I was there; I should know. As one caption to this video read, very accurately, “this is what it was like 24/7.”
I went looking for clothes the other day but everything was 80s, badly printed shirts and high waisted jeans the colour of skim milk. Looking at this stuff I had a visceral memory of the daily Rickroll that was living through that decade. You know, the 80s, the foundation of the political and economic mess we’re in now, with their constant justification for demolishing the social safety net, their Darwinian hell presided over by Margaret “there is no such thing as society” Thatcher and Ronald “star wars missile program” Reagan. That’s all I can see in the pleated pants, the preppy hair, and the Crystal Light Aerobics Championships with its frightening chant about being champions. What a slick, sleazy, shiny trickle-down dream it is. The only alternative to its shiny happy BS was a lot of British males whining about their lot, with funk and sex replaced by a limp anxiety. But sure, let’s keep bringing it all back! But just so you know what you’re bringing back, let’s remind ourselves what most of it looked like: top button done up, uptight obedience. And a lot of suits.
PS I really would rather chew tinfoil than listen to the thin, stringy, deracinated sound of Hall & Oates. You could actually hear politics & sex washing down the drain. But we had Prince! The exception to the sexless, sax-infested, conservative shlock that dominated that decade.