Children of the '80s remember how it was: New Wave music, spiky hair, ruffled skirts, leg warmers, cassette tapes and the feeling that they...
Children of the ’80s remember how it was: New Wave music, spiky hair, ruffled skirts, leg warmers, cassette tapes and the feeling that they were at the center of the universe.
That’s what all youth feel, right? And then, one day, they realize: Their decade is a nostalgia act.
“Trivial Pursuit’s Totally 80s Edition” makes this fact clear. But people who remember the ’80s fondly don’t mind.
“It was the greatest thing ever,” says Chris Long, aka D.L. or Dead Lee Serios of the band Dead Serios, whose “Butterbean Queen” was their biggest hit.
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Some people who grew up around the same time recognize the relegation of their generation to nostalgia.
“You recall when punk and New Wave was, like, it,” says Tony Cristaldi, who sees himself as part of the generation that crossed the bridge from the ’70s to the ’80s. “It was fresh, and now people start looking at grunge, which came in the early ’90s, and people think that’s old. That’s the scariest part.”
Now a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Cristaldi went through a phase when he wanted to look like Robert Plant and had the perm to prove it. Then he had the Sonny Crockett look, with the white sport jacket and thin tie, right out of “Miami Vice.”
Cristaldi has been known to blow away fellow patrons in bar trivia games, but he had a tough time with some questions in the ’80s edition of “Trivial Pursuit.”
He missed a “Doogie Howser” question but nailed one about New Kids on the Block.
The game features pieces that recall the ’80s: There’s a Care Bear, an ancient-looking computer, a CD and a Trapper Keeper.
This isn’t the kind of stuff that would endure out of the decade, Long says.
“I think if something was great then, if it’s really great then, it will stand the test of time,” he says, “and I don’t look at anything as being oldies. I just look at whether it was good or not.”
Long doesn’t think much of Nirvana and other bands that deflated the optimism of the ’80s. “Kurt Cobain exterminated happiness on this planet overnight,” he said.
It’s easy to overlook the dark side when you look back. The ’50s wasn’t all poodle skirts and sock hops; it was the Cold War, the rantings of Joseph McCarthy and a rising nuclear threat.
The ’80s had its nuclear menace, too, underscored by television and movies.
“I used to worry about that a lot when I was a kid,” says Cristaldi.
Will today’s teens look back on their decade with the same fondness as children of the ’80s?
“Some day these kids are going to learn,” Cristaldi says. “They’re going to be dated.”