Thoughts on thoughts

I enjoyed reading through everyone’s thoughts on the 80s theme. Some people are enthusiastic about it, others don’t know what to make of it but seem up to trying. Most of us only know it vicariously, through parents, re-runs and old movies.

“The 80’s is a decade I don’t give too much credit…but I should.” 

I think a lot of the way things are now was forged in the 80s, or foreseen in various ways. It interests me to look back with that perspective. But it also interests me to see other perspectives. Yesterday an article from Consequence of Sound came across my radar. It reads to me like a 40-something waxing nostalgic and wishing things could be like they were. Would people today want gatekeepers like that? Don’t they have their own filters? I think there is a value in having a common cultural vocabulary. Broadcast media used to give some stability to that, where individually curated media streams do not.

“why were the TV and movies produce the way that they were and was it because they were all just try to distract themselves from what was going on in the world.” 

“We couch all discussion in jokes about the horrible fashion and silly hairdos, not ever truly touching on the origins and issues that made the 80’s Like That.” 

These are questions worth exploring. In some ways culture provides distraction. But it can also focus attention, and reflect attitudes and realities, in both explicit and allegorical ways. I also wonder why certain images of the decade persist. If we look at what was popular on TV in the 80s, how much of it means anything today? People know about fashion and style. No one remembers Hill Street Blues. I forgot about it myself.

“I feel this class should teach us to step out of our comfort zones and try new and fun things we have been afraid or doubting to try, as these stars were known to break boundaries (and history).” 

This is a beautiful attitude. I think a lot of us have already stepped out of our comfort zones just in the first week. Can we break boundaries, in a good way, and make history, even if only in our small ways, with what we do in this class? I think it’s possible. I think it’s worth a try.

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