The Unstoppable: Understanding The 1980’s

Tomorrow I’m going to feature a gentleman who played a small role in keeping the whole damn planet from going all “splodey”.  Cool eh?

First I need the set the scene for readers out there who did not experience (or have forgotten) the cold war.  If you happen to be young and educated in history by public schools (sorry for your loss) or old and hopelessly steeped in patchouli (get a job loser) you may be unaware of certain facts.  One is that the world spent several decades with two nuclear superpowers simply itching for an excuse to blow each other into itty bitty pieces.  Both were (and are) equipped with piles of long range weaponry that compare to North Korea’s little dog and pony show like a howitzer compares to a broken slingshot.

That’s not strong enough.  I’ll try again so we can get some shit straight right now…  In fact I’ll codify it as a Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:

“Part of the reason that folks in this decade fret about polar bears and student loans is because they’re not thinking about intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

That got your attention?  Maybe.  Folks of a certain age are nodding in agreement but younger folks are probably bored and tweeting on their iDevices.  For them, I’ve linked two music videos from the time when MTV quaintly played music on the TV.

The first is Genesis with “Land Of Confusion”.

The second is Frankie Goes To Hollywood (you thought Lady GaGa had a corner on obtuse names?) and their craptacular opus “Two Tribes”.

From these nuggets of history I wish to communicate two precious facts:

  1. People in the 1980’s were terrified that Russia and America would go at it with nukes until nothing but glowing skeletons and Keith Richards remained.
  2. People in the 1980’s turned out some horrible music with music videos that beat you over the head with their point.  Subtle inferences need not apply when the image is Gorbachev and Reagan kicking each other in the balls in a boxing ring.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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7 Responses to The Unstoppable: Understanding The 1980’s

  1. Joe in PNG says:

    Don’t forget that German chick’s “99 Red Baloons” or Rush’s “Distant Early Warning”.

  2. cspschofield says:

    I tend to go a little easy on entertainers on this issue. Reagan confronted the USSR in a way that we hadn’t (publicly, anyway) for a number of years. To those of us that actually pay attention to what is happening internationally, it didn’t amount to much in the way of real escalation of tension, but on the surface it looked bad. I don’t expect entertainers to be experts on foreign policy until and unless they have demonstrated an aptitude.

    The Intellectual Left made fun of Reagan The Actor, willfully ignoring that he had moved into politics as head of the screen actors guild, and worked his way up (would God that Jug-ears at 1600 Penn. had that much experience). But Reagan was an exception. Most entertainers don’t study politics and history, and frankly don’t have the time (I don’t buy into the “It’s a tough life being a Rock Star” narrative, but it IS a full time job). If they are good at their job (Collins is. Frankie boys, not so much) I don’t expect their political opinions to make much sense. I’ll applaud them when they DO, mind. But I’ll decide who to listen to (musically) based on ability as composers and performers.

    I don’t avoid Jane Fonda movies because she’s arguably a traitorous Lefty. I avoid Jane Fonda movies because she has the acting ability of a sheet of plywood.

  3. Wilson says:

    My personal favorite was “It’s a mistake” by Men at Work. You should have also mentioned how Dan Rather was hysterically screaming from our TVs every night about how that “Cowboy” Ronald Reagan was going to get us all killed.

  4. Pingback: The Unstoppable: Understanding The 1980′s (Encore) | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

  5. KA9VSZ says:

    And to counteract the light-hearted vein: I was handling classified information (that I was not cleared to read- just stamp it and stuff it in the safe) one evening circa 1980 while the LT was asleep. Naturally, I read it. There were Soviet missles in Cuba and we had increased our readiness level fo DEFCON “uh-oh”. I kept mum at home (hey, I wanted to keep my cushy job) until the talking head on the TV said “Official sources have denied there are missles in Cuba blah blah”. I blurted out “That’s not true! I read the secret messa…um, nevermind”. It got very quiet in the room…

  6. Pingback: Post Debate Analysis Part I | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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