I must do an interview for my english class concerning the 80's. Rather than getting any average person who grew up in the eighties, I thought I'd get you-the expert on the internet's opinion.
If you have the time, please answer some (if not all) of the following questions?
Sure thing, hope you get a decent grade (grin)
How would you describe the culture of the 80's?
The culture of the decade would have to be one of materialistic pursuit. It was during an economic boom which helped to change the pursuit of the baby boomers from global harmony or whatever it was they were after, to trying to accumulate as much stuff as they could. This could best be shown by looking towards pop culture, and if anything, the eighties pop culture almost seemed to scream disposable, no one tried to even pretend what they were doing was going to have any lasting signifigance in music, most pop music was so of the moment that songs like Haysie Fantazie's "Shinny Shinny" was about a fashion trend that had come and gone before the song even made it on the pop charts.
How did the Iran Contra affair affect your trust of the government?
My personal trust of the government was definatly shaken by the whole mess, especially the closing of it by Bush in '92 when he pardoned the whole lot of them on his way out the door. The pinnacle had to be president Reagan on the stand declaring he can't remember, as if involving the US gov't in drug and gun running was something that was so insignificant that he couldn't remember it out of the dozen other things he must have done over the course of a day. I think it also helped to heighten my disgust at wasteful gov't spending when you heard things during the trial like Ollie North spending money on his home security system (gov't money that is)
Which musician was the most influential to the decade? and why?
Well, my personal pick would have to be Duran Duran, though I wouldn't point to them as having shaped the whole decade, more like the first half. The problem with this question is that the eighties pop music scene was a lot more fractured than the previous decades, rap became popular (and is listed along side traditional rock albums even), dance music evolved out of seventies disco, adopting a bit of rock 'n' roll to help make it popular (like Prince), punk which had been around since the sixties in one form or another became mainstream enough to make it on to Mtv (like the Clash and the Ramones). If anything, I'd have to say the most influential impact on the music scene wasn't an artist but on a previousily little used medium, TV, as in Mtv. The early years of Mtv (unlike currently) showed a wide swath of music, everything from New Romantics like Duran Duran, to rap like Tone Loc near the end of the decade. The style and appearance of a music group for a good period of time from 1982 until around 1988 or so was probably more important than the music itself... which is what fueled the Seatle grunge revolt in the early ninties.
How did the discovery of AIDS change the behavior of society? politics?
If anything it definately ended the sexual revolution started in the sixties. Politics were probably the last thing to even be affected by it. One thing is for certain, it was the first time the media even allowed itself to acknoweledge the fact that people had sex lives. Before AIDS became as widespread, it wasn't discussed on tv very much, almost never in the news.
How did the invasion of Grenada affect your view of the government?
I was actually pretty young when Grenada happened, so I barely remember it. What I rememberd most was the outcry over the fact that more medals were handed out in one 30 hour war than the whole 10 year Vietnam "conflict", which helped to sour my opinion of how vets were treated. Popular war vets seemed to be rewarded a whole lot better than those of one that was less successful.
Do you believe the 80's was a decade of materialism? why?
Definately, I think I covered this earlier pretty much.
What do you think the most prominent fad of the 80's was? why?
Fads in the eighties were so short lived, I guess the one fad item that seemed to be the most well remembered would be the Cabbage Patch kid shortage of 1983 (1984?). It makes the hype over most toy shortages now look routine. Of course I was a bigger fan of the Garbage Pail Kids stickers (which Topps got sued over) I still have one I keep putting up at work.
What do you believe the Reagan legacy is?
I think the Reagan legacy was the fall of the Soviet Empire, bascially Bush was there when the wall went down, but for the most part Bush was Regan's right hand man. I think Iran-Contra helped tarnish the legacy, and the huge deficit he left behind certainly makes his reign appear a little less bright, but we could have done worse, we could have had another Jimmy Carter!
Thanks you for your time, dana
No problem, hope this helps... feel free to fix my typos, my email shell has no spell checker