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Subject: Looking back on the 1960s as "old" during the '80s?

Written By: Marty McFly on 03/04/07 at 8:17 pm

This is something I've always found interesting.

If you watch almost any movie or TV sitcom from the '80s, oftentimes kids will invariably mention something from the '60s like it was the last ice age, lol. Alot of people slightly older than me who I've talked to about this through the years, have said they basically felt the same way.

This is understandable when I think about it, since many modern conveinences and technologies we take for granted, became household in the '80s. Before then, they were either total luxuries or something unheard of (Microwaves, VCRs, home video games, MTV and Cable, just to name a few). For a suburban '80s kid to think back to a time that didn't include all this must have seemed ancient and lame. Adding to this was that the quality of life had changed, too. The idea of public segregation or a time before the Civil Rights had taken place, would've seemed like something barbaric from 100 years ago.

Yet, from an actual timewise perspective, it was very close. Heck, MTV went on the air only 6 years after the Vietnam War! So, I'm sure some older people thought about it like it wasn't that long ago, which probably caused a more noticable generation gap.

P.S. Ironically I never felt this way, probably because I was really too young to pay much attention to this aspect of the '80s. By the time I was aware of stuff relating to time, the late '60s were more like a quarter century old in the early '90s. So the differences actually seemed less jarring and normal compared to when it was only, like 13 years difference around 1982.

Subject: Re: Looking back on the 1960s as "old" during the '80s?

Written By: AmericanGirl on 03/05/07 at 8:41 pm

Two thoughts -

One, as you mention, the quality of life seemed vastly different.  A lot changed between the 60's and 80's.  (I guess the difference was the 70's - well whaddya know)  As you mentioned, a lot of the household items/conveniences common in the 80's weren't around in the 60's, and many of these items made a huge difference in our day to day life.  (Just think how different a simple thing like a microwave changes our food prep habits - just one example.)  That, and going through the pain of the late 60's and 70's changed us forever, for better or worse.

Two, 60's nostalgia had kicked in big time.  During the 70's, 50's nostalgia hit it big.  It seemed like natural evolution to look back at the 60's once the 80's came around.  That, plus some of the events of the early 80's that brought the 60's back to light.  One more thing - the 80's began as a very "me" generation time, and I think the 60's provided an attractive contrast to that thinking.

Subject: Re: Looking back on the 1960s as "old" during the '80s?

Written By: Marty McFly on 03/05/07 at 9:43 pm

^Yeah, I agree with you on both points. The political landscape of the '60s and '80s were pretty opposite each other, with the '80s being more conservative with longing for a "return to innocence" existance the '50s had.

I do think the '50s and '60s had equal footing for the nostalgic periods of choice in the '80s. The counterculture late '60s era came back huge time towards the late '80s, with The Wonder Years, the revival of more socially conscious songs that didn't have as much of a new wave polish, etc.

Subject: Re: Looking back on the 1960s as "old" during the '80s?

Written By: Australian80sChild on 03/06/07 at 11:59 pm

And, even in 1950s America, there would have been substantial
variations depending upon where one was located. Someone from today
popping up on LA's Sunset Strip or NYC's Greenwich Village
in the '50s expecting a Father Knows Best type morality would be quite surprised.

Subject: Re: Looking back on the 1960s as "old" during the '80s?

Written By: zcrito on 03/07/07 at 7:36 pm

I thought the '60s were "old" (but cool) in the early '70s.


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