The 80's

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If an entire decade got together and had an orgy.

Just The Facts

  1. Lasted from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 1989
  2. The Reagan years
  3. "Where's the beef?"

Culture

Culture of the 1980s is a strange and diverse one. It was a time of both struggle and change, and of some really, really bad fads and trends. Some that we would like to erase from our simple minds all together (see lobotomy) and some we would like to remember and secretly cherish forever. So lets start of with...

Fashion - There's not much to say that hasn't already been said about '80s fashion. Yes it was bad, it was tacky and downright ridiculous at times. But today, lets embrace its total weirdness and lack of self-consciousness. Like perms, shoulder pads, acid wash, teased hair, popped collars, skinny ties, and of course the grandaddy of all hairdos...the righteous, "don't need no fancy book learnin' " mullet. Business in the front, utter shame in the back!

Do these people know their "moment to remember" is being mocked on the Internet? What killed the ozone layer.

TV - Looking back it seems '80s TV consisted mostly of:

  • Cool crime shows with super "macho" characters (Magnum, P.I., Miami Vice, The A-Team)
  • Bitchy, backstabbing rich folks (Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing)
  • Half cute/half creepy, black orphans being raised by very white parents (Diff'rent Strokes, Webster)
  • Male housekeeper/nanny or "manny" (Who's the Boss?, Charles in Charge)

But thanks to still new cable TV channels HBO and Cinemax, you can get a show with all four in one! In between the cheesy commercials of course.

Cartoons - In the '80s, cartoons were one word: awesome. Not only were they one of the reasons to wake up really early on Saturday mornings, they gave us memorable characters and catchphrases, and some helpful advice and lessons we may or may have not needed for the future. If you want more '80s cartoon goodness, Cracked has articles on them (see links).

Music - Like any other decade before it, the '80s brought out both the good and bad in music. Whether you digged Punk, New Wave, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop or even Disco (come on, admit it!), no one can deny the greatness of this day...

  • August 1, 1981: The Birth of MTV (when they played actual MUSIC)

MTV took the average music video (which was mostly of taped concert performances) and turned it into something so surreal, experimental, and hi-tech, it left your mind completely blown. Although, that mountain of snorted coke didn't help either...

Movies - Any movies containing talking robots, quirky aliens, dancing, buddy cops, coming-of-age tales, and futuristic wastelands was bound to be a hit in the '80s. Why? Because all of those things are freakin' cool. Though, I won't say much about '80s cinema since Cracked already has TONS of articles discussing it (see links) so I'll leave you with this.

Video Games - The '70s may have gave us Pong, but the '80s had sooo much more to offer in the video game world. It gaves us games like Space Invaders, Defender, Asteroids, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Pac Man, his better half Ms. Pac Man and much, much more. Even though the video game industry "crashed" in 1983-84, that didn't stop people from spending the whole day at the arcade stuffing their faces on pizza and curly fries or at home playing with their Atari 2600 and Coleco stuffing their faces on pizza and curly fries. Good times indeed...

Politics - The Cold War peaks, the Berlin Wall comes down, Communism versus Capitalism...yuppies. No one can talk about '80s politics and events without mentioning the man who was there to really experience it all: Ronald Reagan. The man who endorsed Chesterfield cigarettes, starred in some movie with a monkey, took Star Wars way too literally, was our Commander in Chief throughout the decade. Oh, and did I mention he actually surrived a assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. and broke the hardcore Curse of Tippecanoe? (look it up)

Thats right, this man

"Ronald Reagan? The actor?"

Avoided being killed by this loon

"I look retarded..."

Who deeply wanted to impress this girl

Jodie Foster as a jailbait carnie

In a depraved chain of events on March 30, 1981, when he had been in the White House for just 69 days! Hopefully history won't repeat itself this time...