LONG LIVE THE 80s PT. 3: COMMERCIAL JUBILEE!
Nothing has a worse shelf life then TV commercials. Hopelessly wedded to the styles of the moment and featuring things that frequently no longer exist, there is no watching old commercials with anything but a wise-ass grin which, alas, soon begins to morph into a sadly resigned frown as we realize that pretty much everything going on in our current lives will soon turn into fodder for a future generations amusements. Newscasts are another victim of their own time period, with stiff and no longer authoritative news presenters telling us stories that, for the most part, are utterly forgotten. Old newscasts are yet another reminder that nothing truly matters. Great. Above I've posted a nice little reel of 1980s commercials and newscasts. Watch it at your peril.
Movies also have a surprisingly short shelf life, thanks to outdated clothing, hairstyles, cars and silly telephones. This doesn't, however, apply to period pieces, in which case the costumes and gadgets are already supposed to be wildly outdated. Theater we have no idea about as, until recently, most plays remained mercifully un-recorded. Photos of plays of the past, however, clearly indicate that acting styles change radically and what would have been considered great acting in the past most likely would be laughed off the stage today. Actually, we do have some indication of what performance was like in the 1920s as quite a few plays of the latter part of that decade were made into early talkie movies with the performers and the scripts intact. They're pretty much as silly as the reel of commercials and newscasts I've posted above.
So take ten minutes, click on the above video and enjoy the hairstyles, personality traits and mostly forgotten products of the Reagan years. The 80s are dead. Long live the 80s.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 9:36 AM