Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not A Cultural Wasteland

I did a lot of my growing up in the 80s and I remember an awful lot of it fondly.  Even I, see some of our fashions and wonder what we could have been thinking.  You watch a tv show or a movie from the 80s and not only do I cringe at the styles, I've yet to see one where I couldn't identify an item or outfit that I owned.  The Guess white jeans with the pink and blue flowers seen in the first two Back to the Future movies, I owned and loved  those.  Every crazy neon and plaid combination seen on reruns of Kate and Allie could have been taken from my closet.  

I hear the talk all the time about how the 80s were so devoid of culture and I refuse to concede that point.  Sure, that's when all the music my family still refers to as "that weird JoanneMarie music",  was created.  And it was my music, but I don't find it remotely weird.  In college, my girlfriend Zoid paraphrased Bruce Springsteen and sang, "In Cabbage's room, there are pictures of Billy Idol on the wall...."  Cabbage? Oh, that's a whole other story.  The year Cabbage Patch Kids originally came out and took the world by storm, I was a very small, baby faced teenager frequenting fraternity parties.  One Sig Ep brother got it started and pretty soon the nickname Cabbage Patch Kid spread across campus.  I guess it's not really surprising that, with a name like JoanneMarie, I am a magnet for nicknames.

Over at Flavorwire, Jason Diamond, who, many days feels like a kindred soul (not to get all Anne of Green Gables on you) wrote this article about references to the 1980s.  The last passage quoted by Tama Janowitz places her pretty firmly in my age range.  Although, I don't feel like I missed the 80s at all.  I've actually been pretty lucky, to that extent.  My grandparents shared the 40s with me, my parents the 50s and 60s. I have quite a few of my own memories of the 60s, but I was pretty young. I was 3 when we landed on the moon and I remember sitting on the linoleum floor in the living room of my great grandfather's house in Wildwood, New Jersey watching on the black and white tv in the corner.  Every decade since has been filled with my lifetime of memories. I like to think that I'm not missing any of the decades.

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