November 2011

Friday Night Videos

For those of us who didn't have MTV, Friday Night Videos was our salvation
I had all but forgotten about NBC's late-night music video show "Friday Night Videos" until I watched the intro on YouTube. Hearing the music that played over the introductory credits I was instantly transported back to the early 1980s, sneaking downstairs after my mother had gone to bed so that I could sit on the floor in front of the television and watch, rapt, as the music videos rolled forth.
We were one of many families that did not have cable television in the 1980s. In a household with a single working mother and a latchkey kid, cable TV was a luxury that I only experienced at friends' houses and at my grandmother's house when I visited for the holidays. 

1980's Movies: "Overboard"

The Charm Of Goldie and Kurt Carries the Weak and Tired Amnesia Plot Through


I turned on the TV tonight and found one of my favorite oldies, but goodies: Overboard. The movie has one of the absolute classic themes: woman falls overboard, woman gets amnesia, man who rescues her tells her that she is his wife, tells her that she has what seems like a bajillion little boys, and she sort of falls in love with the entire family. I loved the movie when it first came out and Overboard seems to have held up the test of time, like many 80’s classics. 

Video Games from the 1980's

My only regret is that I didn't live through them.

I missed the majority of the 1980’s video game and video consul gaming hysteria, but I was lucky enough that it wasn’t dead by the time I could enjoy it in the 1990’s. I was definitely an indoor kid, and my skin would retain its icy white pallor as I stayed inside playing Super Mario Bros. on my friend’s Nintendo consul in the summertime. I played all the computer game adapted versions (although I’m sure they weren’t the same as they were with the original joystick) and frequented the video consul machines at the local pizza parlors and gaming emporiums.

Why, oh, why wasn’t I born seven years earlier?

The good and the bad of '80s dance movies

Good: "Dirty Dancing." Bad: "Flashdance."

Sometimes everybody gets in the mood for a good, old-fashioned dance movie. There’s a plot really just so that dancing can come up as much as possible. There’s dancing really so that the lead actors can reveal their rippling stomachs and taut legs.

But dance movies are probably about the most mindless kind of movies to watch, and that’s what I’m in the mood for right now. Awesomely choreographed, impossibly coordinated group numbers? Yes, please.

Here are two mini-caps of the dancing entertainment in which I partook this weekend:

The AIDS Quilt

Art that changed the world
Despite what us Gen X-ers might have you believe, the 1980s weren't all fun and games and brightly-colored sweaters. Frankie didn't just say "Relax," he also contracted HIV.
It's difficult to explain the full impact of the AIDS Quilt today. For one thing, handicrafts like quilting and knitting have become mainstream and have even been used to make artistic statements. It doesn't seem entirely unusual, at any rate, that a craft like quilting would be used to bring public attention to a deadly disease.