In an era where monopolies on fashion have created monotonous trends, nearly everyone eats at the same handful of chain restaurants, and Meghan Trainor plays on the radio at least five times every hour, it’s hard to sculpt your own self.
How does one truly distinguish themselves among those who subjugate themselves to whatever’s popular and apathetically tweet about those who don’t? In light of these imposing cultural norms, the people have responded with all they know: just take other people’s shit.
Thus, today’s youth have taken a misguided Moon-Walk back to the 80’s and hijacked all they could, the cultural equivalent of ignoring the glaring expiration date on your off-brand almond milk. Instead of the plastic beats of today’s pop, teens jam to sexually-ambiguous hits like “Jessie’s Girl” or “Hungry Like the Wolf”. Before the most recent adaptation of a flimsy young-adult novel, “The Breakfast Club” is screened. 2015’s apathetic hipsters are shoved aside by permed women in neon track suits adorned with cartoon characters.
As any proud American knows, this is cultural appropriation at its worst (yeah, ethnic minorities; just put a sock in it and listen up). This isn’t the real 80s. This is a sad reimagination of the pinnacle American exceptionalism. The 80s weren’t limited to E. T., leg warmers, and mullets; they were about unbridled, uncensored conservatism.
Without the leadership of Reagan and his GOP chums, we would’ve never experienced the thoughtless economic boom that allowed us to experiment with all the weird trash we had then. If you think three Rambo sequels could be churned out in Obama’s America, you need the wake the hell up.
When teens ironically don legwarmers, there should be Reagan/Bush pin right along with it. Posters of pop stars should be side-by-side with ones of Phyllis Schlafly telling you your vagina’ll take you straight to hell. Teens should indulge not only in the raucous TV shows of the time, but also in Jerry Falwell’s stuffy televangelism. Remember, your hip-hops and raps may be cool, but not as much as Reagan’s slick brand of systemic racism.
So raise your red solo cup of Jolt Cola, but now, hail the 80s’ true heroes. Don’t think of Bueller, think of the Bakkers. Don’t think of Mötley Crüe, think of the Moral Majority. Don’t think of the Cosby Show, thi-…actually, just make sure you don’t think of the Cosby Show. Yeesh.
Featured Photo: Sex icons for the ages, Sid Vicious and Nancy Reagan. Photo by Xing Gilbert.