Remembering the 1980s

Back in the late 1970s, when I was in the UCLA Computer Club, a very odd book showed up that I didn’t appreciate at the time, The 80s: A Look Back at the Tumultuous Decade 1980-1989. This book, written by the National Lampoon crowd, was written from the late 1970s perspective of what happened during the 1980s.

So lets all think back to the 1980s. Do you remember when…

  • In response to the key role of New Orleans in the 1980 victory of the Kennedy-Carter ticket, President-Elect Edward Kennedy promise to “give Senator Russell Long anything it is within my body to give” proved his undoing. Just before the election, when Long needed an emergency liver transplant, Kennedy (after consulting with Dr. Alan Bakke) offered to donate his own liver. Twelve hours later, the nation learned the president would never drink or drive again. Bakke was later heard to say “It’s two kidney’s, one liver”.
  • The three network system died, with first NBC being buried by low ratings after the “Hippie Days” debacle, and CBS merging into ABC after a Watergate style incident when they stole scripts. ABC later hit a 100% share and 100% audience with the sitcom, “The Neilsen Family”.
  • The fantastic musical production from Mike Curb, 1984!, starring Lief Garrett, Tracy Austin, and Marlo Brando as “Big Brother”, with music and lyrics by the Gibb Brothers, rat choreography by Twyla Tharp, and direction by Margaret Trudeau.
  • When the UK was sold to Disney, being reborn as “The United Magic Kingdom”. Northern Ireland had been previously sold off in 1981 to a consortium known as the United Barflies of America, and promptly renamed “The Greatest Goddam Little Piece of Heaven on God’s Goddam Earth”.
  • When Italy accepted reality and accepted hostages as currency.
  • The 1988 Albanian World’s Fair, with the International Hall of Sheep Diseases and the International Hall of Huts.
  • December 6, 1985, when the worldwide glut of oil was revealed, and the price of oil dropped to 10c/barrel. The Arab community promptly announced a jihad.
  • How ethics rules resulted in the 1982 Congress of Nuts, which passed bills such as the Mastrielli-Donnell Acts of 1983, requiring that the dollar be backed with cheese, or the Regulated Objects Act of 1983, which made possession by an individual or household of more than 1,000ft of twine, string, rope, or cord a criminal offense, and required the registration of all magnets.
  • The Second Continental Congress, and the new Bill of Rights, such as “No bail in excess of one hundred million dollards shall be required; nor any sentence longer than six thousand years imposed; and any curel or unusal punishment inflicted must be televised.”
  • The “International Year of the Simultaneous Orgasm” in 1983, which shifted the Earth’s polar axis 4.2degrees.

Yup, those were the days.