Tag Archives: 80’s: Decade That Made Us

Then and Now: How the 80s Defined Us

Did everyone have a good Memorial Day Weekend? What did you do to celebrate? Joe and I kept it pretty lowkey, but we did cook up bacon hot dogs. Jealous?

Did any of you watch the miniseries special The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us on the National Geographic Channel? It originally aired several weeks ago, but is making a second run around soon. Besides being awesomely narrated by Rob Lowe, Bad Ass Saxaphone Player Hottie of the 80’s, the show was really well put together and interesting.

Teach us about the 80’s, Rob!

Being born in the 80’s, I don’t remember a lot about them. Most of what I recall is actually the early 90’s trying to army crawl their way into a new decade. Watching this miniseries was really informational for me to understand what was happening in the world when I was born. And I started taking notes. Because I’m a dork like that. Because I didn’t want you to miss out on these great observations I had.

Then and Now

The Games We Play

Did you know it was the 80’s that brought us Tetris?

I remember playing Tetris, it was a game I was quite good at. Now everyone plays Angry Birds. And my 8 year old nephew told me my AB score was pathetic. #TrueStory

The Phones We Use

The 1980’s brought about the first ever cellular phone call. The phone call was made from inside a car and filmed on the news. As the phone’s creators held their breath, the nation watched to see if it would really work.

How do I get Facebook on this thing?

We’ve advanced from cell phones to smart phones. If you’re like me, your phone is now smarter than YOU are! My 10 year old niece uses her phone to update her Pinterest page. I do not yet have a Pinterest page.

The Way We Talk

The 80’s brought about a fad from West Coast high school girls who hung out at the mall a lot. Valley Girl Talk! Not sure what Valley Girls sound like? Check out Moon Unit Zappa’s hit song, Valley Girl. It’s like totally awesome! Ohmygod!

I’m not sure we have a dialect that is sweeping the nation, but I have been seeing a lot of anagrams sweeping the internet, IYKWIM… LOL.

The Music We Love

Madonna first made waves in the 80’s with hits like Material Girl, Like a Virgin, and Holiday. She was an innovative star who made music and fashion her own, thereby causing the vast population of women, and gay men, to emulate her.

As much as I wish we had a better example, the only one who I think comes close to this decade’s Madonna is Lady Gaga. Love her or hate her, she has a powerful voice and sense of fashion. She’s gained a huge following and is true to her self – meat clothes, black perfume, and all!

The Wars That Last Forever

The Cold War lasted almost an entire decade. It’s aftermath still leaves Germany divided. War, in any capacity, takes generations to overcome. And by the time we start to move forward, it seems we start a new war. I say this not to upset anyone’s political beliefs, or to dishonor our troops. I am very grateful for all those who serve our country. I understand my freedoms are because of their commitment. But watching The 80’s and learning of the Cold War was very engrossing to me. I understood much more about the values my parents raised me with and the shift in economy because of it.

For this generation, anyone born in the early 2000’s, the war that lasted almost a decade will be the War on Terror. A fight I know leaves us all fearful of what’s next.

The Epidemics We Face

Many of you who were of age to watch the news, and cared about it, probably remember the name Ryan White. I didn’t remember his name, but I am glad that I learned of him. At a time when the AIDS virus severely scared the nation, Ryan White put a face to the disease that told America “This could happen to anyone.” After contracting HIV from a blood transfusion, Ryan used his last years to campaign for HIV awareness and his mother still does this activist work today. I am grateful to both of them.

While it isn’t anything new, I think the epidemic we face is cancer. Nowadays you don’t have to look far to know someone whose family member, or they themselves, have been diagnosed with the disease. Both my mother and sister have overcome it. Here’s hoping with our medical advances, we’ll also find a cure to beat both of these diseases yet in our lifetime.

The Ability to Help During Disaster

In the campaign USA for Africa, one of the largest music-based fundraisers was held in the 80’s. We Are the World was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to help the many people of Africa who were dieing of famine. The single sold over 20 million copies and rallied a nation to aid our fellow man.

In 2010, I tuned in to give to the Hope for Haiti fundraiser after a horrific earthquake left the country in desperate need. Many of us made our donations to the Red Cross to help rescue survivors and provide shelter to those who needed it. We do this again to help our neighbors in Oklahoma now.

Our country has made many advances and come a long way, but one thing I’m glad hasn’t changed is our ability to help each other when we need it most.

What do you remember? What was big in the decade you were born in and  how has it changed? Do you wish we could go back to our old ways in anything? Resurrect Devo anyone?

You mean Devo still is together? And they’re on tour in California next month? Then bring on the Devolution!

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