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Friday, April 24, 2015

FLASHBACK: 1980's Academic Consumerism Synopsis

(I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THESE PICTURES AND WANT TO GIVE CREDIT AND THANKS FOR THOSE THAT DO)

I don't care how old you are, whether you suffered through what ever made this time in American history so bad, or you wish your life was like the plot to a John Hughes movie, the 1980's brought some of the greatest innovations and inventions to man kind, the greatest songs, styles we still find attractive today, and like anything good, the bad came too with inflation rates, Reaganomics, and the whole money stir leading to  the last Cold War, it was a time for social, economical, and general change to our way of living and wealth and production migrated to new ways of industrializing capitalism, and as National Geographic puts it, "Its the decade that made us." For everything that materialized from this short decade, ranging from 1980 to 1989, what is partially responsible for how the rest of the world carried out through the 90's, and can be questioned to how and why we have all that we have today is because of the most hated decade in American pop culture.

Sit back, relax, pull out your bankers lamp and legal pad, take note on the attributes of the wildest decade, but this is limited to and only to social change as a result of economics, that leads to shopping trends changing, how money is being spend, and why it is iconicized as the most glamorous decade.


Music just makes every situation better, the idea and feelings that come with the are better absorbed into our minds with sound, so here is a mash of the top 100 songs from 1980-1989, pal it don;t play it, just makes the pictures featured below cooler to look at with a voice cast in the background to make you think, "This was the coolest song when this was in style, now both are lost in the past."


This can be the best summarized placement of words to describe just what was going on in the economical world of the 1980s, as politics and trends play a big part in this, but this is Trip to the Mall, and the only thing important in this case is how malls and shopping were changed because of it, and the stores, and how money floated around and credit cards were being used at an all time high.


Everything was purely focused on luxury, everything had to be gold, shiny, new, crisp, or futuristic, and any other adjective to describe the wonder of owning new stuff old of spite drove people to become something they never though they could become until now.
Zimmer Limo



The lifestyles people chose to lead came as a result of living like there was no tomorrow, because Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980, the Cold war and inflation rates rising, so believed there wouldn't be a tomorrow. There a a television series that captured what Americans wanted to live like, designer clothing, riches, champagne and caviar, it ran from 1978-19991, and was based in Texas...any guesses, its DALLAS.


Here is really why this is the best decade, or as least what characterized the 80's specifically that can make it the best decade to remember, and wish if there was a chance to go back, why some of us would, because its cooler, anyone can express themselves, its really like Democrats and Republicans can unite in social harmony, the populous of the nation can express themselves and show there individualism, yet want to live like millionaire kings...or be treated as such.

Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street


The Decade Where Everything Made Cent$...

Money became no object, the new main objective was success...& excess, what had become to be known as the new American dream! 

It was a non-stop party.

Image was everything.

The last decade of glamour.

Consumption is conspicuous... living is large.

Its 1983, America is coming out of a recession and for the first time, people are starting to feel good about American and being American, and with that, come consumerism.

American's start to shop, to be American, it means to spend a lot of money.

Pretty much, here is the equation to follow:

                      Conspicuous Consumption= 80's Consumerism 



Its not about what you need, its about what you want.

Shopping for sport became a national trend.

It was the mother of all explosions of capitalistic spending in decades, the stock market soared.

Charlie Sheen in the 1987 film Wall Street


People began to spend more money than what they used to save.

Interest rates were low, the economy was booming and Wall Street was on a role.

There was an index that had been the same price for decades, and then it skyrocketed, and no one  could believe it.

How Malls play into all of this...

1980: Sherman Oaks Mega Mall opens, it was the start of galleria shopping

There were already malls built around the country for nearly 20 years before this decade that made them trend and resembles the memories of are parents as they spent most of there teens lives shopping in the mall with friends an family, dating and going to the movies.

Scene from John Hughes 1985 film Weird Science:


The mall had made shopping a form of total recreation and middle America seemed to love it.

There were products to buy... and fun to be had.




Scene from the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High directed by Amy Heckerling.



In 1984, they coined a new word for this new addiction, that word...$hopaholic

"A time where people where throwing a way money, it was wonderful!"- Larry Hagman from TV show Dallas

In the San Fernando Valley lived a group of girls who turned hanging out at the mall into an art form.

The Valley

The dialect from this part of Southern California came to known as "Valley Speak", and resulted was the poster child, the beloved Valley Girl.

In 1982, the band Moon Zappa released the song Valley Girl and it became a cult-classic.



In the 1980's, there was a 42% increase in teen spending and an increase in focus on teen fashion, focus on shopping, which was fed by tremendous power in the advertising industry with such names like Calvin Klein and Madonna.

Brooke Shields

Madonna


My beloved Woodfield Mall decked out in 80's attire:)





People got used to debt in the 1980's and consumer credit was up by 2.7 Billion dollars by May 1983.

MEN in the 80's: Birth of the Yuppy.


Characteristics:

  • Big brick cellular phone
  • Slick hair back
  • Grey suit w/ Ray-ban sunglasses
  • Gold Cigarette lighter
Becomes a figure to admire

Scene from Harold Ramis 1980 film Caddyshack:

Had to be flashy... it was the only was t go, to be remembered

These were dollar signs represented by men.


Then: Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street

Now: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordon Belfort in the 2013 film Wolf of Wall Street

Yuppies are heterosexual gays.

The first portable cell phone call took place in Chicago, Illinois in 1983.(just have to through in that personal touch that makes this unique)


This is all I really have to say of what I think best symbolizes the 80's, the decade of new challenges and designs to over power the oppression that was tradition, and in the traditional sense, brought out the wealth in people.

Please feel free to post and comment below

Thank you for reading.





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