"Push it to the limit
Walk along the razor's edge
But don't look down just keep your head
Or you'll be finished
Open up the limit
Past the point of no return
You've reached the top but still you gotta learn
How to keep it"
"It was acceptable in the 80s
It was acceptable at the time"
— Calvin Harris, "Acceptable in the 80s"
"Oh, there's a lot of opportunities
If you know when to take them, you know?
There's a lot of opportunities
If there aren't, you can make them
Make or break them
I've got the brains, you've got the looks
Let's make lots of money"
"The times they are a-telling,
And the changing isn't free
You've read it in the tea leaves
And the tracks are on TV
Beware the savage jaw
"The eighties almost killed me Let's not recall them quite so fondly"
— The Hold Steady, "Positive Jam"
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Hair. Shoulderpads. Nukes. It’s the eighties. Everything’s
You ignorant piece of shock
! You've stranded us in the 1980s! Haven't you ever read
a history book? This is the worst decade of the millennium!
Kif, set course for the nearest XM repair facility. Meanwhile, we shall sing top hits from the Eighties. Kif: Which
Eighties, sir? Brannigan:
For me, there are only one Eighties. (sings "Hungry Like The Wolf" while Kif groans
, "Into the Wild Green Yonder"
It's the fucking 80's guys. Let's do what we want to do. Free Love! Jacob:
That was the sixties
, dipshit. Adam:
We had, like, Reagan
. Get the fuck outta here, ok?
It was a back in a disgusting period known as the early 80s. It was a time when women would stand topless, high on coke, on the edge of hotel balconies while the curtains were billowing around them... I think there was actually more wind then.
— Lois Griffin
, Family Guy
, "And I'm Joyce Kinney"
It's the Eight-
ies! Do a lot of coke and vote for Ronald Reagan!
Get back to the decade where everyone was rich, and there was no problem too big to ignore!
The '80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige.
— Political strategist Lee Atwater
Was there ever a more garish decade than the eighties? Neon clothing, big hair
, spandex, blazers with shoulder pads for men? A jacket that anyone could buy for 25 bucks called 'Members Only.
' The eighties were so ugly, even beautiful people looked ridiculous◊
looked awful! Look at ME
in the 1980s! Honestly, I tried to find a good picture from then. It doesn’t exist!
There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong.
What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation.
The only joy about that is that I was on the inside looking out and the rest of you had to put up with it. It was the Eighties, glam rock
hit a chord back in the late Seventies and Eighties because it was the age of greed: here you have this unapologetic character who is mean and nasty and ruthless and does it all with an evil grin
. I think people related to JR back then because we all have someone we know exactly like him. Everyone in the world knows a J.R.
— Larry Hagman
A man could die from so much eighties!
— Bennett The Sage
Everyone walked out of Road House
into the sunlight feeling stunned, stupid, a little gay for Patrick Swayze
, and wondering idly why they ever thought Duran Duran
was a good band. In one day, the 80s were over
. Women's hairdos started to make sense once again. Spandex was abolished. The New Kids
and Wham! were purged from our cultural memory.
Everyone who was cool in the '70s
ended up selling out in the '80s, but no one did it better than David Bowie
— dude went all the way... as soon as the contract with [his manager]
was over and Bowie didn't have to give up half his money anymore, he went back to the studio and did the pop-est album imaginable, Let's Dance
. It sold 10 million copies and made him a multimillionaire. I like to imagine that as soon as the clock struck midnight on Sept. 30, 1982, Bowie washed the lipstick from his face, took off his dress to reveal a perfectly ironed suit and tie underneath, and said, 'Gentlemen, let's business.'
Biff! Pow! Comics aren’t just for kids! They’re not even comics anymore, they’re Graphic Novels so put it in the suck it bucket, Adam West
Without a doubt the most 1980s sequence ever committed to film – if you want to see where everything went wrong in that era just stick these titles on. The fashion, the cars, the hair, the awful gadgets, the way everybody tried to look hip
, the editing, the horrendous zooms…and the godawful music. Poor Lis Sladen
is made to look as though she is blissed out on wine wandering around the country in her metro, occasionally getting out to jog along the country roads and pull down a paper and stare into the camera as though she really is sizzled
. It’s agonisingly awful and very, very funny
. I always stick it on when I am in a bad mood, but as a title sequence to introduce a gritty new series about an investigative journalist it fails on every level.
For every person who sings the praises of The Next Generation
for picking up the long-abandoned Trek
baton and running like crazy with it, there'll be another scoffing at the pure '80s wackiness that placed a therapist on the bridge next to the captain, and had an adolescent boy piloting the ship
Where the scenes with the Doctor are clumsily scripted
, Lytton's pragmatic sense of realism is well portrayed; the sequences between Lytton, Kiston and Davros almost make up for the flaws in the rest of the story. Where Stien is poorly characterised, Lytton's motivations are clear throughout. [Eric]
Saward's interests visibly lie, not with the Doctor's liberalism
or Stien's divided loyalties
, but with Lytton's amoral pragmatism... Lytton is also strongly in keeping with the ethos of the 1980s... the theme of amoral, selfish, profit-driven individuals exemplified by such 1980s classics as American Psycho
, Wall Street
and Working Girl
. Even if the character is, in fact, a Dalek duplicate
, the metaphor still reads, as Lytton's betrayal can therefore be seen as a stab in the back from a corporate insider. Lytton is thus very much a character for his time.
— Alan Stevens
, "An Analysis of "Resurrection of the Daleks"
’s Star Trek
was an incredibly optimistic and enthusiastic vision of the future, broadcast in the late sixties. It went off the air only shortly before the moon landing, and embodied an American fascination with the potential of outer space. It was, in many respects, the last gasp of the idealism of the Kennedy era
, with Kennedy’s Camelot extrapolated into the distant future. Kennedy’s 'New Frontier' became Roddenberry’s 'Final Frontier.'''
The last of that enthusiasm slipped away while the show was off the air, caught up in scandals like Watergate — creating a fear and darkness at the heart of American culture. In fact, the final big screen adventure featuring the cast of the original
Star Trek'' featured the crew thwarting a conspiracy by high-ranking officials (and some foreign agents
) to assassinate the President.
These are the legacies of the 1980s. An economic ideology that fostered profits above all else created a world in which power justifies its own use and the maxim that history is written by the victors
becomes a moral principle
instead of a cynical observation.
In addition to big hair and seriously padded shoulders, lotteries became popular in states across the country, which may have given hope to those more likely to be struck by lightning, that they could possibly, someday, acquire enormous wealth, and so it made sense to reduce the tax rate of the very wealthy. But until they reaped in their millions, they resented the wages and benefits paid to those who were members of unions. Those resentments were encouraged and inflamed by those unafflicted by the profoundly stupid but simply born greedy.
, "Eureka! My earthshaking new study reveals the root cause of the profoundly stupid"
"The hunt for money extends in this era; instead of looking for gold or for oil
under the surface they have to find the people with the money to spend and convince them to part with it
. This ruthlessness of the salesmen could be translated to the everyday world, in the struggle for better jobs in order to sustain the materialism of the time. This was the aspect that Mamet emphasised; he did this through the use of dialogue. There is an expletive in almost every sentence
of Glengarry Glen Ross
. They’re either used casually or as abuse of another character. Characters do not care for one and other, they insult each other; they compete against each other, not work together...by the end of the play, everyone has lost.