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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The '80s are back and they're better than ever!

Do you remember that commercial? It was for a cd-- Totally '80s, I believe.

Now, I loved the 1980s. Really, I did. I can still remember at around the age of 7, 8 years old sitting in front of the tv with my uncle and watching the Video Killed the Radio Star video. Or how about the animated, "I want my Mtv". I must have rented The Making of Thriller video and watched it a dozen times.

It's hard to believe that Michael Jackson was once so cool...

But my favorite video was for a Tom Petty song. They pull up in some hovercraft car and in a scene reminscent of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (another excellent vestige of the '80s) Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers step out in long dusty trenchcoats and open up a fall-out shelter. Inside are dust-covered instruments, a hold-over from that forgotten era. And Tom and his Heartbreakers pick up the instruments and begin to play. That was an awesome video... though I don't think the song had anything to do with the aftermath of nuclear fallout.

So I love the '80s, so what? (o, i forgot to give "props" to Men at Work, holla!) So what is my beef?

It is this: When are we going to see a commercial where some girl in "Hammer pants" calls up a guy who, we see, is wearing an adidas jogging suit and hi-tops (the new Jordans, of course) and asks:

Hammer Girl: "Have you heard?"
Adidas Guy: "Have I heard what?"
Hammer Girl: "The '90s are back and better than ever!"
Adidas Guy: "Word."
Hammer Girl: "Psych!" (short laugh) "The '90s couldn't get better, with hits like..."

And then we go in to a rundown of some great hits. But this CD will forget the grunge. No, we'll have to save Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots and Sonic Youth for a separate CD (of course.)

No, this CD will feature the greats of hip-hop in the early '90s. How about the "I Dream of Jeannie" influenced opening to Girls Ain't Nothing but Trouble or Young MC's Bust a Move. Then there is anything by Boyz2Men or Kid n Play. I miss Public Enemy in that bright suit with the big yellow clock around his neck. MCHammer will come dancing across the screen doing, what I recognize now as, an early form of Riverdance in those big baggy pants. (I owned like 5 pair, myself.) And of course Vanilla Ice: "rollin' in my 5.0 with the ragtop down so my hair can blow. Girlies on standby waiting just to say 'hi'. Did ya stop? Naw, I just rolled by..."

Ah the simple pleasures of the past.

I could dance once. I swear. I used to do the "running man," but my favorite was the "Humpty Dance." "Where's my Samoans? Do the humpty-hump. Do-a-do the humpty-hump." Can you imagine a young chubby white boy with his baggy neon green jean shorts and Bart Simpson t-shirt gettin' down in the front yard with our boom box blasting. I really could bust a move.

That brings up something I want to comment on before I end this. What made that music so cool was that a chubby white boy from the Oklahoma suburbs could relate. I don't know anything about "bustin' caps." But I could agree with Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince that parents really didnt' understand. Like Young MC and Kriss Kross, I knew what it was like to miss the bus. I didn't have to be from 8 Mile to understand what they were saying... and I didn't have to pretend I was either.

Nowadays I go home and some teenage punk white kid with his hair died blonde, hat on sideways pulls up next to me in an Escalade with his stereo blaring so loud my rear view mirror falls off.

All I think is: "You didn't get that from no record contract, fool. Your daddy bought it. Maybe what you need to know is how it feels to ride the bus. Word. I'm from the old school. Represent!"

Ah well. Just a thought, what ever happened to Kriss & Kross? They're about my age, maybe a little younger... I wonder where they ended up. Those kids had unique style. Thinking about it makes me feel all reminscent.

Maybe today, when class is over, I'll go home and pull out my baggy jean shorts and baseball jersey... and I'll put them on backwards. Just for old times sake. Even better: I'll pull out my old overalls and (if i can find it) hypercolor tshirt (remember those?!) and put them on, but let one strap of the overalls hang.



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