Sunday, March 02, 2008

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

This morning, I watched a 25-year old edition of ITV's The Big Match. ITV 4 have been showing them on Sunday mornings lately, and they showed me what happened in the world of English football exactly 25 years ago. And on this week a quarter of a century ago, Villa (then European cup holders) were playing Graham Taylor's Watford, and Villa were undone by a goal in the fourth minute of injury time. How times have changed! (Villa were undone by a late injury time goal yesterday as well!)

Anyway, I caught myself saying 'Ahh, them were the days', but were they? There's a big 80's revival happening at the moment, there's kids walking around with big 'Frankie' type slogans on T-shirts, Rambo, Rocky and Indiana Jones back in the cinemas. Knight Rider has made a comeback, and the top toys of the time, Transformers and GI Joe, have been or soon will be big Hollywood movies. And, of course, there's Ashes to Ashes on at the moment as well, cashing in on the current clamour for all things eighties. And there was that shit Calvin Harris record.

You see, I remember the eighties as being generally rubbish. Thatcher, Miner's strikes,Mullets, Reagan, Recession, The Falklands, Stock, Aitken, Waterman, the Brixton, Toxteth and Handsworth riots, Careless Whisper, IRA mainland campaigns, Piano-key ties, Greenham Common, Bucks Fizz, The Minipops, Howard's Way and Howard Jones. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. On a personal note, the eighties might've been the decade Villa won the Championship, the European Cup and the Super Cup, but it was also the decade in which we were relegated and we got Deadly Doug back. I did most of my puberty in the eighties, and that was a shit time. Having a squeaky voice and terminal acne is bad enough, but try combining that with having to wear Farah trousers, stonewashed denim jackets and tan leather neckties. Not a good look, especially when topped off with a flat-top haircut. Also, the eighties was the time when my parents split up, so I don't look back on the era that fondly.

But I did live through them, and my memories are first hand. A lot of the kids about now who are re-living the eighties weren't even born in the eighties. People having their first legal pint this year were born in 1990! That makes me feel old. To those people, Michael Jackson's always been a white bloke! Why have they latched onto the '80s? Is it the because the '90s didn't really have an identity?(I recently went to a '90s themed party and I honestly couldn't think of anything to go as, so I just wore an old football shirt. For a so-called comics artist I really do lack imagination! But it proves what a fairly nondescript decade the 90's were.) If the most recognisable star from the 90s is Liam Gallagher, then it really was a shit decade culturally. I really don't see the point of having nostalgia for a decade you weren't around in, and young adults might want to try creating their own cultural movement instead of borrowing one that wasn't that good in the first place.

God, I sound old!


Madeley said...

I'd say that the major thing about the 80s was that it WAS an absolutely fucking awful decade and I'm glad to be out of it. What I think is being misunderstood with all the 80s revivals is that Rambo and Knight Rider and Transformers aren't examples of its awesomeness, but rather the only things that made it bearable.

Mick said...

#sob!# We were too poor to have Transformer toys in our house, so I never really got into them, and whilst First Blood was a great movie, its sequels are the perfect example of diminishing returns. But then, I am saying this with hindsight; I really liked the second Rambo movie when it came out. I always preferred The A-Team to Knight Rider, but, there's really nothing like those shows around now, as US genre shows tend to go for the big story arc these days.
You're right, though, the '80s was a fucking dreadul time, but I'm kinda glad I lived through it all, as it was certainly character-forming!

Madeley said...

Absolutely. If we didn't have the 80s, we wouldn't have half the things to get excited or annoyed enough about to write about on the internet.