In 1984 we had Ronald Reagan, the Tupperware Party, Steve Jobs, Bob Hope, and Back to the Future.
27 years later we have Barrack Obama and the Tea Party, no Jobs, no Hope, and no Future.
Reagan is a man who defines an era. The 1980s were known as the “me” generation, a time when people were said to be selfish.
Unfortunately, Reagan cannot play himself in an upcoming biopic, so let’s explore other actors.
In the eighties, Americans still enjoyed the innocent humor of the past; Bob Hope, was still popular. When the Tonight show ran out of jokes due to a writer’s strike, viewers would send in good clean humor. Still, things seemed to be changing.
George Burns was still kicking, and still smoking. In the early eighties, more films containing more-than-mild foul language got away with calling themselves PG. The cinema rude routines that kids would repeat their inappropriate jokes in the playground.
However, there was also a reaction to all this. In 1984, PG-13 was invented in order to allow parents more levels of what was acceptable. Heroes in kid-friendly films stopped smoking in the mid-eighties.
Meanwhile, Disney worked on its first R-rated movie, under the Buena Vista brand. The alleged greed of Generation “Me” was displayed onscreen under Wall Street.
Yet its most obvious representative was Madonna. Her song “Material Girl” had little elementary school girls singing along, brainwashing themselves to want a luxurious lifestyle. Or did it?
While there were elements of greed and selfishness apparent in all generations.
Marylin Monroe already told us that Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. Was there really anything different about the eighties?
Speed limits were lowered. Some unions were weakened, but others were strengthened, especially an “illegal” union in Poland. The Writer’s Guild of America had made a comeback from the McCarthy era, known now for merely wanting money instead of trying to turn the country communist.
One writer (who also acted) personified everything that was good about the eighties. He was a family man, he didn’t smoke, and he let us laugh at his every imperfection.
(find out in part 2…)