August 2011

Leg Warmers

Our legs were terribly cold in the 1980's, it seems. Or maybe they have always been cold, but it was only in the 80's that we dared address this terrible problem. Actually leg warmers are making a comeback, or so I am told. And truthfully, I have craved a pair from time to time, but I don't think they would go well with my typical outfit which is based on either jeans or sweats, depending on the destination.
Leg warmers were closely tied to the aerobics craze, and the Flashdance fashion craze. It was a one-two punch which ensured that every girl daydreamed of finding a pair of leg warmers with the perfect degree of slouchiness. Ideally, they would be slouching over the tops of your Reebok aerobics shoes with the Velcro straps.

Up With People!

"Up With People" was one of those culturally pervasive things in the 1980s, an idea that traveled so far from its source that some people - myself among them - never knew where it came from until later. (I had zero interest in sports, never watched the Super Bowl, so how would I have known? I mean, keeping in mind that I was a little kid, obviously. American culture wasn't as evenly distributed back then, before the internet.)
Up With People was a troop of singing, dancing entertainers who performed at four Super Bowl halftime shows (1976, 1980, 1982, and 1986). Up With People is what The Simpsons was parodying with their halftime show by "Hooray For Everything" during the Thanksgiving football game at Duff Gardens. ("Let's hear it for the best hemisphere in the world, the WESTERN hemisphere!")

Genesis, "Land of Confusion"

Genesis is, of course, one of those canonical 1980s bands. And yet oddly, it isn't one of those bands that gets played a lot on "80s Retro Night." Unfortunately Genesis may fall on the other side of the line, into the pile of "things that were quintessentially 80s but which we're sick of right now, and which aren't kitschy enough to be cool in an ironic retro way."

Foods that you didn't know were invented in the '80s

The 1980's gave us a lot of great stuff.  Giant computers, the movie The Goonies, the Olsen twins and the Cabbage Patch Kids.  Awesome. These are all things that are rooted in the time and place that was the neon and psychedelic 1980's. But some things don't really scream that they were created in this decade. In fact, for most of these foods, I bet you had no idea that they were invented--or rather evolved, as foods so often do--along with those pesky, sprouted cabbage children.  Here are some of the raddest edibles that you didn't even know were invented in this decade.