Friday, February 20, 2009

Four Years Later: 1980

1980 -- hard to separate what I remember directly from what I know now. Some of of the movies: Caligula (1979) released in the USA, I saw with pals in Chapel Hill. Coal Miner's Daughter, the Loretta Lynn story, with Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, etc. The original Friday the 13th, out as a remake now in 2009 (Nein, Danke). Breaker Morant, great film set in the Boer War, a sequel to which is being fought in Afghanistan today. How about Stanley Kubrick's version of The Shining? And on to Urban Cowboy, Mad Max, The Blues Brothers, class conscious Caddyshack, 9 to 5, Any Whch Way You Can, Altered States (a great writing prompt, still), City of Women / La città delle donne, Ordinary People, Somewhere in Time, Stardust Memories, Raging Bull, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, The Lathe of Heaven (1979), Tess [of the d'Urbervilles], Brave New World?

1980 was an excellent year for culture. Not so much for economics and politics. Just like today, I suppose.

Here, Jimmy Carter helps Lee Iacocca save Chrysler, at least for another generation, with a massive public loan. Sound familiar?

How about that Iranian Revolution, thirty years later?

How about that Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988?

How about them Russians (aka Soviets) trying to hold and pacify Afghanistan? Hmm.

What else you got? I was living in a dorm in Chapel Hill on election night, how about some of you others who were also alive and kicking then?

Today's Rune: Fertility.

p.s. If you want to feel strange, consider a few 1980 birthdays: Zooey Deschanel, Christina Ricci and Jake Gyllenhaal. Haha.


the walking man said...

Both of my sons were born in 1980, one in September the next in December, which was also the year I met them both for the first time. My first marriage was beginning the long expensive slide down to ruin and my greatest desire was to earn money by throwing myself at any job that would provide income.

Then as now I still did not view a lot of movies and VCR's were wildly expensive top loaders. It would be a couple of years before I saw any of the movies mentioned.

Although I did have an ATARI game system given me by my soon to be ex-wife. I remember playing it for a while but it soon became more boring than earning money.

It was the first time in my life I voted Republican (I was more easily swayed then). The city of Detroit was only eight years into the reign of Coleman Young and the population was still well above a million with Detroit still being the fifth largest city in America.

As much as I try to murder memory, the linear direction of it allows me to look back and separate that which was from that which is.

Anonymous said...

It was Time of great turbulences and the major decisions that marked my path into today. Other than that, I was young and hungry for life. I was on the other side of the globe (Soviet). We did not have Republicans or Democrats; we have had Communism and Gulag. One was given as a choice and another as an assignment. I guess, I am here today because the choice with one option sucks and an assignment sucks always.

Charles Gramlich said...

Mad Max. Now that takes me back. I saw that at the theater with a bud of mine. We liked it and felt like prophets when the series went on to do extremely well.

Sidney said...

I can remember I was still listening to eight tracks back then, and I remember all of the things you mention well. Remember talking to my friend on the phone about the election.

Since I was a kid, I didn't quite have a sense for how dire things were. It was all stuff on the news.

Time, it flies.

Johnny Yen said...

Most people don't realize that the Iran-Iraq war was the longest war in modern history. Good book about it, "The Longest War," written by Anglo-Persian journalist Dilip Hiro. The United States encouraged both sides, supplying intelligence to both sides. Now we're paying for it; the regimes that the war kept in power on each side were/are toxic.

Went to the theater to see Breaker Morant, Stardust Memories and The Empire Strikes back. The last one was weird because I was the only person in the United States who had not yet seen the first Star Wars movie.

jodi said...

EWwwwww. 1980. The year of my first and disasterous marriage. Loved the great movies, viewed on an HBO that I could not really afford.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all, for the great comments! Your thoughts inspired a lot of memories and, well, more thoughts . . .