Tuesday, 13 May 2008

No. It's not funny.

And it's not ironic, or clever. It's just shit. And regular readers -- both of you -- will know that I take shit very seriously. But this isn't the good kind of shit. This is some bad shit, and I don't mean 'bad shit' in that way young people have of making 'bad' good.

I mean the 1980s. So now you know which kind of shit I'm really talking about. And it seems that all vested interests have finally, finally, succeeded in reviving this horrible decade. I've been glancing at the fashion pages -- in the Guardian, obviously. I'm not an animal -- since 2001 and they've been saying 'Like it or not, girls, the puffball skirt is coming back in a big way this summer!' and finally, finally it seems that the word has listened to these Desperate Cassandras.

And so now we're stuck with 80s fashion, which was bad enough the first time around for those of us that are old enough to remember it (and let me reassure you, we don't look back upon it fondly. And if you do remember the 80s fondly, as they say of the 60s, then you weren't really there. Go back. And stay.)

But it's not just fashion. Oh were it only skinny jeans and big hair that terrorised us today! No. I don't even really care about what people are wearing, except that these things are indicative of larger cultural winds, and the air right now reeks of Conservative revivalism.

When did it become OK for normal looking young people to admit to voting Conservative?!? I mean, there were always some, you know, the ones that wore bow-ties to classes and had 'I WILL rule the world one day, oh yes!' etched all over their spotty faces, but not since sometime in the dark days of that horrible decade has it been 'OK' to be a Tory. Normally, Conservative students were despised and ostracised to the point where they were driven to take their revenge upon Society and the Pretty Girl that wouldn't go with them to the ball by becoming really really rich, or BBC political correspondents. And it worked, in a way. They ruled us, yes, but they were never happy.

(Then one of them took his ultimate revenge upon the world and became Leader of the Labour party.)

But now I see in the University of Sheffield newspaper students who otherwise seem to have been born to human parents admitting to voting Conservative in the last (local) election. And they haven't made any effort to protect his identity, so presumably he's not the only one who thinks it's 'OK'. [Quick clarification: 'It's time for a change' is not an acceptable reason to vote for anyone, let alone the right. If the best reason you can come up with for voting for some is that 'it's time for a change', stay home, turn on ITV and rot.]

So why has 80s fashion only come back in the last year or two, if fashion editors (the difficult 'middle child' of the newspaper world) have been trying to foist it on us since the cork popped on my Millennium bubbly? Because the politics and the economics are finally ready to support the weight of this cultural monstrosity. (Something about base and superstructure, if you like your socialism more scientific.)

And if you doubt that there is a correlation between these popular cultural movements and a changing socio-economic landscape, you can read about it right from the big, stupid, horse's ass itself, in a recent Daily Mail opinion piece. (I say 'opinion' - I mean bullshit.) Thanks again to the Daily Hate for pointing this out (because I will spend only as long on the Daily Mail website as I absolutely need to).

This is enough now. And it needs to stop.

But everyone thinks it's ok to have Boris Johnson as mayor of London, and Toffs running the world, because there's nothing wrong with greed and looking out for Number One and trickle-down economics doesn't sound like a bad idea and political correctness has gone mad and an equitable tax programme is dangerous social engineering and oh for god's sake I just can't go through all that again...

Where are the 1980s not happening all over again? I want to go there.

On a happier note, fortunately, at the very least, the music is better. And please, PLEASE, do not inundate me with posts about how great the 80s were musically. They weren't. I play this game: 'The 80s had shit music', I say. 'Oh not they didn't!' Sad-30-something objects. 'Ok,' I say. 'Name me one decent band.' And Sad-30-something riffs off the Cure and the Smiths before realising that this isn't going to be easy. Sometimes Sad-30-something can get 4, 5 even 6 bands before running out self-respect. But that's not the point. Even if you list 10, 11 decent bands, that's only 10 or 11 decent bands in a whole decade. How shit is that? Besides, surely most of those bands that were ok in the 80s would have been a lot better had they not been burdened with having had to be of the 80s. How much better would the Cure or the Smiths had been if they were of the 70s, or the 90s? (Close your eyes and hear any Johnny Marr riff produced by Butch Vig. See?)
Al Jourgensen: shit in the early 80s, and he got better and better the closer we got to the 90s, when, ta-da! And thank goodness for that.

Alright, that's the moment when my vitriol goes just that bit too far, and I've said something I'm going to regret. I know. I'll put the keyboard back under the desk now, and step away.

No comments:

Post a Comment