Friday, April 19, 2013

10 things I miss from the 1980s

(1) Parachute Pants
I never wore them myself. But I liked the fact they even existed. Here's a photo:

How many times in the 80s did I say to myself, "It would be perfect if I had a zippered pocket just above my right knee to carry this object around, but darn it, these stupid Bugle Boy jeans just don't offer what I need!" (The answer, by the way, is zero. I never said that to myself. Nor did any other sane person. By the way, nice white socks, Mr. Model.)

(2) The Music
You actually can't classify every piece of popular music released from 1980 through 1989 as "80s Music," because it's all so different. (The same is probably true for any decade.) There was late-era disco, New Wave, hair metal, second-generation punk, etc. I liked almost all of it.

(3) The Hair
We rocked us some pretty rad hair in the 80s. Most guys I knew favored the parted-in-the-middle-and-feathered-back style. Early in the decade, girls used their curling irons to dangerous extremes. Later in the decade, they just teased up their 'do to record heights. Then there was the Flock of Seagulls guy:

That's Mike Score. He's bald now. So it goes...

(4) The Blatant Disregard for Anything But Making Money
This is not the most socially redeeming feature of the decade, but it was pretty funny to watch. No one even tried to pretend they had anything resembling altruistic motives (see Gecko, Gordon).

(5) The Ties
For whatever reason, we in the 80s decided that neckties should be no more than about 2 inches across. Which isn't necessarily a bad look. Except if you take it in this direction:

In which case, it probably doesn't work. (I also never liked tying those things. I like the appearance of a wide-tie knot much better. I was either ahead of or behind my time, depending on how you look at it.)

(6) Young Mike Tyson
Before the prison term. And the ear biting. And the face tattoo. Before all of that, there was just Iron Mike. And he was fearsome, both as a boxer and as a human being. Will Smith even did a five-minute rap about him that white people loved. Mike not only beat people, he destroyed them.

I miss that Mike. He was fun to watch. As long as you weren't the poor guy he was punching in the head.

(7) 80s Malls
There are still malls, of course, but they're different now. 80s malls had their own hip aura. They were the place to be, socially. And they had Chess King. And Spencer's Gifts back before it got scary. And Orange Julius (it was required by law in the 80s that all malls must have at least one Orange Julius store.) My daughter works in a mall now and I don't enjoy going there nearly as much as I used to. Maybe because malls also lost their bookstores. I could spend hours in a mall bookstore.

(8) David Hasselhoff
The Hoff is still around, I know. But he doesn't look like this anymore:

Simply put to all of you kids out there, our Hoff was way better than your Hoff.

(9) The Commodore 64
The Commodore was my first computer. I got it for Christmas 1983. In the following five years, I amassed an impressive collection of pirated software. And I met a kid online who, weeks after my friend Kevin and I went to his house, was arrested for running some sort of credit card scam using his Commodore. Cyber crime didn't originate in 2002!

I'm including a picture of a Commodore 64 only because it makes me happy just to look at it:

(10) Having This Much Hair


  1. #1: Would parachute pants merely risk more zippers being left undone, however? XYZZZZZZZ, perhaps?

  2. #10: You still have ‘this much’ hair. It’s probably just migrated a bit...

  3. You know, and I know - that if your thumb was on your chin, this would officially be the greatest picture ever. If only...