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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The 1980s: They’re Back!

A new book by journalist David Sirota, Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explains the World We Live in Now — Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything,
claims that the early decades of the 21st century mirror some of the less pleasant themes of a past era. Take Gordon Gekko’s famous mantra “Greed is good” in the 1987 film “Wall Street.” Not only did the movie spawn a sequel in 2010, but a real-life Gekko, Bernie Madoff, captured the headlines in 2009 when he was sentenced to 150 years in prison for operating what has been called the largest Ponzi scheme in the world.

In a USA Today review, writer Craig Wilson quotes Sirota: "Everything was big — really big. Big hair. Big defense budgets. Big tax cuts. Big shoulder pads. Big blockbuster movies. Big sports stars. The Big Gulp."

Recent cultural phenomena have their origins in the 80s, Sirota writes. “The Sopranos” is an updated “Goodfellas.” The reality show “American Idol” had its origins in “Star Search.” Apparently TNT is planning a remake of “Dallas.”

If you are curious about Sirota’s thesis, you can reserve a copy of Back to Our Future. Released on March 15, the library has it on order.

If you just want to enjoy fond memories of 80s icons such as Pac-man, the Rubik’s cube, “E.T.”, Ferris Bueller, MTV, Charles Barkley or the aviator jacket, here’s a few books to browse:

Eyewitness: The 1980s (eAudiobook)

Gen X TV: The Brady Bunch to Melrose Place by Rob Owen

Songs of the 80’s by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation

Fashions of a Decade: The 1980s by Vicki Carnegy (reference: a few copies available for check-out)

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