Thank God I only focus on three subcultures in my story. I think I realized halfway through it that mentioning too much music/trends was going to alienate readers. (Although the amount of existing music babbling already alienates them, I think :D)

    I did think about it. I figured I'd make my MC someone who listened to pretty much the same style all her life and occasionally likes different music she hears on the radio or MTV. She's open-minded.

    I don't understand what you mean :confused: sorry.
     
  15. NobodySpecial
    Offline

    NobodySpecial Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    81
    Just ahead of the 80s, in 1978 and 79 respectively, the Love Canal and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant melt down caught the attention of pretty much the whole country if not most of the world and set the foot work for tightening enviromental and nuclear power regulations. It wasn't as bad as Chernobyl, but TMI was years before.

    Something a little more on the comical side, Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker and the PTL club fiasco was the source of jokes galore. Jim bakker originally got 45 years but wound up doing about 5 years at club fed for his two book accounting style and genorosity when it came to his own paychecks. I don't recall if he ever faced any criminal charges for allegedly drugging and raping Jessica Hahn.

    In the political/geopolital relm, the embassy hostages in Iran and the Iran Contra Affair was quite the mess, along with Charlie Wilson's war, America's involvement in Grenada, Panama, Beruit, Lebenon and a bunch of other under the table adventures helped get America it's reputation for trying to be the world's police force.
     
    tumblingdice likes this.
  16. LostThePlot
    Offline

    LostThePlot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    343
    It's one of those things that really bugs me in writing set in the past is the main character (or any character I'm supposed to like) being written as 'The Cool Guy' who's essentially using our modern perception of the past's culture to pick the stuff that would seem the coolest to us today not to those people in the past. It just makes them come off as proto-hipster assholes who've spent all their time tracking down records they would have no reasonable way to know existed. It's writing them more as an author insert into the past rather than an actual character who lives in the period and just makes them come off as horribly self-involved.

    That doesn't mean they can't like good music. Just that what's popular probably comes from their local 'scene' not from the full body of music around in the world at that time. It's the reason why my mother in law's favorite things from the 80s are Talking Heads, Billy Idol and Duran Duran not the officially cool things (at least to my perception) like Joy Division/New Order, Depeche Mode and UltraVox.

    Two quick(ish) points beyond that.

    When I was a teenager I was super into thrash metal bands like Metallica and Slayer and Megadeth. All bands at their peak in the 80s. And it's hard to argue (through today's lens) that they weren't a really big deal. Except that since I live in Britain I find it really hard to find older people who ever heard of them actually during the 80s. It's actually quite hard to find people who were in the original vanguard of Guns N Roses fans too, and most of the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest fans of the era are older fans from their work in the 70s. Culture moves weirdly. I have in my life met two other Aerosmith fans than me, one other Motley Crue fan. Culture is just... Weird and messy and hard to predict.

    An additional annecdoce - The coolest thing that my mum ever did was see Jimmi Hendrix play in 1966 before anyone had ever head of him. Thing is; my mum was never really that cool other than that. And in fact it was complete luck she happened to be in Soho on the right night. She never actually liked Hendrix and (as she tells it) she didn't even realize she'd been at some significant musical event until a year or so after seeing Hendrix in a magazine and saying 'Hey didn't I see that guy?'. The point here really is that today's perception of cool (or groovy as it may be) is totally divorced from the world at the time. What to us might be the coolest damn thing might well go over the people in the past's head.
     
  17. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    Wait, you're saying there are lots of characters out there like that? Yikes. I would probably dislike them too. It'd be more realistic if people wrote those characters set in the now, in the 2010s. Still unlikable, but at least more realistic.

    I see what you mean. Fortunately I'm including not including those bands in any of my characters' tastes, as I don't even like them :p.

    However, one of my side characters can be seen as sort of "The Cool Girl". She's a punk rocker with a lot of connections in the scene and she's also a music journalist. So you could say she knows her stuff and knows it well. I just hope I don't overdo it with the 'coolness'. Sometimes it's fun to write stuff just because it sounds cool, it's one of my guiltiest pleasures :D.

    True, a lot of bands didn't cross the Atlantic very well.

    Noted ;)
     
  18. Rob40
    Offline

    Rob40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Colorado
    This is long and I apologize for the editing/proof-reading, I just pounded this out as it came to mind. There was quite a bit back then:

    80's. I finished 6th grade in 1985, entered High School in 1988. I had no idea how bad the nuclear future was looming over us at the time. I had learned that Russia was communist and thought they didn't have religion, thought church was illegal there. I thought everyone was given what they needed to live and everyone was pretty poor and probably hungry, having all of what they did go toward the government to make planes and nukes. I thought that and also thought that nuclear weapons would wipe them out if anything happened. Our nuclear missiles. I was absolutely clueless that we would all completely evaporate as well if it happened. I was unaware of how much background stress permeated my parents lives until I recently went on youtube and watched 'the day after' TV movie made back in the day. Scary stuff that did it's job, show the world a best case scenario of war and it was awful.

    Economy began to swing everywhere as the markets became a power grab for me-me-me. Reganomics fed money relief to the rich in theory, letting them spend it on business making the middle and lower class earn more wealth. (Well, it sort of stopped at the rich and today we got none of it. The rich got coccaine and insider trading jail time.) Watch Wall Street, it's pretty close to what went on then. My parents bought a house in 1978 at 10% mortgage interest. That was aparently because of Carter's administration and it boggles my mind. (I just refinanced at 4.0% fixed a month ago.) I remember middle-class families worked very hard because the consumerism that started up outpaced their income generation, so they had kids that had to have the best fashions and shoes and jeans or they wouldn't be cool anymore. Cool on that level didn't compute with parents of the time. Who the hell needed a $40 Polo shirt at thirteen years old? (That's $85 in todays money, corrected!)

    I'll link a few things, if i think of them, that can easily show what things were like for people.

    Just to explain how immense the 80's was, I could sort of sum it up with one song. Killing Joke's-Eighties. A decade that was so huge and intense, a song about it is released within the decade it's about...and it was released only half way through the decade! Great riff by the way.

    I can consider a word popularized in the 80's, Awesome, accurately describes everything that happened. Socially, we lived in both extravagance and fear. My gradeschool playground was full of gay jokes. Gay name-calling. Worrys about gay people and their AIDS. "FAG!", "Homo!", "Gaylord!" were all often yelled at a friend when they made you mad, or even rolled a kick-ball you didn't like. I lived in the mid-west of the mid-west and the only disease thing we saw was on TV. That meant it's impossible for it to get where we lived. TV sort of distanced us from what was happening. Things seemed sort of surreal because they happened thousands of miles away, never near where I lived in my McDonalds heaven. We learned how to curse correctly (we managed to be fluent in curse by fourth grade) and how freakin' awesome NASA and the space shuttle was. What didn't help a gradeschool girl was the invention of silicone implants. That event completely threw girls onto the self-concious express train of hell. Every girlie poster or magazine ad showed ultra slim and in shape and fake-boobed jazzercised models. Unfortunately, as a boy, we immediately compared any girl we liked to full-grown adults in magazines and TV. Yeah, TV shows were all about glamour, being hot, and getting money and getting yours. It taught a now 50's age generation to get theirs and never give anything up. Unfortunnately they mostly taught their kids these values and we now have millenials that are made so much fun of today for expecting everything immediately. Another note about TV. We were bombarded by the Just Say No campaign. So pervasive that the president's wife showed up in a popular show to tell the kids to just say no. They worked it in somehow conveniently.

    I'm going to bring up a movie that I have fouund to really poinnt out what it was really like to be a teen-ager inn the 80's if not exactly what it had to be like as a girl. Valley-Girl. The pressure she was under to make the choices her friends wanted her to make was substantial. that's exactly what it was. A decade of even more pressure to be something and like something you probably didnt want to. Fall in line, get a Trapper Keeper notebook with a cool design, don't be gay, like the popular stuff. Another movie, I can't believe I forgot it. Fast times at Ridgemont High. The book was writeen by Cameron Crowe, who was High-School aged when he wrote it!! He was also the youngest correspondent in Rolling Stone Magazine history so he's definitely got a finger on the pulse of growing up in that period. Watch it. It's closer to fact than we realize.

    Consumerism wasn't anything we concerned ourselves with, as kids, but the world did seem like a big thing was happening every month for us and if they were going to offer us a $200 G.I. Joe aircraft carrier toy ($400 today!), you better believe we asked for it for Christmas and one lucky kid always got that. MTV went on the air when I was eight, making all of our music not just listening cool but visually amazing and something to emulate if not go see in person. Who didn't want to see the extravagent VanHalen jumping around everywhere and shred guitar. It was bigger than anything before. E.T. came out when I was 9 and the story, Aliens!!!, was so perfect that it was also, bigger than anything ever conceptualized since the Star Wars franchise. Michael Jackson's Beat It came out when I was ten and was awesome. Return of the Jedi came that summer. Thriller that fall!!! Everything was on a huge scale of exploding size. Supergroups sold out stadiums like never before. RAP exploded with RUN-DMC in grooves never before experienced! Look at 25minutes of Queen playing at Wembley for Live Aid. (skip to 3:10 for great crowd involvement) An over 70k person swamp. Most popular groups would sell out stadiums and larger, up to 300k people saw Iron Maiden at Donnington Park! Awesome doesn't even describe. Look up the Monsters of Rock tour and that should fill you in on the immensity. And then, Joshua Tree was released as I entered High-School. Oh My Effing GOD it was great to be alive.

    Atari addicted the kids to incredible technology. And that was another thing that defined the 80's. When tech was figured out and marketably invaded our world. We traded cartridges at school in between showingn off our wacky wall walkers and rubik's cubes. The Walkman appeared and now we could listen to music that our parents had no idea about. I had a tape of the Surf Punks in 6th grade (1984-85) that was indeed confiscated by mom when I accidentally played it out loud. (So many F-bombs.) So, the kids were gaining independence in that way, music without judgement because the judgers couldn't hear it. We worked part-time jobs so we could get more stuff and then pay for gas and drive the boulevard. That wasn't new in the decade but it sure felt much more free than anything we were told about by our parents. The biggest tech bomb was anything in the movies that was never possible before. Terminator, Back to the Future, Indy Jones, Top Freakin' Gun, Goonies even. It wasn't just that summer that was full of block busters, it was most every summer for a good stretch.

    So that's how I saw it. A World of an undefeatable USA, but wee were Paranoid of commies invading at any moment but it was okay, our nukes would solve the problem. We had amazing music and, we thought, a safe place impossible to screw up. Drugs werent in my world so much but they were defined by who used them. The users of it were dramatically different people in school and we knew to avoid them. Loosers, burn outs. Etc. Ignored them. It was a wholly clique-ish existance. So bad then that Revenge of the Nerds was close to a real environment of the time. Today it's blended together but there was definitely a Jock group, a popular group, a nerd group, etc. VERY group oriented belonging.

    Hope it helps some. Hope it wasn't too long.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    tumblingdice likes this.
  19. doggiedude
    Offline

    doggiedude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    1,248
    Location:
    Florida, USA, Earth, The Sol System
    I see you've already gotten a lot of answers so I'll try not to repeat anything.
    1 - If your character is 22 in the 80's there's a good chance his free time includes spending hours in a mall and especially an arcade. For anyone that didn't live through the 80's they might have a hard time imagining a packed arcade. While there were plenty of homes with video game systems they didn't compare to the arcade games ( at least in the beginning ).

    2 - The cold war was almost always on people's minds. I don't remember being seriously scared of Russia myself but I do recall it being a theme in lots of TV and movies (anyone remember Rocky 3). I also remember a regular TV show involving high school kids and one episode they went to the USSR for some student competition. Most of the episode revolved around the two "smartest" kids on each side having a political debate with each other. The closest comparison I can make is if you can imagine Iraq or Iran having a military equal to ours right now.

    3- People mentioned AIDS above but I think there was a side effect of AIDS that doesn't get mentioned because it can sound sort of callous. Having AIDS come to the forefront of American conversation along with the gay community did a lot to set the ground work for how open homosexuality is today. I especially remember hearing about Rock Hudson dying of AIDS in 1985. That was HUGE, here was an overly masculine Hollywood hero dying of AIDS and the fact that he had been gay was major news. We hear about famous people today "coming out" and most people shrug it off. Back then his career would have been over at the first whisper.
     
    tumblingdice likes this.
  20. Rob40
    Offline

    Rob40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Colorado
    Oh wow I forgot to talk about Aladdin's Castle, the arcade franchise. It was alwas near an Orange Julius.
     
  21. NobodySpecial
    Offline

    NobodySpecial Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    81
    We had an Aladins Castle at our local mall, it was still there when I took my nephew in the early 2000s. He was 5 years old and won enough skiball tickets to buy the slot car track.(not in a single visit but over the course of one summer)
     
  22. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I was in my 20s and early 30s in the 1980s, and funny, I don't recall "worrying" about the Cold War during those the way we had in the 1960s when I was a little kid. The 1980s was when everyone rose up and got the Communist regimes licked. The tide finally turned. It wasn't just world leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, it was ordinary people like the Polish workers under Lech Walensa and the Philippines where the People Power revolution put in Cory Aquino and threw out the Marcoses, and the Roumanians who got rid of Ceaucescu. Oh, gosh, and the Singing Revolution that freed the Baltic states, and Vaclav Hamel in Czechoslavakia-- Damn! exciting, hopeful things were going on. Then finally, finally the Berlin Wall came down in 1989-- O Freiheit! Kehrst du zuruck?

    As for the music, here's one thing: A contemporary crack at the typical 1980s teenager, "who doesn't know Paul McCartney has ever been in any band but Wings."
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    tumblingdice likes this.
  23. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,671
    Likes Received:
    1,067
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I remember that. The 1980s was the decade when my friends started dying of AIDS, starting with a very promising young guy who'd been our high school's student body president for two terms. Then the musicians started to go. My violin teacher was bisexual, and after my lesson in his apartment he'd feed me dinner and tell me some hair-raising--- no, heartbreaking tales. Like how he'd rolled drunk off his mattress one night (sleeping on a mattress on the floor because you want to-- there's a typical 1970s-80s thing!), burned his arm on the steam radiator, and woke up with red marks all over his skin. "Crap!!" he told me, "I thought I had Karposi's Sarcoma!" Like it wouldn't've surprised him at all.

    I, for one, was very aware that heterosexuals were also in danger of AIDS. The guy was damned attractive--- devilishly so--- and a lot of his gay friends thought we were sleeping together and resented me for it. But no. I was not into Liebestod. I loved him, but I made a conscious decision not to show it like that.

    He also died young. Crap. :bigfrown:
     
    tumblingdice likes this.
  24. tumblingdice
    Offline

    tumblingdice Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    51
    Great responses, guys :). I think my story is coming together nicely because of all this info. Again, thanks a lot!

    And @Rob40, no need to apologize. Your post brought back the old 80s nostalgia in me, even though I was born in '87. Oh well :)
     

Share This Page