Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Makes the '80s so Appealing to You?

John Marine | 3/25/2010 08:57:00 PM | | | | | | | |
Inspired by "Hot Tub Time Machine," my sick-of-the-80s disease only got worse. Not a day goes by where some kind of '80s mention or reference isn't brought up. I was born in 1983, but I always consider myself a '90s child. Part of my own personal commentary involves personal comments whether people like them or not. I make my own comments and not really want to be anybody popular who makes popular comments. So I would imagine that I will have people who will greatly disagree with me for this blog entry. That's probably why my blog entry on jeans tucked into boots became such a hot topic before my long hair blog post became massively popular.

So what are you about to read? I'm here to talk about my own thoughts on the '80s, but I also want to ask you what you think makes the '80s so good to begin with. This is also somewhat of a tell-all of what I do like about the '80s even though I've gotten so tired of this decade and the constant focus and re-focus on this decade.

Like I really need to do so for this topic, let me set the mood with a picture or two:

^ from: Discovery Options, by way of

--- Basic '80s Thoughts ---
The problem that I've had is that so many people just have nothing else to focus on or around than the '80s. Being part of a fashion-themed message board, I've vented on and on about people always being crazy about the '80s. To me, only one great thing came out of the '80s for me- video games.

Maybe the latest rant I've had was about the upcoming movie, "Hot Tub Time Machine," in which a bunch of guys are relaxing in a hot tub... that sends them back in time to... RIGHT! The '80s! I've always fancied the '70s and '90s, but mostly just got sick of all the '80s material. Almost as if you can't get away from the '80s. Someone will ALWAYS bring it back to bore and annoy you. I have somewhat high blood pressure, so I don't know how long I can live knowing I get tired of all these '80s revivals.

The rest of this is mostly a piece-by-piece deal on the '80s across a number of different topics.  So please read on to see more piece-by-piece material.

--- The '80s in Fashion ---
Boy... where do I start? The recent re-revival of '80s fandom kind of originated back in the mid-2000s. It would begin for me in an epic multi-year debate over leggings under skirts (my blog entry). If you like some of the fashions I may trash in this section, I'm sorry. May not be popular opinions, but I'm not here for popularity.

Let's take a look back.

Leggings Under Skirts.
The mini skirt is an example of hotness. Adding leggings, however, equals a hot mess. I've been very much against mini skirts worn over legging pants because the beauty of mini skirts are practically destroyed. This look was a very popular '80s look. It looks okay with little girls, but almost pointless on most girls whose ages are north of age 12.

Of course, I would eventually accept the look after disliking it for so long. I actually thought that wearing a short jumper dress with leggings and ballet flats was a cute look. One girl from my college days wore a white T-shirt, a black short jumper dress, black leggings, and black ballet flats. It was a very cute and fun look!

Rompers/Playsuits (my blog entry on them).
Unlike leggings under mini skirts, I didn't have a quarrel with people on these. I was most in love with rompers/playsuits that looked very much like dresses because I love illusions with fashion. I could probably say that rompers and playsuits were for femmes who couldn't confidently wear a mini dress. Thing is, a hot playsuit/rompers can be every bit as sexy and fun as even the most daring mini dresses.

Acid-Wash or Bleached Denim.
Someone wants me to be permanently blinded after gouging my eyes out seeing acid-wash jeans. I don't think I've EVER seen a pair that I actually like worn on ANY girl. You know someone tries to bring things back from the '80s I dislike, and this is one of them.

Leg Warmers.
I'm actually okay with leg warmers. In fact, I liked leg warmers as an alternative to jeans tucked into boots when I've viciously dislike that look.

If you want to relive more '80s fashions, check out It's a a very cool site that's about fashion from various decades. The specific link takes you to '80s fashion.

--- The '80s in Music ---
I do have some favorite songs from the '80s. However, some annoy me to no end. One of them (while I don't hate it) is "Girls Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. I don't know who constantly opens the '80s time capsule to release Cyndi, but "Girls Wanna Have Fun" (while I don't hate it) gets annoying when you keep on hearing it and constantly hearing it.

Little Known Music Fact About Me: To be honest, as a hip-hop fan and listener, I've never liked Run-D.M.C. This, even though "It's Like That." I've also never really liked "It Takes Two" from Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, which is also another very popular '80s hip-hop song.

But are there HITS from the '80s that I like? I won't name all of them, even if a few favorites of mine become added to this blog post. Here are some of my favorite songs released/recorded between January 1, 1980 and December 31,1989) among others:

PLEASE NOTE: This blog section may be updated to include more material.

* "I've Been Waiting for a Girl Like You" - Foreigner
I remember this from GTA: Vice City.

* "Africa" - Toto (1982)
Here is a soft tune with lovely vocals and instruments.

* "Sweet Dreams" - Eurythmics
I actually like this song, and I am also starting to appreciate it as a slow progression and evolution in the future of electonic pop (and electronica in general).

* "Can You Feel It?" - Mr. Fingers
This song was from 1989. With all the Cyndi Lauper and other overplayed '80s songs, how come THIS wasn't played often? Absolute favorite song of mine from "GTA: San Andreas."

* "I Just Called to Say I Love You" - Stevie Wonder (1984)
You may remember this song from my all-time favorite songs blog entry. I'm probably impartial to '80s R&B, but this song was just incredible, and its message is wonderful. Does it have to be a holiday or something to share your love for someone? Absolute classic. Maybe one of my all-time favorite '80s songs.

* "God Blessed Video" - Alcatrazz (1985)
Because rock music people would bitch on me if I didn't mention any rock music, here's one for you for a guy who doesn't listen to rock music religiously. "God Blessed Video" from Alcatrazz is... yes, another "GTA: Vice City" song. This is probably my favorite rock song from the '80s.

* "I Want Candy" - Bow Wow Wow (1982)
This song is quite fun to me. Bow Wow Wow made probably the coolest version of this song since the Strangeloves first did this song back in 1965.

* (the theme to "A View to Kill") - Duran Duran (1985)
I didn't want to finish any '80s music post (like I'm going to do these often) without mentioning something from Duran Duran. You see, I respect Duran Duran.

* "Girls Wanna Have Fun" - Cyndi Lauper
Okay. I trashed this song and Cyndi earlier. But remember- I didn't HATE it. I've just gotten sick of constantly hearing it. Cyndi's a one-hit wonder to me, with this being her biggest hit. In case I draw some criticism, name me at least one song of hers that has garnered as much popularity and appeal as "Girls Wanna Have Fun."

* "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" - Whitney Houston (1987(?))
Another track from my all-time favorite songs blog entry, this is also one of my all-time favorite Whitney Houston songs.

* "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?" - Michael Bolton (1989)
Michael Bolton truly delivered like never before with this song. If ever there was a love song masterpiece of the '80s, this song (which is also in my all-time favorite songs blog entry) would be my answer. Maybe not a masterpiece to rival the likes of Mozart or somebody, but this was an '80s masterpiece. Michael Bolton sings boldly and impressively in this song. Even if you don't like Michael Bolton, you have to admit that this is purely epic. It's a great song, but after the bridge, it's glorious.

* "Straight Outta Compton" - by NWA ("Niggaz with Attitude") (1988)
NWA was one of the most notorious hip-hop groups of all time. I'm a big Ice Cube fan, but I think Ice Cube was at his finest for hard-hitting lyrics and rhymes. Of course, Ice Cube is best known as the first rapper to leave NWA to the dislike of other NWA people like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Easy-E. Ice Cube was plenty slammin' with his rhymes here.

* "Smooth Operator" - Sade (1984)
Jazz, anyone? Smooth Operator is one of my personal favorite jazzy songs. There's no denying the awesome and (not to use the title's name) smooth appeal.

* "Truth" - T-Square (1987)
I mentioned T-Square in a past blog entry of mine. This is a song that probably wasn't played on any radio station in the United States. Many people still think this is one of the coolest F1 songs. You need only listen to this Japanese jazz fusion song to know why.

* "In This Country" - Robin Zander
This is a pretty cool song as I've heard of this song before, but never heard the full version until listening on YouTube. Cool song.

* "The Final Countdown" - Europe (1986)
Here's a song you've probably heard of a lot recently.

Of course, these songs only represent a certain few that I want to give mention to. As of the date of this blog entry's completion, more may be added that I didn't mention.

I would go one step further to mention '80s TV and movies in this section you're reading here.. However, I'm not a movie buff, so I'll let this go. And I don't know too much about what '80s TV shows were popular.

Well, then again... "Married With Children" is one of my all-time favorite TV sitcoms. So if you want some '80s TV or movie influences, DEFINITELY into "Married With Children" as the show began back in 1987. Oh... did you know that I'm a game show fan? That's right. One of my favorites was "Press Your Luck," hosted by the late great Peter Tomarken.

--- The '80s in Sports ---
I have to keep being reminded about the University of Houston falling to North Carolina State in 1983, followed by Georgetown in 1984. BOTH games for the National Championship. I know ESPN has a deal with the Jimmy V Foundation, but damn it... DO YOU HAVE TO FREAKING REMIND ME OF PHI SLAMMA JAMMA FALLING TO N.C. STATE ALL THE DAMNED TIME? CBS is like that too, but ESPN is more of the "Always Hate Houston" network, where they can rarely show any good highlights of Houston teams. It always has to be when my Houston sports teams are losing that they are shown on TV. Like they get a kick out of seeing my Houston teams lose. That's even as ESPN likes having foursomes with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Lakers.

Now on to much kinder notes.

Houston Sports in the 1980s.
A thing I love about '80s sports- some of those lovely uniforms. I sometimes wish the Astros would go back to their classic rainbow colors of the past. Even back in the times when Nolan Ryan threw that no-hitter in 1986.

Also in 1986 was that of the Houston Rockets upsetting the highly-favored Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals of 1986. More stunning was how the 1980-1981 Houston Rockets, at 40-42 heading into the NBA Playoffs, would upset the Los Angeles Lakers, then the Spurs, then the [Kansas City] Kings to play in the NBA Finals. The Rockets didn't win the title, but shown that the playoffs have an effect of giving teams power they didn't think they have. Among the past Rockets of that team were Calvin Murphy, Ralph Sampson, Moses Malone, and Rudy Tomjanovich among others.

Let's not forget football. Does "Love 'ya Blue" mean anything to you? Before the move to Nashville and changing the name to the Titans, the Houston Oilers was the football power of H-Town. I didn't get into football soon enough (2002 was when I became a fan) to know what the Oilers were all about.

Other 1980s Sports.
These are random ramblings on '80s sports. Each section is seperated by asterisks.

* You of course can't forget about the battles of Larry Bird back then. Whoever thought that Indiana State University would produce such a player like Larry Bird? Don't forget about that guy named Michael Jordan, either. * On the football end, I usually like the University of Miami in college football. Though I like the University of Miami as one of my favorite college football teams, Doug Flutie's Hail Mary comes to mind when Boston College knocked off Miami at the storied Orange Bowl. * My only boxing memory of the '80s is just how awesome Mike Tyson was. * In racing, I do love the IMSA days with the awesome GTP race cars of the '80s. Joest Racing was an underdog in sportscar racing then until Joest Racing's Le Mans triumph in 1985.

--- The '80s in Sports ---
I've already admitted that the best thing to come from the '80s (to me) is video games and arcades. Games like the following are '80s favorites of mine:
* Super Mario Bros.
* Super Mario Bros. 3 (all-time favorite Mario game)
* The Legend of Zelda
* Metroid
* Blades of Steel
* Qix
* Excitebike
* Ninja Gaiden (NES version)
* Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
* Hang-On
* Super Hang-On
* OutRun
* Tetris (Game Boy and NES versions)

Here's a story from me... I've ALWAYS wanted a Game Boy when it first came out! Tetris for the Game Boy was one of those reasons. My cousin had a Game Boy that he let me and my brother borrow. But really, I've always loved playing the Game Boy. Still do.

Overall, I've just gotten sick of the '80s. It's like too many people just look at the '80s and think it's the best ever. I've honestly just gotten tired of it all. Like it's the ONLY decade people talk about. That's why I've gotten so sick of everything '80s once people continually pounded in the '80s into my head. I guess since a lot of the '90s wanted to look back on the '70s, that 20-year cycle had us going into '80s fandom. I'm still a '90s child, so I'm sure the 20-year cycle will mean a lot of '90s fandom will come. Most of the early '90s continued what the '80s started.

Then as much as I've been sick of the '80s, I do admit that it's been one of the biggest cultural shifts since Woodstock and the Summer of 1969. So many of current fashions have been so predicated on the '80s. It's why I've hated seeing stuff like leggings under skirts (my blog entry) when it was in vogue among femmes. It was even why I crack peoples' (especially the fashion disasters) in "GTA: Vice City Stories." That even included the women that wore jeans tucked into boots (my blog entry) in the game.

But the main question I've wanted to ask all of you readers and viewers is...

What makes the '80s so appealing to you?

This is something I HAD to type up after ANOTHER '80s-inspired deal came along with the soon-to-be-released movie, "Hot Tub Time Machine." I'm like... WHY THE '80s? Isn't there any other favorable decade you can look back on besides the '80s? What makes this decade appealing to you? Please comment so we can have a little discussion!
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