Where the 80’s better than today?
Is it just me or does everyone feel very nostalgic for the 1980’s?
Every year on Mix FM we celebrate 80’s August, not just the music but the TV, the movies and the stonewash.
When I hear Kids in the Kitchen on the radio it takes me straight back. My dad was still alive, the only thing I truly needed in life was a Lacoste polo shirt and Molly wasn’t even sick on A Country Practice.
I turned 13 in 1980 so it’s the decade I feel most connected with and it was a great time to be alive. We were so much more united by TV in the 80’s, everyone I knew watched Hey Hey it’s Saturday and the Flying Doctors. In the late 80’s my friends and I were trying to break into the arts, we loved live music and dressed out of op shops. Beer was cheap and it felt like we might change the world.
Alan Bond brought us the America’s Cup, Paul Hogan threw a shrimp on the barbie, Australia was making her mark and we were all a part of that.
I don’t think any decade is truly better than another, people who grew up in the 60’s probably feel like they did change the world and the 70’s and 90’s delivered the best music. But the 80’s gave us confidence. Australians were moving and shaking on the world stage and it really did feel like the lucky country.
House prices were definitely better. Wages were lower and I don’t think anyone felt rich but owning your own home was a lot more achievable. On the other hand, houses are considerably better these days. En-suites, electric garages and more than one TV were the stuff of fantasy in the 1980s.
We had never really heard of domestic terrorism. The IRA was causing havoc in the UK but it felt a long way away. We didn’t think twice about entering a stadium or watching a plane fly overhead.
On the other hand, I went to bed every night praying the USA or USSR would not start a nuclear war. It seems ridiculous now but wherever I slept, had a getaway plan for when the bomb dropped.
We didn’t have mobile phones, email or Facebook. I know some people think that is a selling point for the 1980’s but I don’t. I wasted many afternoons, stuck inside, waiting for a boy to call. And when he finally did call it was too much excitement at once and the phone was in the lounge room, right next to where the whole family was watching Tony Barber on ‘The Sale’. I was too scared to say anything for fear of being teased and most calls were awkward and unsatisfying.
Obviously, there was no risk of teenagers sexting over the wall phone in the kitchen while mum was making dinner but on balance, I would take communication in 2017.
A lot of things felt special in the 1980’s, like staying up to watch the Sunday night movie, late night shopping or the Sunday session at the pub. You can have whatever you want, whenever you want it now. On balance, I’d happily go back to the old way.
No doubt in the future our kids will remember the 10’s with just as much nostalgia but we will know the truth, it’s not better or worse today, just different, with infinitely more cat videos.