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How Would YOU Define The 80's, The 90's & The 21st Century?

Travel Forums Off Topic How Would YOU Define The 80's, The 90's & The 21st Century?

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1. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 8y

It was reading Tway's post in the 80's music - "What is it with 80s music? It makes people simultaneously cringe and dance". that prompted this, because as I started to write a response, I realised my answer was too long.

The 80's, was shoulder pads, double-breasted jackets, looking smart, dressy shoes, it was the me, me, me era. The- me first, me second, me third era.
It was all about putting yourself first and be damned to anybody else! It was the capitalists making even more money, it was about doing, and getting what you wanted. It was hedonistic to a hilt.

Then we had the 90's - a time more of reflection, when the golden bubble had started to burst a little. And we start to look further than tomorrow's next event. It was a time more of listening to some of the older stuff, when we played the songs of yesteryear. We took time out of our busy schedules and became deep in thought. More of an "earth mother" thing. The selfishness which had polarised the 80's was starting to receede. We had Spice girls with "Wannabe", "Barbie Girl", "End of the Road", and Boys to Men, Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin and Oasis.

And today? The 21st Century? How will this decade look ten years later? As for me, all I can say is Ooooh we have come down in the world. Today it's getting around in trackie-daks and sneakers, and who cares if the house is a mess? The sun will still rise tomorrow, the moon will still come out at night so let's not get our knickers in a knot over it. The ever present pushing of neatness and regimented thinking seems to have gone out the door, flung away and tossed out as we realise there's more to life than just being neat and tidy. As in slow down and smell the roses, a bit like the hippies of the 1960's only without all that free love stuff of course and pill popping. A more grown up version of hippiemania. How do you see the last few decades?

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Interesting post!

The 80s:

Yup, the 80s saw shoulder pads, Reaganomics, "Say No To Drugs", and the death of disco. (Poor Bee Gees were going to have to find a new niche.) It was about looking good, making piss-pots of money, women still trying to break through the "glass ceiling", the divorce rate reaching 50%, and the downfall of "company-minded" employees. The US saw an astronomical rise in HIV/AIDS cases which brought about a huge anti-gay sentiment and brought more support to the Moral Majority (christian fundamentalism). On a lighter note, the 80s also gave us Crockett & Tubbs (Miami Vice) which made me want to move to Maimi to see if it was really that pink and purple. Star Trek: The Next Generation made it's appearance as did Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was also the downfall of Saturday Night Live for those of us who had been watching since the beginning. Oh, and who can forget - personal computers that people could (sort of) afford. Granted, they took up half of your dining room but they did replace the typewriter...

My memories of the 80s also include (almost) being fired just because I was female and women were only meant to be teachers, librarians, secretaries and housewives. The first "discrimination against someone because of their sex" lawsuit was won which was monumental. But, I digress...

The 90s

I disagree with the moving away from the "me, me, me" era. That may have been happening in other places, but the US was (and still is) stuck in that mindset. People became more rude in their behavior and began listing things like "having children" as, not only a God-given right, but a legal one too. Not having to earn things on merit and/or ability began to rear it's ugly head as well. If you participated, you were rewarded - spawning a whole now crop of employees. (I showed up for work, therefore I deserve a raise.) Playgrounds started becoming dangerous places. Video games kept kids inside (because they might get hurt on the playground) as did the astounding increase in child abductions. Pedophelia became a household word. The 90s spawned a real estate frenzy, credit card boom and living outside your means. It also brought new awareness to global warming, recycling, shoulder pads are not a good look, boring boy bands and a resurgence of childhood diseases that hadn't been seen in decades (because the "earth mothers" felt childhood immunizations were bad but Hot Pockets were good substitutes for real food). Upside... Having a hard time with that one... Okay, I'll go with the Clinton years and seeing Jimmy Buffett and Steely Dan for my 40th birthday. Oh, and marrying Beerman (as that's the most important one).

The Now

I realize that I live in the time of dinosaurs (and have no children) which doesn't help in my assessment...
I would be a happy camper if the "not caring about the house getting cleaned" actually came down to "time to smell the roses". I don't see it happening. Everyone is too busy checking their PDAs, cell phones, e-mails and having to be connected 24/7. The roses are going to die on the vine un-noticed. Daily, I am reminded of a scene from Demolition Man (Stallone) where old ad jingles have become the new music because no one has time to listen to anything longer than 30 seconds. Okay, it's an exaggeration but... with the recent economy, it's going to take until the end of this decade for things to turn around. Until then, there will be no roses, only mucking up the mess. Take the phones and iPods out of your ears and listen to the world around you.

Those who know me know I don't use my cell phone (emergency use only - it's been off since June 9th), own one car, live on one salary, live vicariously through other's travels, am a 60's throwback, and wish the fedora and wing-tipped shoes would make a real comeback. Oh, and I like martinis.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 7, 2008, at 11:24 AM by Isadora ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

Oh, this is fun.

The 80s
My just-barely teenage years. What I remember is fluorescent everything, shoulder pads, not being able to tease my hair high enough, early high-school angst, pimple obsession, the radio on all the time, playing my Dad's 60s records loud when they were out, the occasional heartbreak, trying to fit in, etc. etc. I don't remember drugs in elementary or high school (a few cool kids smoked pot--but always with great cool secrecy), and girls wore baggy clothes, not revealing runway stuff. We were still scared that someone would tell our parents on us if we did something bad.

80s Music = Pop-ish, but with a beat. Every song was different, so you could change the way you danced from one to the next. These are the songs that stand out most in my memory--not for their quality, but for the nostalgia they bring up and the way they make you feel happy.

The 90s
University and leaving home years. I remember WAY better clothes (yay black!!!!), studying, alternative music, more attention to mother earth (lots of new hippies in CEGEP), Doc Martins, bigger heartbreaks, a lot less angst, questioning stuff, taking up causes (and being pig-headed about it), paying bills, realizing how much stuff costs,etc. I don't remember people being self-centred; I rather remember them as fighting for worthy causes. Might have been a student thing.

90s music = Alternative, back-to-the-roots stuff. Rock made a comeback. Nirvana took over the charts from vapid pop stuff. Very dark, but ultimately very deep, music.

The 00s (uh-ohs, as someone once said)
Good lord, where do I begin without sounding like I'm getting old. What do we have... Hollywood nobodies on magazine covers, kids in a hurry to grow up, lack of discipline, lack of respect, disconnection from other people, disregard for or society's elders, obsession with getting what you probably can't have (tons of money, impossible beauty, fame, etc), increased intolerance, fear, mindless sheep-like agreement with governments, etc. etc.

Yet we also have massive responses to disasters--reminders of our humanity, compassion, and love for one another. It takes events of great, great magnitude to shake us out of our stupour. But we're in there.

00s music = Please!!! I can't stand the vapid, empty pop-slop they play on the radio. Stuff that's famous for an hour and then never heard from again. You think people in 20 years are going to play Madonna's latest hit and have people say "Oh, I remember that!"? No way. Nothing's memorable anymore because the fast-food pace of music doesn't connect to anyone. "Like a Virgin" stood out and grabbed us and shook us and challenged our limits--so it's pop but it's around for a long time. But today's stuff? Musical Big Macs.

But! There's little underground discoveries everywhere, lots of smaller groups who have something to say. I think they're appeal is that they're not mainstream, they don't want to be loved by the masses. Radiohead, Wilco, Postal Service, and tons of remote stuff will save us from ourselves.

Whatever the empty, talentless starlet is dancing too, stay away!

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 8y

Quoting Whistler 2

It was reading Tway's post in the 80's music - "What is it with 80s music? It makes people simultaneously cringe and dance". that prompted this, because as I started to write a response, I realised my answer was too long.

The 80's, was shoulder pads, double-breasted jackets, looking smart, dressy shoes, it was the me, me, me era. The- me first, me second, me third era.
It was all about putting yourself first and be damned to anybody else! It was the capitalists making even more money, it was about doing, and getting what you wanted. It was hedonistic to a hilt.

Then we had the 90's - a time more of reflection, when the golden bubble had started to burst a little. And we start to look further than tomorrow's next event. It was a time more of listening to some of the older stuff, when we played the songs of yesteryear. We took time out of our busy schedules and became deep in thought. More of an "earth mother" thing. The selfishness which had polarised the 80's was starting to receede. We had Spice girls with "Wannabe", "Barbie Girl", "End of the Road", and Boys to Men, Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin and Oasis.

And today? The 21st Century? How will this decade look ten years later? As for me, all I can say is Ooooh we have come down in the world. Today it's getting around in trackie-daks and sneakers, and who cares if the house is a mess? The sun will still rise tomorrow, the moon will still come out at night so let's not get our knickers in a knot over it. The ever present pushing of neatness and regimented thinking seems to have gone out the door, flung away and tossed out as we realise there's more to life than just being neat and tidy. As in slow down and smell the roses, a bit like the hippies of the 1960's only without all that free love stuff of course and pill popping. A more grown up version of hippiemania. How do you see the last few decades?

Whistler, I agree with your take on the 80's but I think you must have overdosed on mung beans when you wrote your piece on the 90's and beyond.

Australia has always been about money and the "me" generation. As for taking time out in the 90s for deep thought, well this may have been the case if you lost your job as a result of the recession and had too much time on your hands. But the 21 st century and neatness? What's that all about? Have you just moved out of home?

5. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 8y

Quoting james

Whistler, I agree with your take on the 80's but I think you must have overdosed on mung beans when you wrote your piece on the 90's and beyond.

Australia has always been about money and the "me" generation. As for taking time out in the 90s for deep thought, well this may have been the case if you lost your job as a result of the recession and had too much time on your hands. But the 21 st century and neatness? What's that all about? Have you just moved out of home?

Well I certainly overdosed on something James, but it wasn't mung beans, more like standing on my own two feet. I walked out of a very bad marriage, had four boy to raise (no help from the ex) and learnt that freedom doesn't come straight away it's a thought process whereby although one's physical address had changed, the mind part i.e. the way of thinking doesn't automatically accept that you don't have to answer to the other person, he's not your boss anymore and you are your own boss. And you get to make your own decisions. When I was married, his opinion was my opinion, for the first year or so after I left, his opinion was my opinion, until finally I woke up one day and suddenly realised, "Hey! what do I care if he gets mad? It's none of his business. I don't care etc. etc." And my opinion was my opinion.

And with play group and kinder and stuff you sort of stop taking notice of the world around you and you turn not exactly inwards, but other things and thoughts dominate. Until all of a sudden the era has past and suddenly it's New Year's Eve 1999 and then the clock strikes midnight, the horns honk and it's a new year and a new century.

And as I write this, I think where did the time go? How could nine and a half years suddenly pass where did it go? What did I do? Where was me? I got lost and I'd been lost for a long time. Hence the 21st and neatness, I realised ear;ier this year, that when I was younger (married) I was older, but now that I'm older I'm younger. I don't care so much if things are messy, who cares if tea isn't ready at 6 o'clock or the clothes haven't been washed. I can do that stuff tomorrw, I don't have to do it right now, this very minute. I dance around the lounge room and my boys think I'm sort of mental, or I'll start singing along to something on Youtube, dance around the kitchen and "shake it all over" and my boys reckon I'm bonkers, I wear mini skirts and footless tights and they shake their heads, "Mothers. do. no. dress. that. way." you see. They act like they are the parent and I am the child. But that doesn't bother me, because life is too short to be worried about what somebody thought of us and what somebody else thinks we ought to do - you have to live each day as if it were your last and if you can do that, then you're doing better than a lot of people in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm 17 and I don't want to grow up. I want to keep that feeling because it makes life bearable. And I think I've gone a bit philosophical there ne c'est pas?

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 8y

Quoting Whistler 2

Quoting james

Whistler, I agree with your take on the 80's but I think you must have overdosed on mung beans when you wrote your piece on the 90's and beyond.

Australia has always been about money and the "me" generation. As for taking time out in the 90s for deep thought, well this may have been the case if you lost your job as a result of the recession and had too much time on your hands. But the 21 st century and neatness? What's that all about? Have you just moved out of home?

Well I certainly overdosed on something James, but it wasn't mung beans, more like standing on my own two feet. I walked out of a very bad marriage, had four boy to raise (no help from the ex) and learnt that freedom doesn't come straight away it's a thought process whereby although one's physical address had changed, the mind part i.e. the way of thinking doesn't automatically accept that you don't have to answer to the other person, he's not your boss anymore and you are your own boss. And you get to make your own decisions. When I was married, his opinion was my opinion, for the first year or so after I left, his opinion was my opinion, until finally I woke up one day and suddenly realised, "Hey! what do I care if he gets mad? It's none of his business. I don't care etc. etc." And my opinion was my opinion.

And with play group and kinder and stuff you sort of stop taking notice of the world around you and you turn not exactly inwards, but other things and thoughts dominate. Until all of a sudden the era has past and suddenly it's New Year's Eve 1999 and then the clock strikes midnight, the horns honk and it's a new year and a new century.

And as I write this, I think where did the time go? How could nine and a half years suddenly pass where did it go? What did I do? Where was me? I got lost and I'd been lost for a long time. Hence the 21st and neatness, I realised ear;ier this year, that when I was younger (married) I was older, but now that I'm older I'm younger. I don't care so much if things are messy, who cares if tea isn't ready at 6 o'clock or the clothes haven't been washed. I can do that stuff tomorrw, I don't have to do it right now, this very minute. I dance around the lounge room and my boys think I'm sort of mental, or I'll start singing along to something on Youtube, dance around the kitchen and "shake it all over" and my boys reckon I'm bonkers, I wear mini skirts and footless tights and they shake their heads, "Mothers. do. no. dress. that. way." you see. They act like they are the parent and I am the child. But that doesn't bother me, because life is too short to be worried about what somebody thought of us and what somebody else thinks we ought to do - you have to live each day as if it were your last and if you can do that, then you're doing better than a lot of people in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm 17 and I don't want to grow up. I want to keep that feeling because it makes life bearable. And I think I've gone a bit philosophical there ne c'est pas?

I now see where you are coming from.

Nice post.

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 8y

Going to have to think on it....But Damn, "S", this is an incredible thread.

D

8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Cheers to you Sandra! ;)

After I posted mine, and then reread it, I thought "Oh my God - that really is quite cynical." I debated going back and changing a few things but then the phone rang. As I thought about it more throughout the evening, I realized we could all quote a litany of facts from each era but big deal. I also decided that Sandra was giving her perspective from her experiences and that's what she was looking for from us. At the moment, I'm still looking back over those decades (and this one so far). It's been an amazing journey that's for sure!

Sandra - keep singing, dancing and embarrassing the kids!

9. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 8y

I think everyone's experience will differ because of our age/sex/nationality--and a zillion other things. It's fun to read everyone's perspectives--it reminds me of stuff I've forgotten (like Hit Pockets! Yuck!). There' a lot to be cynical of and a lot to be happy for. 3 sets of 10 years is a lot to sum up in a couple or paragraphs!

10. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

Very interesting post... l totally agree with Tina though due to age and personal circumstance everyone will view the 3 decades in very different manners - hell some of those on TP were only born in the 90s and the 80s were non existance to them!!

For me 80s - l was what 6 going into them and 16 moving into the 90s (l know my mental arthimetic astounds you!) - l live and have lived in Northern Ireland and this was an era where the Troubles escalated a day didnt go by without bombs going off or people being murdered. In my daily life this didnt effect me too much - l dont think here is the place to go into it but the Troubles did effect me but not in a daily way. It was a period of growing up, making friends, loosing friends - and lm happy to say that the friends l made in 1980s are still some of my best pals now. It was a time of family fighting - my bloody sisters stealing my stuff (lm the oldest of 4 girls!), school days, long hot summers (where have they gone eh!) and generally l look at the 1980s through rose tinted spectacles!

90s - My late teens, and 20s, A Levels, going to uni, moving out of home, getting a job, boyfriend/partner who turned out to be not who l thought they were, experimenting (various here fill in your own blanks!) earning and learning to stand on my own 2 feet. In Northern Ireland peace supposedly was brokered - certainly things were alot brighter in that the daily bombings, street searches (yup every time we went into a shopping centre we were frisked!)and killings were not in the news daily. Personally l became more aware of the political situation in NI and started to form my own views and affiliations. It was in the 1990s l picked up bad habits - smoking and alcohol being one - dam l think it was in this era l experienced the joy of a hangover!!

00s - The start of this decade l experienced things that made me who l am today - a bad relationship broke up - at the time hell - now l see it as the best thing that ever happened to me. I became much more self reliant and confident and happy with myself. I turned 30 a few years back and would hate to be back in my late teens again! Career wise, this has gone from strenght to strenght. I bought my house at the start of the 00s and started to travel - not just taking holidays but actually getting out into the world and experiencing other cultures. So now we are in 2008 - lm probably in the best position that l have ever been in, lm single through my choice whilst all my friends and family are having families and married, l dont understand it myself but then again its not my choice or my life so why should l pass judgement. Im confident enough to have an opinion and not be influenced by others, l have enough money in the bank to be secure, happy to live alone, yet l have great friends and close family that l know l can turn too if l need.

Roll on 10s lm looking forward - who knows what they will bring!!